Rules Of The Deal

65

Reposing this article that I wrote a month ago after the United glitch. Since then it seems that even the Wall Street Journal has started monitoring my Twitter feed (1:00-1:05 in the video) :

wsj

 

Price mistakes happen a few times a year. Some of my favorites that I’ve blogged about besides for yesterday’s Detla bonanza:
-Last month there were $127 tickets to Milan and $287 tickets to Israel on United.
-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.
-Tons of people were able to get free airfare and hotels in the Bahamas.
-My whole family has lifetime free stays in suites at Fairmont hotels.
-There have been $250 tickets to anywhere in Europe.
$336 El Al tickets to Israel for Pesach
-Dirt cheap tickets to anywhere when booked via LAN.
-$460 USAirways tickets to Israel from NYC.
-$347 USAirways tickets to Israel from other US cities.
-$550 nonstop Delta tickets from JFK to Israel along with $372 Delta tickets from Los Angeles to Israel and $498 Delta tickets from Newark to Israel.
-$376 Alitalia tickets to Israel.
-Lucky people had their WalMart price mistake orders honored
-HP even gave out $200 coupons to people who got in a price mistake…perhaps they didn’t realize the coupon was able to be used multiple times though.

Of course the fine line between price mistake and deal is often blurred.
In the past 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 Aruba and Boston last year for free thanks to Jetblue’s voucher generosity in May as well as in September again. I racked up countless free Hyatt nights and hundreds of thousands of United miles with promotions like this one.
Years of churning dollar coins minted me hundreds of thousands of miles as well. Even some simple soda cups earned me tens of thousands of dollars of free United flight vouchers.
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 while the deal is live. You can always ask questions once the deal is gone.

2. Don’t hesitate.
These deals never last long, you’ve got to act fast.
Most online booking agencies have generous cancellation policies, so book first and then decide later.

With some really crazy deals like 4 mile island some DDFers flew in first class around the world for just 4 miles because they booked to travel immediately.

3. Don’t forget your infant!
A common theme that I’ve seen with price mistakes 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. Wouldn’t you be better off spending the few extra dollars for them to have their own seat?

4. Follow @DansDeals on Twitter.
I’ve gotten tons of complains from my email subscribers about missing the deal.  Unfortunately the emails just go out once a day.  If you want real time alerts you’ll want to follow @DansDeals on twitter and have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.  Once you’re signed up you never have to go onto Twitter again if you don’t want to.

5. Join DDF
The United deal last month was posted by Drago on the DansDeals Forums wayyy before it was posted on the main DansDeals site as I was offline for shabbos while Israel based DDF members got a big jump start.

6. Create your own free trip!
Don’t want to wait around for the next great deal to arrive?  The credit card companies are happy to fly you for free anywhere in the world, even in business or first class.  I’ve flown around the world countless times in private first class suites with miles earned from opening credit cards.  You can read some of those trip reports here.  I’ve banked 8 figures of miles and points by doing this stuff over the years and that means I don’t have to worry about being under pressure to book during a quick glitch, I travel free on my own terms.  And I still have a top-notch 800+ FICO score.

This page includes links for tons of great credit cards that will have you flying for free in no time!

There’s more information about applying for cards in this DDF FAQ page also with many credit card deals and links to dozens of others useful threads in this DDF credit card starting point thread.

You can also learn more about my favorite hobby by clicking on the credit card posts tab and the mileage posts tab.

Posts like this one on opening and closing cards and this one on getting business cards to improve your credit score are helpful as well.

Once you have the miles you can read about Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints and Getting To Israel Using Miles. It can be done starting at just 20K round-trip!

And now Chase offers free primary car rental insurance, even in Israel!

Or stay tuned for a DansDeals Seminar near you where I teach the tricks of the trade in person and answer any questions you might have. I’ve done 6 of them so far and they’re a blast!

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65 Comments on "Rules Of The Deal"

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Howard

Dan Is The Man If You Have A Problem With Him Don’t Bash Him In This Site. Most Of Us Have Benefited So Much From Him. Thanks Dan For All Your Hard work

Avi

Dan please help me I got a email from the website and conformation from them but they just send me a email that my reservation canceled can i still save it ??

mend

And I would like to add one!
Don’t call travel agents this week to help you out with your mistakes. We are here for bussiness not an information center…… Thank you

Ephie

I’m writing this on this thread because no one will see it on the latest israel deal thread. Dan ! You make money from this website , yes or no? If you do , then to all the people out there , Dan has to find these awkward deals to get people to come to his website. For those of you who missed out on this deal , except it . You will be wasting a lot of your precious family time to try to get these deals . So don’t blame anybody for this. Please understand this is a business. Please have the guts to print this.

