Traveling the world or even just taking a short trip can be an exhilarating experience. However, the costs of air travel can sometimes be a deterrent. Worry no more!
In this comprehensive guide, we explore the concept of airline price match and how you can use it to your advantage to save on airfare. We’ve broken down the guide into seven unique sections, each focusing on a different aspect of airline price matching.
So buckle up and get ready to become an airline price match expert!
Understanding the Basics of Airline Price Match Policies
As a savvy traveler, you must understand what airline price match entails. So, what is an airline price match policy? Simply put, it’s a policy where an airline promises to match a lower fare found on a competitor’s website or another booking platform.
Some airlines offer a straightforward price match guarantee. Others might give you the difference in price, plus a bonus such as travel credits.
To understand the basics, let’s cover these aspects:
- Eligibility Criteria: Most airlines require that the lower fare be for the same route, on the same date, and in the same class of service.
- Time Frame: The time within which you need to find and report the lower fare varies among airlines. It’s often 24 hours.
- Claim Process: Generally, you must submit a claim form on the airline’s website.
- Refunds or Credits: Depending on the airline, you may receive a refund, travel credits, or a combination of both.
Understanding the fine print of airline price match policies is essential. Keep in mind that airlines change their policies frequently, so always check the latest information.
By familiarizing yourself with the essentials of airline price match policies, you are taking the first step in ensuring that you get the best deal possible on your airfare. In the upcoming sections, we will delve deeper into the specifics, such as how to successfully claim an airline price match and which airlines offer the best price match guarantees.
How to Successfully Claim an Airline Price Match
Being proactive and knowledgeable are key factors in successfully claiming an airline price match. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure that you don’t miss out on any savings:
- Step 1: Research and Compare Prices: Before booking your flight, compare prices across different platforms. Use metasearch engines like Skyscanner, Google Flights, and Kayak to see a range of prices.
- Step 2: Understand the Airline’s Price Match Policy: Each airline has its own policy. Study the policy of the airline you plan to book with, paying attention to eligibility criteria and claim processes.
- Step 3: Book the Flight: Once you find a flight, go ahead and book it. You’ll need a booking confirmation to initiate the price match process.
- Step 4: Continue Monitoring Prices: After booking, don’t stop looking. If you find a lower price, take note of the details, including the website where it’s listed.
- Step 5: Submit a Price Match Claim: If you find a lower price that meets the airline’s criteria, submit a claim. Ensure you provide all required information and documentation.
- Step 6: Follow Up: Follow up with the airline if you don’t receive a response within the timeframe specified in their policy.
- Step 7: Enjoy the Savings: If your claim is successful, enjoy the savings or credits you’ve earned!
Be sure to keep all communication and documentation until your claim is resolved. This step-by-step process will guide you in maximizing savings through airline price match.
Top Airlines with the Best Price Match Guarantees
Which airlines should be on your radar if you’re looking to capitalize on price matching? Here are some airlines known for excellent price match policies:
- Alaska Airlines: Alaska’s Price Guarantee refunds you the difference if you find a lower fare on the same itinerary.
- Southwest Airlines: With Southwest’s No Change Fees policy, if you find a lower price, you can rebook and get the difference in travel credit.
- JetBlue: JetBlue’s Best Fare Guarantee offers $100 in credit per ticket if you find a lower fare on another website.
- Delta Airlines: Delta offers a Best Fare Guarantee, giving you the difference plus a $100 voucher if you find a lower price on another website.
While not exhaustive, this list provides insight into airlines with strong price match guarantees. Always check for the most current policies as they can change.
Leveraging Credit Card Perks for Airline Price Matching
Credit cards often come with travel perks that can be leveraged for airline price matching. Here’s how:
- Price Protection Benefits: Some credit cards offer price protection, refunding you the difference if a price drops after purchase.
- Travel Credits: Cards with travel credits can effectively reduce the cost of your ticket, making it easier to price match.
- Travel Portals: Book through your credit card’s travel portal. Some offer price guarantees and will match lower fares found elsewhere.
Maximize these credit card perks to get the best deals in combination with airline price matching.
Making the Most of Travel Agency Price Matching
Many travel agencies and online travel agents (OTAs) have their own price match guarantees. To make the most of these:
- Compare Prices: Check OTAs like Expedia and Priceline against airline prices.
- Understand Policies: Familiarize yourself with each OTA’s price match policy.
- Use OTA Loyalty Programs: Combine price matches with rewards programs for extra savings.
The Future of Airline Price Matching Post-COVID
The travel industry is undergoing significant changes post-COVID. Airlines might adapt their price match policies to stay competitive. Stay abreast of policy changes and industry trends to effectively utilize price matching in the new travel landscape.
Insider Tips and Hacks for Mastering Airline Price Matching
To conclude, here are insider tips for mastering airline price match:
- Be Vigilant: Continuously monitor prices, even after booking.
- Understand Policies: Know the ins and outs of various price match policies.
- Use Alerts: Set up fare alerts to be notified of price drops.
- Leverage Social Media: Follow airlines on social media for exclusive deals.
By implementing these strategies and tips, you can master the art of airline price matching and travel the world without breaking the bank. Happy travels!