Johnny Jet says you can sometimes save money buying your airline tickets at the last minute. Some tips - don't bring a bag. Get the right credit card to gain access to the clubs. Stick with one airline to get upgraded. TSA PreCheck is very helpful. Make a single connection, and you can save half the cost of a first class or business class ticket. Search, and price it out with Google Flights and then book directly with the airline. The trick is to use multiple sites. Check alternate airports.
Johnny Jet says that there's a new airline in Canada called Swoop that's going with the Spirit Airlines business model of charging very low prices for airfare, then adding charges for luggage and carry ons. If it doesn't fit under your seat, you have to pay extra. They also pack you in with only 29" of leg room.
Site of the week - Google Flights. Johnny recommends going with Google Flights when trying to book a flight. Great bargains, plus they also let you know about flight delays and more.
Travel Tip of the week - Johnny Jet has learned from his doctor that you have a better chance of catching the flu while flying this time of year, about 1000x greater. So it's best to avoid flying right now. And Johnny says rather than canceling your flight outright and paying the cancel/rebooking fee, try waiting until the last minute and see if the plane is delayed or rescheduled, and then you're more likely to get a full refund with no cancelation fee. It's like playing chicken, but Johnny has been canceling tickets a lot lately and it works. You just have to time it right.
Travel news this week is that Delta Airlines is cracking down on what they call "fake service animals." All too often, people are pretending that their dogs and cats are service animals, like a seeing eye dog would be, but for emotional support. Johnny Jet says that Delta is going to require proof with a note from the doctor that you need a service animal for it to be allowed on the plane.
Leo wants to know how young a minor can be to travel unaccompanied. Johnny says that it varies from airline to airline, but it's around 16 years old. And here's a great hack — airlines will not cancel a flight if there's an unaccompanied minor traveling. They don't want to run the risk of losing the child. But they may also charge you extra for a minor to travel. That's great insurance to make sure your child's flight doesn't get canceled, though. Also, always book a nonstop flight. That way the child doesn't have to get off and board another plane.
This week's website .... Award Hacker. It let's you figure out how to use frequent flyer miles, and what programs work best.
This week's app ... Memrise. How to learn a language while you're playing a game. iOS and Android. Learn five new words a day.
Travel Tip of the week - If there's a weather issue like a snowstorm or volcano, and you can't get through to your airline call center, jump on skype and call the international number. You'll likely be put right through.
Johnny is enjoying a nice new year vacation in the Hawaiian Islands. Travel site of the week - AirFordable. Take a screen shot of the flight you want to buy, send it in, and they will let you pay installments after the ticket is bought. Think of it as lay away for air travel. They will charge a 20% fee though.
Website of the week - DayUse Hotel Room for the Day. When you just need a hotel room for a few hours. Save up to 75% off the price of an overnight stay. Great for long layovers. Gives you all privileges as well.
App of the week - SideKix. Helps you to take a walking tour of a city you're visiting. iOS and Android.
Johnny just got back from a 48 hour turnaround to Japan. He says that in Asia, they are busy converting business hotels into resorts, and right now it's a really great time to travel to Asia because there are plenty of deals to be had.
Airlines are now banning smart luggage, being powered by unremovable lithium batteries. If your battery can be removed, they won't ban it, though. So be advised.