Dan

@Avi:
Why was it cancelled? Did you credit card decline the payment?

@Ephie:
Yes, I’m running a business and feeding a family with it. Not really sure what you’re getting at?

Awkward deals? What does that even mean? From all of the glitches in the past 18 months countless thousands of people have gone to Israel at bargain prices.

To do or not to do

It is certainly questionable whether taking advantage of price mistakes is halachicly or hashkaficly permissible (according at least one prominent rabbi it was totally forbidden to book the tickets last night). Please keep that in mind before following the crowd and doing these deals.

Dan

@To do or not to do:
I’ve asked the shayla, feel free to do so yourself.

The halachic issue isn’t a mistake but Ona’ah. I actually wrote on article on that here in the Yated:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/105519402/Dan-Yated?secret_password=2ivtczr2lm7ohduqu5ce

On what halachic basis did this prominent rabbi say it was forbidden? And why not say his name?

Mike

Of course dan makes money from advertising and clicks.. So what.. No one thought he is doing it for free for the community.. Doesn’t mean the information he provides and makes money providing isn’t a huge helpful resource for everyone..
Haters will be haters!

Dan

@Mike:
Some people seem to have the impression that it’s wrong to monetize your work online. I guess I just don’t follow the logic or how it’s different than any other business.

Do they also get angry at the local grocery for making money?

bobthebuilder

At last a nice welcome to what Dansdeals is really about :)

howard

Dan you shouldn’t have to respond to peoples negative attitudes. if they don’t like it let them go some where else.

Still not ticketed

My ticket from last night from ORD to TLV is still confirmed but not ticketed. My friends who I booked right after me are ticketed. Dan – any insight? Do you think I have a chance?

dov

Don’t worry the people bashing are only because they missed out on the deal and next time around they will try again to get it so please don’t even acknowledge them!

R Schwartz

Hi Dan,
Meant to post earlier today – ordered tickets last night via Wideroe and it worked BH! Flying Newark to Tel Aviv 1/15-1/26 on United for $810. Looked a little fishy last night but I went with my gut (as you noted above), thinking what’s the worst that could happen…and BH got confirmation this morning from both Wideroe and United, it’s completely legitimate. NOT ENOUGH WORDS TO THANK YOU!

Eric

Dan.
1. If I have a one pass MasterCard from continental from years past can I now get a united explorer and get the new sign up bonus for the miles?

2. Can one apply for the sapphire , bold and plus all in one day?
Will it hurt my credit ?

Thx so much

To do or not to do

Basically, something you know is price mistake you cannot go
purposely take advantage of it. And furthermore, its hashkaficly not proper to jump on another persons mistake.

I wasn’t told to publicize this so I would like to refrain from saying his name. Although I personally know many rabbis who share such sentiment regarding running after every deal.

The point is that there are many many deals out there that are questionable. The attitude “it is permissible as long as you don’t get caught, or as long as the deal goes through (AKA “YMMV”) its Okay…” is contrary to torah values.

bachur in brisk

Lets not get carried away with all this the עיקר איז תורה!!
הבל הבלים הכל הבל !!!
Bachur who just finished mussor!!

H

Dan,
Are there any tips/ideas off the top of your head for how to get passed setting up the twitter account with my phone number when it says that it’s already attached to an account and I’ve tried texting STOP to 40404 numerous times.
You are so helpful!

avi

@Dan: dan the card is not the problem please let me know if can still save it the email says

Dear Customer

We were unable to complete your order. Your reservation has been canceled. Your credit card has not been charged.

The reason is that we do not have ticketing agreements with one or more airlines on your itinerary.

Please disregard the automatic confirmation we sent you by e-mail.

We apologize for the inconvenience and recommend that you book your travel directly from the airline’s website or via a travel agent.

Sincerely,
Widerøe Internet Booking

Sarah

Dan, I’m in Israel now, and was here in January thanks to you!!! So I for one definitely appreciate your site!!
Looking forward to taking advantage of lots more great deals :)

Ephie

Didn’t mean to sound like hater. I’m actually an admirer. What I noticed from the 600 or so comments from last night, which are a riot. Is that if person is upset about wasting so much time chasing the deal then don’t. On the other hand all the rah rah boys and girls are making it sound like this site is doing this for the benefit of all . It’s a buisness just like Facebook or amazon. Hatzlacha

Kevin

@Ephie: Will you accept the fact that I won’t except it?

danfan

Dan, please add a note to the rules: Please don’t abuse a deal that is posted here – be considerate to other dansdeals members and others that are trying to get in on it too. For example, the Walmart deal had people buying 20 bikes or 10 pool tables or exercise bikes just to flip on ebay – and then others who just wanted to save some money had the items sold out before the “mistake” was even fixed. Plus, it makes it more likely they will cancel the orders if they see people are just taking advantage, as opposed to “regular” customers just ordering for themselves. Any thoughts?

