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Secret code to airline savings

May 13, 2010 12:54:06 PM PDT
Ready for a vacation, money is tight, and think you can't afford to get away? You might be surprised to learn the deals airlines are offering these days. Consumer Reports ShopSmart can clue you in to how to find today's really cheap seats! One of the best-kept secrets is discount codes or promo codes, which you can use to book your tickets online. You simply enter a string of letters and/or numbers and you can save 10 percent to 50 percent on your seats. Airlines come up with promo codes to drive people to their websites and bypass sites such as Travelocity and Orbitz, where they have to pay a commission.

Recent promo code offers include up to $175 off a Delta vacation package to Hawaii. For a U.S. to New Zealand and Australia flight, 20 percent off. And from United Airlines, a free flight if you bought a ticket on certain flights departing from Denver.

Two good sources for codes are www.airfarewatchdog.com and www.farecompare.com. With both sites, you sign up to get alerts for deals.

Another way to find promo codes is to do a Web search and put in the name of the airline and the words "promo code."

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says airline promotions come and go quickly, so you have to act fast. Also be aware that when you sign up for airline promo code fares, your inbox could get flooded with deals that don't interest you, so it's a good idea to have a separate e-mail account.

You can find more tips for saving on airfares at: www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/june/money/airfares/overview/index.htm.

Consumer Reports has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor appearing on this Web site.


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