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I’M NEW TO THE SITE AND:
Q: I see a fare that I like and I'm soooo excited. What do I do?
A: The first thing you do is take your index finger and click. Directly on the price or the words "see all details" in the list of fares... that's it. (From our city-to-city alerts, click on our "More Details" button.) Do that? Good! You are now well on your way to finding a really good deal. Each of our fares is hyper-linked to an "Airfare details" page. On it will be info that will help you book the fare, including the fare period, days of the week you can travel, and whether seats are plentiful, spotty or scarce. Best of all there will be a links to check availability & dates and to book your tickets. Our Flexible Dates links (under our "Dealhound Confirmed!" heading) usually go right to a results page on a booking site like Travelocity or Orbitz (which will save you time) or to the airline's website (we wish we could take you to a results page for those as well, but they don't allow us to, so you'll have to hunt and peck a bit.) From there, all you'll have to do is find an available date, which is sometimes easy and sometimes not so easy. We also have a step-by-step tutorial on how to book fares from our newsletters and email alerts for you Airfarewatchdog "newbies." Check it out!
Q: I want to get information about the amazing sale fares that you list, but there are so many choices of newsletter fare alert emails. Which one should I choose and how do I sign up?
A: To sign up just click on the "Fare Alerts" link from our homepage. It's in the menu on the left under the heading "Airfare Deals." Once you're there you can choose one or all three of the following options:
City-to-City Fare Alerts - This nifty little service is for those of you with narrower, more specific interests. Enter two airports and we send you an email only when we find a round trip sale fare for that particular route. No more, no less. Delivery only happens if we have news for you, so there's no need to choose a frequency setting. If we find fares for your route a lot, you'll be hearing from us quite often. If it's a route that doesn't get discounted regularly, it could be weeks between emails.
Anywhere That's Cheap Alert (from the US & Canada only) - This is a list of all the current sale fares that we have found for travel originating from your city's airport(s), as well as our general, all-purpose informative newsletter. You will be able to choose the frequency of delivery (Daily, Frequently or Weekly) for this email newsletter. It includes fares for travel to both domestic and international destinations, as well as last-minute weekend fares offered by airlines trying to decrease unsold inventory. We have listed alternate airports in this newsletter for your convenience and we'll include short snippets of current air-travel related news and helpful hints from our resident experts.
Meet Me in St Louis Alert - Not just for St. Louis, this is for those of you who want to see the list of low sale fares for travel from multiple cities to a single destination. (It could be most helpful to those of you who are planning a wedding, meeting, reunion or convention.) We'll send you an email whenever we find new deals to a city like London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco, Atlanta or Buenos Aires from all over the US and Canada. Even if your home airport isn't listed, you can use the information to construct your own itinerary from an airport that's farther away, but has a great deal to your chosen destination. You can also use this information to track prices from other cities for comparison purposes. Another plus, you'll be able to choose frequency of delivery.
For those of you who want to change or add to your account settings, click on "My Fare Alerts" located in the upper right-hand corner of our web pages. From any of our email alerts, you can click on the "Update Your Subscriptions" link at the bottom of the email. and after you've entered or deleted information make sure you click on the "update" button near the bottom of the page and get a confirmation message to make sure that your new preferences were saved.
CAN’T FIND THE FARE FROM MY EMAIL ALERT:
Q: There's a fare from yesterday's email alert that I want, and when I clicked on it, I got a "this deal is gone" message or the price had changed. No fare, no fair!
A: Yes, these fares can be really time-sensitive. Why? Well, many of the fares we find and list are part of the unadvertised price wars between the airlines. They update, change, and delete these fares up to three times a day (not to mention sell-out of them, because the airlines set aside limited numbers of seats for sale fares.) In many ways it's like the stock market and if you see a price that you like, you should act fast or it may be too late. If you happen to see a fare that you like from an old email that was sent to you on another day, check your airport's fare page on our website first to see if it's still current (keeping in mind that it's been selling steadily the entire time!) Our newsletters tend to have a short "shelf life." If you get a "deal over" message, check back with the website later. We're in the process of finding out if it's still available or looking for another good sale. Of course, if you don't feel like waiting for us (especially for you 4am in the morning web-surfing-night-owl types), you can always check for yourself by doing a flexible dates search. Not sure how? Check out our User Guide For A Flexible Dates Search on CheapAir.com or our User Guide For A Flexible Dates Search on Travelocity or our User Guide For A Flexible Dates Search on Orbitz.com.