Common Sense

Dan, well done. This post is clear, and hopefully all your followers get to see this post and UNDERSTAND it. Dont call the airline – means – DONT call the airline. The rule of the game is, Book and then ask questions.
Dan posts a deal – We thank him. How dare people come onto his website and start to abuse him.
I personally didn’t have any need to book tickets, but i sent round an email to over 100 people last night and many of them booked. Thats what we do. We help each other. Dan helps us, so we thank him.
Re halachos, everyone should go and ask their rov.

Bless you dan. keep up the good work in helping us all save money from time to time.

Wishing you a merry chanuka.

Avi

Dan plz let me know if there is anything can do please please please

sam

@ephie

Shame on you! The fact that you are even posting on this website mean it’s one of your daily hits.
And yes its a business and businesses try to accommodate their customers and want them to come back.
@Dan and we are coming back more and more!!!

dank

I got tickets for $292 each. When do we find out if they are canceling or honoring them. I have a confirmation code with United, eticket etc.

YY

@Ephie sounds like you are saying we should NOT thank Dan for helping us get deals.
People support their families in many different ways, I think we can all agree that Dan goes the extra mile here to help people not just to post things to generate revenue
He doesn’t just post a deal and walk away but it active in answering peoples questions and helping in any way possible.
Posts like this one aren’t even geared toward a deal but more to teach people how to be prepared for a deal and how to react when one is posted, instead of being one of those who just post “HELP ME DAN! PLEEEEEEEEZEEEEE!”

Mas

@danfan the deals aren’t limited to dansdeals.com so why would it matter posting such advice? The logic is if one can “abuse” why not it be me? In the end… A deal… Or rather “a too good to be true to be a deal” deal is just that… You can only hope to be able to benefit from it and if not… Well… Gotta wait for the next one :)

Still not ticketed

Am I the only person left who booked successfully and hasn’t been ticketed yet? Hasn’t been cancelled but hasn’t been ticketed yet.

Ephie

It is one of my daily hits. I’ve even gotten deals from here. I said I didn’t mean to sound like hater . I’m an admirer. Just laughing at all the rah rah boys. Very very sensitive over here.

Sampson

@dan going to israel this tuesday thanks to you. We really need this!

Mendel

@dank: same question

Mendel

@Mendel: @dan ??

Us

I just read your linked post about spending on bussines card. I usually pay 85% of my balance before the statment closes on my personal cards but you seem to be saying that there is a “given day” that they report to the credit bereu that may be my closing day so im not really helping mysenf of i dont know that day. Im i right here? If ye how do i go about? Thanx allot

schach

Dan:

Your deals are great. I’m not quite sure why people have a problem with you supporting your family at the same time. I think that it’s wonderful that you get to do something you love for a living. Personally, I benefitted from last night’s post in a different way. Last night I got caught up in the errors of the Norweigan site and I couldn’t book the deal. Today, however, I was inspired to look for tickets to Milan. Now my wife and I are traveling on a trip that we would have never considered taking prior to your post. And it is a very much needed vacation from my daily grind (family law). Thank you for being good at doing your job. Keep it up!

schach

Oh, and the Milan trip is costing me less then $250 US roundtrip!

Ephie

Let me make this clear. Dan should make money on his website . But you rah rah boys make it sound llike all this work going into the website is just being done for the benefit for anybody whose using this site. This site benefits the owner and the people who use it. Also please don’t bash the people who need your help , please realize not everyone is so tech savvy. Take it easy on people .

chaim yankel

@Ephie: I think all of the people who need help and ask for help in a polite way can possibly deserve it. OTOH, People who attack Dan or who harass him with inane questions or far-fetched demands should NOT deserve responses. In fact, they should be banned from the site. A lack of tech savviness is acceptable, a lack of common decency coupled with a dose of rudeness, is NOT.

yuneeq

@Ephie: It’s unfortunate that you picked this deal to make your point.

Dan doesn’t have any referral links up for this deal so he isn’t getting paid for going the extra mile. Though that hasn’t stopped him from going the extra mile, while I guarantee that it would’ve stopped you and 99% of the people you know from doing the same.

