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IFlyFirstClass announces 7 tips to save on travel during holiday high season

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Travel during the holidays can take a big chunk out of consumers’ wallets, but there are several strategies holiday travelers can take to minimize their costs. To help travelers save on their holiday flights, hotels and entertainment, luxury travel experts at I Fly First Class offer seven tips for saving on high-season travel.

First, many travelers will find savings simply by using a smaller airport near their destination. The world’s major airports are usually extremely crowded during major holiday seasons. Flying into or out of a nearby regional airport not only saves money, it also helps travelers avoid the time-consuming crowds found in large airports. For Los Angeles, travelers can try Santa Ana, Burbank or Long Beach airports. Instead of London, Gatwick Airport is a good alternative. In place of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle, many travelers prefer Orly. Most major cities have at least one nearby regional that offers better value and more convenient service.

Second, timing is everything when it comes to booking upcoming travel. Travelers who need to schedule a last minute flight will find better deals through a reputable travel agency. That's especially true for those services like IFlyFirstClass that specialize in discount luxury and last minute fares. Overnight, red-eye flights are also usually cheaper than daytime flights. TuesdayWednesday and Thursday flights are usually less expensive options too. 

Rather than incur frustrating fees for checked baggage, travelers should also consider some economical alternatives. Those traveling with holiday packages should get an estimate on the cost of posting the packages ahead of time. In many cases, it's cheaper to send packages in the mail in order to avoid the cost of checking extra baggage at the airport. Sending packages ahead of time also helps travelers avoid the hassle of carrying extra baggage around the airport. If travelers simply must bring holiday gifts on their flights, they should check to see if their airlines offer discounts to certain credit card holders or association members. A final way to save on checked baggage fees involves a bit of risk. Some airlines offer passengers complimentary baggage check immediately before boarding to help balance the plane’s load. For travelers who are willing to take a chance, this spur-of-the-moment baggage check is a money-saving boon.

There are a variety of ways to save on ground transportation too. In this area, a little research before the trip can pay big dividends. Rental car companies in popular tourist destinations often offer discounts when cars are booked online. Again, travelers should check their credit union, credit card and alumni memberships for potential discounts on rental car companies. Avoiding the rental car cost completely is also a good option, especially if travelers are uncertain about driving in unfamiliar or snowy, icy conditions. Most major airports have commuter trains and buses available on-site to provide transport to the city center. 

With house-sitting, house-swapping and vacation rental apps now widely available, travelers have more affordable lodging options than ever. Travelers can sign up for house-sitting services or check into house-swapping availability for the greatest savings. The benefits of these options also ensure that travelers have the use of a kitchen, thereby saving money on dining costs too. 

Booking a stay at mom-and-pop hotels and bed and breakfast facilities are also good ways to save on lodging costs. They offer a homey, more personal atmosphere that is often appreciated during the holidays. 

Finally, travelers can save on travel expenses during the holidays by talking to locals in the destination city. Online travel and city forums can provide excellent information about local deals. Once in the destination city, travelers should continue to chat with locals around town. Residents can provide tips for affordable, good-quality restaurants in town as well as low-cost or free activities in the area.

“IFlyFirstClass is committed to providing travelers with low-cost, luxury flight options throughout the year,” said IFlyFirstClass  Public Relations Director Julia Graft. “Our travel experts are always happy to help consumers find the best bargains available, even during peak travel season.”
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1.) PRICE QUOTES: The fare prices provided for all passengers are quoted in US Dollars. Fares and availability are subject to change until ticketed. Prices are guaranteed only at time of purchase. All advanced ticket purchases are non-refundable and non-transferable. Each ticket must be booked in the passenger’s name as it is precisely displayed on a government issued ID. Changing names on tickets is prohibited.

2.) CHECK DOCUMENTS: Please check your documents when you receive them. Passengers will be asked for a valid photo ID at time of flight check-in. If the name on the ticket and the passenger’s ID do not match, the passenger will be required to surrender the ticket and purchase the applicable fare for the departing flight. Children must have parent or legal guardian present at check-in. Individual airlines may have specific requirements for a non-accompanied child to travel. Call if you have any questions.

3.) RECONFIRMATIONS: Domestic: We recommend that you reconfirm all flights prior to departure and at each point of stopover. This will give the airline the opportunity to keep you advised of any changes which may have occurred in your flight. International: You must reconfirm your continuing or return reservations at least 72 hours prior to flight time at each point of stopover or your reservations will be automatically cancelled.

4.) CHECK-IN REQUIRMENTS: Domestic: 2 hours prior to departure. International: 3 hours prior to departure. Note: Check-In later than these times could result in denied boarding. 5.) OVERBOOKING: Airline flights may be overbooked. A person denied boarding on a flight may be entitled to a compensatory payment. The rules for denied boarding are available at all ticket counters.

