Thursday, April 12, 2018

Being street-smart during interviews: Flights!

During the hectic interview season and when you wanna travel from the east coast to the west coast, you will need flights for sure :D

Below are some tips about tickets and flights:

1- buying tickets:

> It is almost always cheaper to buy tickets online, check: Expedia, Kayak, Google flights and Cheapoair websites and compare the prices.

> Check Southwest (recommended) website too, its flights won’t show in the websites mentioned above.
What is special about Southwest is that it allows you to have 2 checked bags (up to 23 kgs each) for free! Also, you can change your flight one-time without paying anything or pay the difference between the 2nd ticket but without losing the original one.
Southwest has some nice offers too and tickets sometimes go as low as 49$ :O

> There is an app called “Hopper” on smartphones, it gives you the prices of different flights and notify you if the prices go up or drop. It also shows you which days are more expensive and which are cheap.
It sometimes shows you a bit more expensive price than the websites mentioned above so you can use it to have a general idea about cheaper days then buy the ticket from the internet.

2- When to buy the ticket?

> In general, the earlier you buy the ticket, the cheaper it will be. Be careful, sometimes this doesn’t happen and you suddenly find that the price of a certain flight has dropped so keep looking.

> Some airlines may have some offers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday so stick to your laptop these 2 days and save some money :D

> Avoid buying tickets during the Christmas season. Prices become crazy skyhigh!

3- Which airlines to choose?

I will talk about the ones I tried only:
American Airlines and United: pretty much the same (at least in my experience), the price of any checked bag is not included in the ticket so you need to pay for it (25$ or 35$). They also charge you 100$ if you have an overweight bag ( >23 kgs / 50 pounds ).

They have a rule that you have to check your “checked bag” 30 and sometimes 45 minutes before your flight, so even if you arrive 30 minutes before your flight and you have a bag to check, you will miss the flight and automatically rescheduled to the next one.

Spirit: Although some people had bad experiences with it, it still has one of the cheapest ticket prices, but put in mind that you ll pay for everything in your flight including the water you drink. (Interestingly, my experience with them was so smooth though)

Other airlines include but are not limited to: Delta and Frontier.

Some important tips:

> If you travelling to a small city, don't fly there directly. Instead, book your flights to the city with a bigger airport (mostly the capital of each state) then take a bus from their to your desired destination. This can also be done to states that are near each other (Fly to a state near to your final destination then take a bus from that state). This may help in saving a lot of money but will need more time.

> Don't forget to check the weather forecast, snow storms result in many cancellations.

> For international travelers to US, if your airport doesn't allow you to board the plane except if you have a return ticket, you can simply buy a return ticket within 24 hrs of your departure flight and cancel it after your check in. This is better than buying a round-trip ticket or paying a fee to change the date of the return flight especially if you are not sure of this date.

===
Update: 6/2/2018...Thanks to Hyndavi:
copied:

I used Delta airlines for most of the part.
1. They allow you a free carry-on bag which is good for carrying interview stuff. Compare prices with other airlines adding the baggage cost and make a purchase.

2. In December and January, there might be a lot of delays and flight cancellations. Make sure you call them after your trip and ask for compensation. They usually credit in miles which you can use at later stage. There are incidences where I claimed even after a month. Email or lodge a complaint.They are pretty responsive. American airlines is good too.

3. Whenever there is a delay or cancellation request them for an immediate rescheduling. For interviews during December and January, try to take the earliest flights possible to avoid missing an interview.

4.Try to carry a snack whenever possible as food in the airports repeatedly can cause unwanted expenditure.

5. Never check-in a carryon bag because a luggage missing or any delay can affect your interview. Sometimes, they just collect if before boarding and give it back after landing, which is ok.

6. Regarding Southwest, if you cancel a ticket, you get a credit into your Southwest account which you can use at a later stage. .
========
Comment below for any other tips you feel may be helpful :D Happy flying everyone :)

-Murad

5 comments:

  1. Hi Murad,

    This is really helpful.I have a few things to add.I used Delta airlines for most of the part.
    1.They allow you a free carryon bag which is good for carrying interview stuff.Compare prices with other airlines adding the baggage cost and make a purchase.
    2.In december and january there might be a lot of delays and flight cancellations.Make sure you call them after your trip and ask for compensation.They usually credit in miles which you can use at later stage.There are incidences where I claimed even after a month.Email or lodge a complaint.They are pretty responsive.American airlines is good too.
    3.Whenever there is a delay or cancellation request them for an immediate rescheduling.For interviews during december and january try to take the earliest flights possible to avoid missing an interview.
    4.Try to carry a snack whenever possible as food in the airports repeatedly can cause unwanted expenditure which is usually expensive than outside.
    5.Never checkin a carryon bag because a luggage missing or delay can affect your interview.Sometimes they just collect if before boarding and give it back after landing.That is okay.
    6.Regarding southwest, if you cancel a ticket,you get a credit into southwest account which you can use at a later stage.Delta airlines allows you to cancel or cahnge your ticket with full compensation within 24hours.

    This is all from my personal experience.I had to travel through flights for most part considering the place I stayed during the interview season.Hope it helps :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much :) I will add this to the original post

      Delete
  2. Great tips Murad and Hyndavi.

    Just would like to caution about return ticket for the international travellers. If you are traveling on visit visa, make sure you have proof of return ticket till you clear immigration at port of entry. Otherwise there is chance that CBP officer may not allow you entry and you will be sent back straight away (If this happens your visit visa also gets cancelled).

    ReplyDelete

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