Appreciate the work he does, even if most of the time it pays the bills at the end of the day.

Wise Words

Dan, I differ slightly from rule #2 “don’t hesitate”.

With regards to price mistakes on products or services, I agree.

However, with regards to travel, I disagree.

My rule of travel would be this: If you were ALREADY planning on traveling, and you have a good idea of around when, then grab the deal. However, if you had no travel intentions at all, it might be wise to think it over just a little before jumping on it, as (this) airfare is non-refundable (after a short period of time), and your schedule is likely to be unpredictable.

The El-Al deal from last year was awesome, however, 95% of my family and friends that got in on it did not end up going, and in fact ended up losing money on it.

Take note people (especially those who are married with kids): Just because airfare is dirt-cheap, it does not mean that your schedule is expendable. It’s easy to forget this when these mouth watering deals show up.

Anyway, to those who got in on this, congrats and have fun!

izzy

CAN YOU PLS TELL US WHEN YOU KNOW FOR SURE THAT THE TKTS R HONORED

Yaakov

@Dan: Yes they do.

yanki

@izzy:
When you get a email with a eticket number in it

Pie pie

@chaim yankel and @ yuneeq

Why so defensive . Are you part of the team?

Freedom

@Dan: @To do or not to do: im trying to understand why you are on this site? How dis you end up on a site full of ‘deals’ if it contrasts every value you believe in? Did you just specifiacally come to say mussar? Please let me know. Thanks

honita

I also bought a ticket on motzei shabbos at around 7:50 pm. It went through and I got a confirmation number, but was not ticketed. On sunday at 12:05pm I got an email also stating that due to non payment my reservation was cancelled. I contacted United who said they didn’t cancel it, rather Wideroe did. Wideroe said payment didn’t go through. I contacted my bank with my debit/credit card and they said that no request for a charge from that company was even noted. They checked all records and nothing was requested or denied. I contacted Wideroe again who said it was United’s fault. I contacted United who said it’s Wideroe. I have the confirmation and emails, is there anything that can be done to save this ticket. I’m not due to leave until May 7th. Can you help me at all with this? I’m looking forward to some response. Thank you.

gideon

how do i book a usair flight to tel aviv help

Joe

Dan, do you think it’s right to take advantage of deals like yesterday’s deal if the airlines are bound by law to honor it ? Some people tell me that I’m stealing

Dan

@Joe:
When people make mistakes with an airline ticket they are also bound to major penalties and fees.

If the law says that those penalties are a 2 way street I don’t see how it’s stealing.

Mo

Yesterday’s deal on shabbos??

Dan

@Mo:
Lol, like I said this is a repost from last month.
But I’ve changed that language now.

Joe

I fully agree with you. But why do people always say ” let’s see if they honor it “. Are there exceptions to the law ?

Sara

Dan- how do I get twitter to text me when u post a deal? The link you have directing you to it is not worming

Dan
EL

You can get instant email alerts without using twitter, using this link: https://ifttt.com/recipes/130372.

You will have to sign up for a free IFTTT account, which is a great service anyways.

Dan

@EL:
Those seem to take much longer than Twitter texts.

EL

@Dan: It’s good enough for me. My coworker got $42 tickets to Detroit for pesach yesterday, because I saw got an email and alerted her to it. Much appreciated!

At any rate, for someone who doesn’t want to have a twitter account, it’s much faster than a daily email.

simcha

Dan! U doing a great job! And keep it up! don’t get scared from all this idiots!

Johnathan

Its amazing how much credit you take for yourself, when you take 10 other website material.The only credit id give you is for the Israel deal, thats about it! the delta msitakes was on sd…..so please stop patting yourself on the back!

Sharktank

@Dan: Dont mean to burst your bubble, but WSJ probably just performed a simple Twitter search and choose top posts to display. I highly doubt they follow you, but congrats on getting featured.

Sharktank

@Johnathan: It seems SD didnt have the post till 11:32am while Dan had it at 11:20am, so shut TFU troll!

Johnathan

@Sharktank:

OK MR. sharktank….you apparently have no idea how to check deal websites and postings, slick had it 11:14. Apprently Shark tank is not your speciality, so hopefully you at least got your GED (good enough diploma) and do something worthy of society!

Sharktank

@Johnathan: Whats a GED?

HP

Is there any way to get text message alerts to just the time sensitive deals. I would love to know about the deals like delta right away before they disappear but am not interested in getting constant texts. Thanks

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