August 7th, 2012
Price mistakes happen a few times a year. Some of my favorites are the ones that I’ve blogged about and most of which I have been able to take advantage of. My first time in Hawaii was with airfare and hotel for $87 with tax. I and thousands of others scored Airfare and 5 star accommodations at hotels like the Bellagio with Cirque tickets in Las Vegas all for free thanks to Expedia. I have lifetime free stays in suites at Fairmont hotels. There have been $250 tickets to anywhere in Europe. And of course yesterday I nabbed tickets to Israel for Pesach for $336, though I’m still debating whether to keep them.
Of course the fine line between price mistake and deal is often blurred.
I stocked up on dozens of cases of free diapers and wipes thanks to Amazon. My wife and I have stayed at the Encore and Wynn just for having an American Express Platinum card. We flew to Boston for bupkis in June thanks to Jetblue’s voucher generosity. I racked up countless free Hyatt nights and hundreds of thousands of United miles with promotions like this one. And years of churning dollar coins minted me hundreds of thousands of miles as well.
None of those were mistakes, it’s not always easy to tell what’s a mistake and what’s just an incredible deal.
Rules Of The Deal:
1. Don’t call.
Don’t talk to the airline or companies offering a deal that seems to good to be true. Do you really want to kill it for everyone? You can always ask questions once the deal is gone. I read on another website that they reached out to the airline while the deal was still going on to let them know of the deal. Color me confused.
2. Don’t hesitate.
These deals never last long. Yesterday’s fare was pulled during the very next feed (at 1pm) at which point it took and hour or so for it to be pulled completely.
Most online booking agencies have generous cancellation policies, so book first and then decide later. Bear in mind though that your ability to make name or date changes to whatever you book will be close to nil, so book an extra ticket for yourself if you are unsure of your dates and cancel what you don’t need later on.
3. Don’t forget your infant!
A common theme that I’ve seen with price mistakes like with the 4 mile Hong Kong first class tickets and this deal is that people forget their infant children. You need to pay 10% of the normal fare for the privilege of holding your child on international tickets, in this case about $160. Wouldn’t you be better off spending the extra $166 for them to have their own seat?
4. Use a major booking agency.
Some people booked from no-name websites (BT-Store, Webjet, where do you guys find these sites anyway?) instead of the major ones and their tickets were not honored. Don’t use the fly-by-nights!
5. Follow @DansDeals on Twitter.
There lots of ways to keep on top of the deals posted here, but the most efficient thing to do is follow @DansDeals. You’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com! And you can even opt-in to get a text message (and choose which hours of the night not to bother you) whenever DansDeals.com is updated!
6. Join DDF
You may have noticed “HT: mickeyg, via DDF” at the bottom of yesterday’s deal, giving him a hat tip for finding the deal.
Many deals that I post here are first posted on the DansDeals Forums. In this case DDF user “mickeyg” posted the deal to DDF and I went ahead to publicize the deal on DansDeals.com, but it’s always a good idea to check DDF for the latest and greatest deals, even before I publish them on DansDeals.com
7. Create your own free trip!
Don’t want to wait around for the next great deal to arrive? The credit card companies are all too happy to fly you for free anywhere in the world, even in business or first class. I’ve flown around the world in private first class suites many time with miles earned from opening credit cards. I’ve churned hundreds of credit cards earning millions and millions of miles that should keep my family in the air for years to come.
Remember that there are cards that you open for signup bonuses (Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, Ink Plus, etc), cards that you open for great earning potential from spending (Starwood, Starwood Business (though both Starwood cards have increased signup bonus for the next few weeks as well), Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Classic, etc), and cards that you open for their benefits (Platinum Consumer, Platinum Business, Delta Consumer, Delta Business, etc.)
Any other rules I’ve missed?