No-frills airlines such as Frontier, Allegiant, Sun Country and Spirit are expected to increase market share to over 12% in the next 18 months, according to a new study by aviation forecasting and consulting firm Boyd Group International. These carriers tend to push down prices in markets they compete in, as Southwest has done for decades.
Here’s what you need to know:
- You’ll likely get a better deal at airports with a significant number of discount carrier flights. Flights originating in or going to Oakland, Chicago/Midway, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas and Orlando experience the lowest fares, according to the study. San Jose, Dallas/Love, Denver, Baltimore/Washington and Tampa, Florida, rounded out the top 10.
- You don’t have to fly on a low-cost carrier to reap the benefits. Flights are cheaper across airlines at airports with low-cost carriers. Thus, you can look at an airline that you might be earning miles through at the same airport and even use earned mileage to bump yourself to first class.
- The low-cost carrier effect isn’t the only factor that reduces flight costs. Sometimes flights into an airport are full because of a conference, holiday or event. It always pays to compare nearby airports and competitor airlines. You can also consider redeeming frequent flyer mileage or credit card reward points. Time of day, day of week, availability and off-season travels can also help reduce prices.
Getting a great deal on a plane ticket involves a lot of factors. Airport choice is just one. Also, remember the value of your time: A $50 increase in ticket price for a nonstop flight may help you enjoy your vacation and travel time more.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Don’t let hidden hotel fees spoil your stay
Landing the best airfare is a matter of timing
9 easy ways to earn travel rewards you’ll actually use