6.) CHANGES OR CANCELLATIONS: Ticket changes may incur penalties and/or increased fares in addition to any stated change fees. Advance notice is required to change reservations. To change or cancel your flight itinerary, call this travel agency or the airline you are scheduled to take. Airlines may apply substantial fees and additional charges for changes to some non-refundable tickets prior to departure date. After departure date, your unused airline ticket may have no residual value. If canceling, return the unused tickets to us for refund or credit. Most special, excursion, and discount tickets have various travel restrictions and may have a penalty for change or cancellation. Be sure you understand these restrictions. If you change your plans enroute, ask the airline to apply the value of your unused ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket. If a refund is due, obtain a receipt from the airline. If you are holding guaranteed hotel reservations which you may wish to cancel, notify the hotel as soon as possible and in no event later than 4 p.m. local time to avoid mandatory payment.

7.) AIRLINE SCHEDULE CHANGES: Airlines reserve the right to cancel or change schedules without notice. Schedules shown are based on expected flying times as indicated by the airlines. Because weather and other factors may affect operating conditions, departures and arrivals cannot be guaranteed nor are they the responsibility of I Fly First Class LLC.

8.) INSURANCE: Airline and other travel suppliers insurance for baggage have limited liability. Your personal insurance may not adequately cover losses incurred by cancellation, accident, illness or stolen or damaged property. We strongly urge you to purchase additional insurance offered to you.

9.) LOST TICKETS: Lost, stolen, or destroyed tickets must be paid for until refund is obtained from the issuing airline, subject to an airline imposed service charge.

10.) PREPAID TICKETS: If your travel agent arrangement involved a request for prepaid airline tickets, picked up by the passenger at an airline ticket counter, please note that most carriers require a mandatory non- refundable service charge. We appreciate your understanding of this charge imposed by the airline and not by our office, in order to provide this service.

11.) RESPONSIBILITY: This travel agency acts only as agent in all matters connected with the making and securing of reservations for transportation, accommodations, tours, and/or other arrangements for the retail clients of this agency and for various disclosed principles and contractors in the form of airlines, ship lines, tour wholesalers, limousine services, and owners or contractors providing accommodations, transportation, and/or other services, hereinafter referred to as “suppliers.” This travel agency does not own, manage, control, or operate any transportation vehicle, hotel, restaurant, insurance company, tour or sightseeing company or any other service that would fit into the classification of “supplier.” As an agent, all related tariffs as well as the terms and conditions specified by each “supplier.” The acceptance of such coupons, exchange orders, receipts, contracts, and tickets shall be deemed to be consent to the foregoing conditions and also to the further condition that neither this travel agency nor any of its representatives shall be or become liable or responsible for any loses, injury, or damage to person, property or otherwise in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services resulting directly or indirectly from any acts of God, including but not limited to dangers incident to the sea, fire, breakdown in machinery or equipment, acts of governments or other authorities, de jure or de facto, wars, whether declared or not, hostilities, civil disturbances, strikes, riots, thefts, pilferage, epidemics, quarantines medical or customs regulations, defaults, delays or cancellations of or changes in itinerary, routing or scheduling from any cause beyond the control of this travel agency or from any loss or damage resulting from insufficient improperly issued passports, visas or other documents and that neither this travel agency nor any of its representatives shall be or become liable or responsible for any additional or liability sustained or incurred as a result of the foregoing causes. This travel agency is not responsible nor liable for defaults of “suppliers” or any other person, company or incorporation not directly under its control. In the case of air, ship, rail, automobile, or other form of transportation, the passenger contract in use by the provider of such transportation, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and such airline, ship line, railroad, car rental, or other company.

12.) PASSPORT/TRAVEL VISA: Travel outside of your home country may require the need for valid travel documents such as: passport, visa, re-entry permit, health certificate, inoculation record, a ticket for the return journey or continuance of your trip, or ANY combination thereof. The responsibility for the proper documentation rests with the individual passenger, not Branson Travel Agency. Concerns about the required travel documents may be resolved by contacting the appropriate consulate or embassy.

13.) MISC: The use of coupons from two or more tickets issued as round trip fares for the purpose of circumventing restrictions is called ‘Back To Back Ticketing’ or ‘nested excursions’ and is expressly forbidden. It occurs when flight coupons are intentionally not used or they are used out of sequence in order to circumvent airline fare rules. Airlines and travel agents are prohibited from issuing such tickets. Each airline reserves the right to deny transportation to passengers found using tickets in this manner. Travelers will be held responsible for the difference between the fare paid and the fare of the actual itinerary. Additionally, airlines reserve the right to assess additional charges that could include an additional ticket purchase for passengers who may be too large to comfortably sit in one seat. Airlines reserve the right to assess an additional charge at the time of check in for two or more pieces of luggage and/or for non-standard luggage. Examples of non-standard luggage include, but are not limited to, the following: Sporting goods and equipment (ex: golf clubs and skis), Tools, Musical instrument cases, Trunks, Large portfolios, Boxes, Car seats, Animal carriers (additional live animal handling charge may apply)

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