Q: I saw a fare for "XYZ Airlines" listed on your site for $23 RT and I didn't click on the convenient hyperlinks you provided, instead I called "XYZ Airlines" to make a reservation and the phone rep said there was no such fare, and they had never heard of you. I had to pay $2000.00 more and take out a second mortgage. Why, oh why, do you hate me so?!
A: Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but this kind of thing does happen way too often and we don't like it. First of all, never, never, ever leave the computer to find these web-based fares. Many of them are only available online. Secondly, we don't want to sound paranoid, but really, what motivation do the airlines have to lead you by the hand to the cheapest fare? If you were in a management position for a financially strapped industry, wouldn't you encourage the wage slaves in the call centers to say, they'd never heard of the cheap sale fare, hmmm? Please, stay off the phone!! Email us if you have a problem. We're here to help.
Q: Hey! One of your fare listings says "travel by (fill in date here)" and I tried to book a fare leaving Friday night after work of the (fill in major holiday here) weekend and coming back Sunday night, when everybody else wants to fly, in time to be well-rested for work on Monday . My itinerary falls within the dates covered in your listing, so why didn't I get that fare?! It must be a "bait and switch" on your part!!
A: We'd like to take this opportunity to address the difference between the dates of travel period and date availability. Not all dates are going to be available within the dates of travel period, especially around the holidays and peak travel days such as weekends (not to mention any blackout dates that the airline institutes.) We also would like to point out that the airlines will set aside a limited number of tickets at a sale price for each date and some dates will sell out at the lower prices before other dates do. Flexible travel dates will increase your chances of booking a sale fare, as will traveling mid-week as opposed to weekends (although people do book weekend sale fares all the time.)
Q: Speaking of dates, why do those calendars on the booking sites (that shall remain nameless) show all those dates, which then disappear when you click on them? It's so annoying!
A: We couldn't agree more. We find those calendars frustrating to use too. Apparently they like to tease us with what was available before they actually show us what is available. Right now, however, they're the only game in town for flexible date searches and really, having flexible travel dates is the easiest, most effective way to find the sale fares that we list.
SPECIAL FARE PROGRAMS:
Q: There's a great sale fare listed for members of Virgin America's eleVAte program or Southwest's DING! Fare specials, or American's DealFinder users, etc.... how do I get those fares? Can't I just go to the website or call them and get those deals?
A: First of all, no calling! What did we say about staying off the phone? These fares are for participants in these programs, so we encourage you to join. You can really get some great deals this way and we list these fares for the many of you who are already members and for the rest of you, who haven't joined yet , we want to let you know what amazing fares could be available to you. So join already! And remember, sometimes you can't get access to the sale fares that were announced before you joined, but you'll be eligible for any deal after that. Now that 's a good thing!
BOOKING MULTIPLE TRAVELERS OR ONE-WAY TICKETS:
Q: Whenever I click on one of your fares and find what I want, it won't let me buy more than one ticket. Are these fares only good for people traveling alone?
A: Our links are pre-set for one traveler for a round-trip ticket, but it's a simple process to book other travel plans. To book one-way ("OW") tickets and/or multiple travelers you can apply the same process: Find an itinerary and available dates that suit you. Write down or remember the aforesaid itinerary and dates. Go back to the home page of the booking site and reset your search parameters for a one-way ticket or for more than one traveler. Enter the available dates and desired itinerary and voila! If the fare is available for more than one traveler, the results should come right back up for you at the same price per ticket. Ditto for one-way travel. See, that was simple, wasn't it?!
OPEN JAW & MULTI-CITY TRIPS:
Q. I'm planning a multi-city trip. How do I sign up for a fare alert for my trip?
A. When the airlines announce fare sales, they apply to round-trip routes. So finding a listed sale fare specifically for your multi-city route really isn't going to happen. That's why we don't have a place on our Newsletter page to sign up for alerts for multi-city itineraries.
Domestic Multi-City Trips
CAN'T FIND THE ROUTE OR CITY YOU'RE LOOKING FOR:
Q. Why don't you have the route that I'm looking for on your site? I've seen it there before and now that I need it, it's not there.
A: If you're not seeing your desired route or if your city-to-city alert hasn't been coming as often as you'd like, it's because the price for that route is currently pretty high and we haven't found any fares that are anything out of the ordinary. Since we're a low sale fare listing site, our lists never remain the same, but change constantly, depending on what fares we feel are a good deal and value for our users. Hold on, the next sale could be just around the corner!
THE BEST TIME TO BUY:
Q. When is the best time to purchase the fare for my route? You have a pretty decent fare listed right now that fits in with my plans, but I want to get the best price. Should I wait for something even lower to come along?
