Flight attendant shares five 'tricks' airlines 'want to keep secret' that'll save you money

Outdoor portrait of a flight attendant standing on the aircraft stairs and smiling at the camera.
-Credit: (Image: Izabela Habur/Getty)

A flight attendant shared five 'secrets' that airlines would 'prefer to keep hidden'. In a conversation with tour operator Ski Vertigo, the veteran flight attendant shed light on lesser-known aspects of flying that can have a significant impact on passengers.

They say this insider knowledge is considered the key to making wiser, more informed travel choices. It is believed that these choices will ultimately help you save more money.

Opening up on the first 'secret', the flight attendant emphasised the importance of passengers being well-informed about flexible ticket pricing. "Being flexible with your travel dates and securing your flights well ahead of time are golden rules for snagging those sought-after savings, thanks to the ever-changing pricing strategies airlines love to use.

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"It's wise to keep an eye on different booking platforms and airline websites, as fares are known to dance up and down quite unpredictably. Setting up alerts for price drops on the routes you're eyeing can be a game-changer in grabbing those lower fares."

Secondly, they emphasised the importance of increasing public awareness about compensation for delays and cancellations, reports Wales Online. They added: "EU's Regulation EC 261/2004 is a policy that applies to flights within and departing from the EU, as well as flights to the EU operated by EU carriers. This regulation entitles passengers to compensation under certain conditions.

"Despite the UK having left the EU, it has adopted similar protections under its own laws. The challenges passengers face in claiming compensation and some airlines' lack of proactive communication about these rights have been highlighted in consumer advocacy publications and news reports.

"And when travel hiccups like delays or cancellations happen, knowing your rights to compensation and being persistent in following up with airlines ensure you're not left at a disadvantage. Keeping all your communications documented and understanding the fine print of regulations, such as the EU's EC 261/2004, can only strengthen your case."

The flight attendant claimed that overbooking is a well-known practice in the airline industry. It is a 'strategic approach' to maximize the number of passengers on each flight, taking into consideration the possibility of no-shows and cancellations.

"The practice and its implications for passengers, including the potential for being bumped from flights, are well-documented and sometimes pose public relations challenges for airlines. Being armed with knowledge about your rights and the airline's policies on compensation and rebooking is invaluable, especially if you find yourself bumped from an overbooked flight."

Travellers getting their boarding passes at airline check-in counter
The flight attendant pointed out the true cost of low-cost carriers

Flyers could get cheaper flights through code-sharing and partner airlines. Code-sharing is a common practice where airlines share the same flight, allowing them to offer more destinations.

The travel expert said: "Discrepancies in pricing between different airlines selling seats on the same flight can indeed exist due to various marketing strategies, sales channels, or target customer segments. Travellers and travel advisors often recommend checking prices across multiple airlines for the same code-shared flight to find the best deal."

Lastly, the flight attendant pointed out the true cost of low-cost carriers. They revealed: "The business model of low-cost carriers relies on offering low base fares with additional fees for services often included in the price of tickets on traditional airlines.

"The implications of this model for the overall cost of travel and the consumer experience have been extensively covered in travel advice columns, consumer reports, and academic studies on airline pricing strategies.

"On the flip side, getting to know the nuances of code-sharing arrangements and the operational quirks of low-cost carriers can lead to more informed travel choices. It’s important to calculate the total cost of your journey, factoring in baggage fees, seat selection, and those sneaky add-ons to sidestep any unpleasant surprises that can inflate your budget with low-cost carriers.

"Being detail-oriented about your flight details, including which airline is actually operating your flight under a code-share agreement, could unlock even better deals. Embracing these strategies and deepening your understanding of airline industry practices can greatly enhance your travel experience, making it smoother and more enjoyable.”

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