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Entries during 2008-11

One-way fares on Airfarewatchdog

Q. Due to a family emergency, I need to purchase a one-way ticket, since I'm not sure of when I might return. The problem is, it seems you only list round-trip fares. Is it possible to book these for one-way at half their round-trip price, or no?

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! Also, in our fare details, we specify which fares are available one-way at half their round-trip price.

Plugged in, Turned on

Q. Your recent link to the free wi-fi map was helpful, but I find it more of a problem to track down power outlets when I travel. I'm sure they're readily available in the business  lounges, but I don't fly business, and still would like very much to recharge my laptop and Blackberry without having to sit in a bar or fast food place out of ear shot of my gate. In this day and age, why aren't outlets included alongside giftshops on airport maps? I need power more than I need a snowglobe of Detroit.

A. We actually had the same trouble at Dallas Ft Worth last week. Concession area plugs seemed to all be in use, and - just as we were considering using the outlets all the way upstairs by the AirTrain, we finally found one, far far from our gate, that we shared with a fellow traveler who complained of the very same thing. The good news, which we learned from our friends at the Middle Seat: There is actually an Airpower Wiki page that lists the locations of power outlets in both domestic and international airports. There's even a Flickr page, for those who need visuals. 

Recovering the diff when fares drop, post-purchase

Q. My husband and I booked two flights on Hawaiian airlines and then the price dropped $150 dollars a ticket. Is there any way to recover the difference in airfare.

A. The policy for price drop refunds vary from airline to airline. Most airlines charge up to $150 to handle a fare drop situation, assuming it's the same flight/dates; Alaska, Southwest, United and Frontier will refund in the form of a voucher, without deducting a service fee, just so long as your flights/dates do not change. Call Hawaiian (1-800-367-5320) and ask what your options are available to you in your fare class and itinerary.

Leaving comments on Airfarewatchdog

Q. I can't figure out how to register to use your site. I want to leave a comment on some of the   blog postings. Can you fill me in?

A: Actually, you don't need to register to use our site or to leave comments. To leave a comment, for example on this blog post about airline fees, simply click on Discussion: 2 Comments (or however many comments there might be) and post the comment if you are already registered/signed in; or if you're not registered (again, you don't need to be), enter your screen name, add your comment, and click on the add comment button. Your web site is optional ( we ask for your email address but it doesn't appear in the comments, and we don't use it for anything except to track you down if you spam us, so please don't do that!). To leave a comment on a Q&A, like this one, you do need to be registered however. We hope to change that soon. Hope that helps!


Why are connecting flights more expensive than nonstops?

Q: Whenever I book a flight on US Airways and look at the list of flights, the cheapest flights are the nonstop flights.  The flights that go through connecting airports are dramatically more expensive.  I just booked a round trip from Atlanta to Charlotte for $87.  One of the flight options that went through a connecting airport was $1,000 one way.  Why would someone pay that much to fly through another city, particularly when the turn around time might only be half an hour?

A: That $1000 fare was probably a glitch of some kind. On longer haul flights, nonstops are almost always more expensive than connecting flights. But perhaps on shorter routes that an airline flies nonstop, such as US Air flying between Charlotte and Atlanta, their reservation system isn't set up to calcuate cheap connecting flights. You'll find, as stated above, that on a Charlotte to, say, Los Angeles, which US Air does fly nonstop, they're charging $365 RT right now; but Northwest is  offering connecting flights for $177 RT.

International Flexible Search

Q. I'm curious: What regulations and/or software restrictions prevent one from using a "flexible date search" function for international travel?

A. That would be the US Department of Transportation. They asked that Travelocity include those often hefty fuel surcharges in their international fare results; but Travelocity said that they didn't have the technology to do this, since these and other taxes and surcharges are calculated when exact dates are chosen by the consumer. But now, Travelocity is indeed showing international flexible date search results on some major routes, but not all. Seems like the list is growing day by day.

You can use flexible date search for international travel on to almost anywhere, although Orbitz does not have all of the low cost international airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair; on Travelocity, you can do international flex date search on some routes.


First Dibs at Weekend Fares

Q. What day of the week do the airlines release their weekend fares?

A. Many weekend fares are actually available for booking as early as Sunday (for example, Delta); others on Monday. But the airlines first post these fares on their web sites, then send automated emails later in the week, usually on Tuesday or Wednesday. Because of the volume of emails they send, some folks get their weekend alerts later than others, so it's best to check the web sites quickly to get first dibs.  Airfarewatchdog lists weekend fares as soon as we can find them on airline web sites, and sometimes earlier if we come across one on a Sunday or Monday, before the fares are even posted on airline web sites.

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