A: We're not psychic and we would never venture to predict when a fare is absolutely going to hit rock bottom. But we firmly believe that a good fare in the hand is worth way more than the possible-maybe-iffy-bargain-basement/fire-sale fare in the future that most likely will not appear. Quite often we find that once a route has been discounted and has sold-out at that price, the airlines don't usually need to or want to discount it again. (Unless, of course, sales continue to be slow.)
A: Keep track of the fare periods for sale fares to your destination. Not just from your home airport, but other cities as well. When the dates that you are going to travel start appearing in sale fare listings, that's when you know that the time for any discount that may be coming is upon you. Our Arrival City alerts can help you do this, as well as our City to City alerts.
A: Any sale fare is the result of a reaction to current market conditions such as the price of jet fuel, the willingness of the travel consumer to spend, the popularity of a given destination at the time, how many seats have been sold for a particular route, the overall economic health of an airline and the economy in general. The decision to put any fare on sale at a discount is made according to these and other factors at the present time. Historical data is just that... history. That's why it is very difficult for us to guess when a sale is going to occur.
And for the very last word on fare prognostication: Here's George!
NON-DELIVERY OF NEWSLETTERS, MANAGING ACCOUNT SETTINGS & MORE:
Q: I'm getting a "banned" message when I enter my email address. What happened and what should I do?
A: At some point in the past you must have accidentally designated an email from us (or our parent company) as SPAM. Our system automatically makes sure that email cannot be sent to folks who don't want it. All you have to do to start getting emails from us again is to contact us and ask that your email address be unbanned.
TIP: Please use our unsubscribe feature instead of your email program's SPAM button to save yourself time and trouble in the future.
Q: I signed up for a newsletter and I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for it to show up...
Q: How do I change my account settings or unsubscribe?
A: From one of our newsletters or alerts, it's really simple. At the bottom of the page there are two links, "Unsubscribe" and "Update Your Subscriptions." Click on either one and voila!
From the website, just click on "My Fare Alerts" in the upper right hand corner of any of our webpages. On the next page, there will be an "Already Subscribed?" link to click on. Enter your email address and you'll be able to manage your account settings or unsubscribe. (Hint: The unsubscribe link is in the lower right hand corner of the account settings page.)
An important reminder: Anytime you make changes to your settings, click the "Update" button to save those changes.
Q: I'm trying to sign up for more newsletter alerts or change my account settings and I'm having trouble getting the boxes to let me type my cities in. Help!
A: All of the city/airport boxes on our site have an auto-fill function. Type slowly and let the prompt menu appear, then click on the airport that you want in the menu to finish filling in the box. Remember to click the "update" button whenever you've added new information. (Slower connection speeds require more patience from you, when it comes to the auto-fill function.)
UNADVERTISED SALE FARES:
Q: Why would unadvertised sale fares disappear? Can't you guys make them stick around?
A: Fares that are unadvertised (but that we have found anyway) are part of the daily fare wars between the folks at the airlines. It's kind of like a poker game where they continuously try to undercut each other in price whenever it's time to update fares. This can happen up to three times a day, and that's why a great price can appear and disappear suddenly.
TAXES & FEES:
Q. Would it be possible to mention/list the actual fees, taxes, etc that will be added on to a so-called low fare? They often amount to many times the stated ticket price, especially for international travel!
A. The fees and taxes for international travel can be pretty daunting. We quite often include taxes and fees for our international fares because the information is more readily available to us than for the domestic fares that we find (and of course, we note it right after the price that taxes and fees are included and in case you missed that, we note it on the Fare Details page for you too!) If we don't note that taxes and fees are included, you can safely assume that they are not.
Finally, if we attempted to find the "final total" for each and every permutation of each and every fare that we list, you would notice a big drop in the number of routes that we'd be able to cover. And we're pretty sure that would make for a lot of unhappy campers!
AND THE MOST FREQUENT "Q" OF THE FAQ'S:
Q. "What gives?"
A. This little phrase is such a favorite and yet, it puzzles us. We see it over and over again. It's usually added to a query, well after the question has been asked or long after the facts of the inquiry have been quite clearly laid out. And really, what does it actually mean? We've decided to answer this question literally. "What gives?" Well actually, a whole lot of things, but in answering your question we'd like to focus on the many wonderful organizations that make this a better world to live in. For example, The American Cancer Society, UNICEF, The American Red Cross, the ASPCA, The Girl Scouts of America, the World Wildlife Fund... well, you get the idea. There are so many great organizations that give and give and give. We'd like to encourage you to do the same. So the next time you feel inclined to ask, "What gives?" Why don't you just answer, "I do!" And make a generous contribution to the charity of your choice.