Whenever a large group of friends and I are planning a big trip, I typically volunteer to purchase the plane tickets. Credit card points are serious business, and throwing a few friends on my itinerary means they get to take advantage of my airline status, depending on our which one we choose to take. It’s always seemed like a no-brainer, except as Thrillist points out this week, I might have been overpaying.
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You know when you’re looking for flights and you see a “Only two seats left at this price!” note beside a price? If there are only two seats left for $99 and you go to buy five tickets, you aren’t getting two at $99 and three at regular price. Instead, you’ll likely be buying five tickets all at the regular price and leaving the two $99 ones on the table for someone else to buy.
The reason is that most airlines are considering your purchase sort of like a sports ticket, where they’re selling you all five together. If they don’t have five of the cheaper tickets available, then they will default to selling you five more expensive tickets.
Mileage may vary from airline to airline, but if you’re doing a big group ticket buy it pays (literally) to see what price you might pay for tickets individually rather than as a huge group. You could save some cash by running that credit card a few times rather than making a single big purchase.