6 Airline Industry Secrets That Will Help You Fly Like a Pro? Um…Okay…

Arguably, no one can dispute that employees of airlines know a lot of tips and tricks which could help you book a ticket for a flight which can be both better and less expensive…

6 Airline Industry Secrets That Will Help You Fly Like a Pro? Um…Okay…

…but this article pertaining to the 6 airline industry secrets that will help you fly like a pro — which was written by David Anderson and Rachel Gillett for Business Insider — does not exactly contain advice which I personally would consider the best which employees of airlines have to offer.

Judge for yourself and see what you think…

1. The Best Time to Book Your Ticket is on Tuesday at 2:30 in the Afternoon Eastern Time.


Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Although the explanation is that “most tickets are bought on the weekend” and that “It takes a day or so to process those tickets, then the airline puts the leftover inventory on sale”, there really is no best time to book your ticket. According to this article written by George Hobica — who is the founder of airfarewatchdog — this theory has been disproven: “There is no magic formula.”

Rick Seaney of FareCompare would probably beg to differ. Not only are Tuesdays at approximately 3:00 in the afternoon Eastern Time the best day of the week to lock in low airfares; but purchasing airfares on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 can save your anywhere between 11 percent and 20 percent — so be sure to buy your airline tickets the day after you watch the total eclipse of the sun.

The funny part is that Rick Seaney was the one who was quoted 2:30 in the afternoon. When did the best time to book a ticket shift by 30 minutes?

Some people receive alerts of airfares from multiple sources. Some people use tools such as Google Flights or Internet web sites which compile deals such as The Flight Deal. Some people read multiple weblogs. Some people participate in discussion forums such as FlyerTalk. Some people incorporate some or all of the above methods — but there is one aspect with which Hobica, Seaney and I would most likely agree: the more often you check these sources during the course of a day, the more likely you will find that inexpensive airfare…

…and keep in mind that some airfares can come and go within hours — such as this business class airfare of $548.00 from Vietnam offered as a Golden Ticket from Qatar Airways — regardless of whether they are legitimately published by the airlines or know as mistake fares.

On second thought, please allow me to clarify that: the best time to book your airline ticket is when you find the lowest price — and it is not always on a Tuesday at 2:30 in the afternoon Eastern Time.

2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

Bottle of water

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

“Airplane cabin air is less than 20% humidity. That’s even drier than the Sahara, which is 25% humidity. You’ll become dehydrated much faster in a dry environment, so try to fill up a water bottle before your flight.”

This is actually good advice. Keeping yourself properly hydrated is of paramount importance.

I would have mocked the filling up of a water bottle prior to boarding the airplane because of the restrictions on carrying liquids with you through an airport security checkpoint combined with the unreasonably high price for a bottle of water sold by a vendor at the airport; but the good news is that more and more airports are installing water filling stations with which you can fill up your empty water bottle free of charge. “Plane cabins are pressurized to simulate about 8,000 feet, which makes it more difficult to absorb oxygen,” according to this article written by Joshua Brockman of The New York Times. “Sitting affects blood circulation, which also decreases oxygen flow. The recirculated air in planes is extremely dry. You exhale moist air and breathe in dry air.”

A bonus aspect of those water filling stations is that people reuse those plastic bottles instead of disposing them improperly and purchasing another bottle of water, which can help reduce waste — in addition to recycling those bottles.

Airport refilling stations in New York are especially a treat for me, as New York City tap water is amongst the best in the world, in my opinion. I grew up on the stuff.

3. Fly at Odd Hours to Avoid Sitting Next to a Baby.

United Airlines

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Somebody please tell that to the mother whose baby was crying uncontrollably on the airplane which departed the airport in Larnaca at 3:40 in the morning.

In other words, this piece of advice is not true, based on my personal experiences — especially as flights which arrive and depart at odd hours are usually the least expensive; and some families on a budget may very well prioritize budget over convenience.

4. Bring Cash if You are Eyeing a Better Seat.

Twenty dollar bills currency cash money

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

I am not about to carry extra cash in the hopes of paying a person to switch seats with me. I do not even know where to begin in stating that this is bad advice — perhaps start by questioning that the suggestion of bribery is good advice?

Except for tickets which are booked shortly before a flight with an airplane packed with passengers on which only a few middle seats remain open, many customers try to book the lowest fares — remember the first suggestion in this article?

If I really wanted to buy a better seat, I would do it when I was purchasing the ticket.

5. Sit at the Back of the Airplane to Get Better Service.

economy class seats Delta Air Lines

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

You can also sit in the back of the airplane if you really want to be amongst the first to board the airplane and have a chance to store your belongings in the overhead storage compartment. On longer flights, you might even have a better chance of scoring what is known as the “poor man’s lie-flat seat” where you can lay down across several empty seats and catch a snooze…

…but there are also such anomalies as being amongst the last to leave the airplane once it is parked at the gate at the end of the flight; increased engine noise; and the pungent odor of more than one lavatory nearby.

In other words, there are reasons why passengers prefer not to sit in the back of the airplane.

“It’ll also easier for them to slip you extra drinks, but only if you’re polite!” No matter where you sit aboard an airplane, you should usually be polite, civil and respectful to fellow passengers, members of the flight crew — and just about anyone else you encounter whether you travel or not.

One last thought is that excellent flight attendants will offer better service to you — no matter where you are seated aboard an airplane.

6. Check In Early to Avoid Being Bumped From Your Flight.


Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

What — and not be compensated with a voucher worth hundreds of dollars towards a future flight; with also possible vouchers for a hotel and meals?

Unless I absolutely am required to be at my destination, I will usually vouch for the bump.


Even more amazing that some of the advice offered in the original article is that two people were required to write it.

Although Business Insider may not exactly be the most highly respected of all publications — real or virtual — I have found articles there to generally be interesting and informative…

…but except for the advice about hydrating yourself, this article was quite a disappointment for me.

All photographs ©2015 and ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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