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The Unexpected Way I Saved $400 on a Flight

How I Saved Money on Plane Tickets

The decision was made. The plans for China were scrapped. Me and one of my closest friends were instead going to meet up in the Philippines for almost 2 weeks of sun, sand, and tarsiers. I just had to book my flight.

Since the whole intent of this trip was to be budget-friendly, and the Philippines is a long, long way from Newfoundland (ie. not a cheap flight), my intention was to cash in my Aeroplan miles. Dates were talked about and settled on. I would take off late on a Friday night and return home two weeks later just in time to not have to give up my symphony tickets in St. John’s.

While booking with Aeroplan certainly cuts down on the cost of a flight, it’s not actually free unless you’re willing to part with a lot of extra miles to cover your taxes and fees. My total, after miles, was coming out to $990. Whoa! The amount of fees you’ll pay varies from airline to airline, and unfortunately, living where I do, Air Canada is the only option for the first leg of any trip and choices can be limited after that. I had three options for flights, all with the same hefty amount of taxes.

On a whim, I decided to do a search for other flight options, foregoing Aeroplan. What if I just used my points one way and booked a regular ticket the other? Maybe I could luck out on a seat sale. Well, I didn’t find that, but I did discover something interesting.

The one-way Aeroplan flight required half the miles as a return flight, as expected, but less than half of the taxes/fees. Hmm…that was unexpected. I did a one-way search going the other way and sure enough, taxes and fees were again less than half.

Booking a return Aeroplan rewards flight from St. John’s, NL to Manila would’ve set me back90,000 miles and $990, but the same flights booked as two one-way itineraries came to just $590. Now we’re talking!

I ran the searches a second and third time to make sure that it wasn’t a fluke and then I went ahead and booked the tickets. I can tell you, I felt a bit anxious during the process, worried that once I booked the outgoing flight, the return would mysteriously disappear but nothing happened. Two tickets showed up in my email and I was good to go.

So the next time you’re booking a flight, whether it’s a rewards flight or otherwise, take a moment to do a search for the one ways. You never know, you could score a real deal.

What’s the best deal you’ve managed to score on a flight?

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