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November 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Travel Tips for Long-Haul Flights

how to spend less on -- and survive -- grueling dive trips overseas

from the November, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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In last month's article "Are You Diving Less These Days," many readers said one reason why they answered "yes" is because of the cost, length and hassle of flying overseas, especially when stuck in coach. We got some good advice from travel pros about how to make it a not-so-bad or actually-good experience.

Before the Flight

When he has a dive destination in mind, Undercurrent contributor Doc Vikingo says he does his best to accumulate enough frequent-flier miles to get a business-class seat. "I accrue them largely through churning co-branded airline credit cards with fat sign-up bonuses, but also make even my smallest purchases using a card that earns miles on a carrier(s) I am interested in for international travel." Also keep an eye out for periodic specials on purchasing miles. For example, US Airways offers a 100 percent bonus on purchased miles once or twice a year. You can keep abreast of this activity by regularly checking travel sites like Million Mile Secrets ( http://millionmilesecrets.com ) and The Points Guy ( http://thepointsguy.com ).

Before you buy a long-haul ticket, research
what type of aircraft options are on the
route. "That info will come in handy not
only when choosing seats, but in choosing
competing airlines on the same route."

Is there actually a best day of the week to buy your ticket? FareCompare says yes. After doing a study of its airfare database, it pinpointed the best time to buy airline tickets and shop for fares is Tuesday -- at 3 p.m. Eastern, to boot. Don't wait too much longer if you're looking for a deal -- most of the discounted airfare are pulled on Thursdays, so you're probably paying too much if buying on the weekends. However, CheapAir.com did another study on exact timing for buying the right-priced ticket and found that the best time to buy a ticket for non-holiday domestic travel is 49 days before departure; for international flights, 81 days is the sweet spot....


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