If you travel a lot and status means a lot to you, you’ve probably considered doing a mileage run at some point by attempting to get the cheapest fare possible (read why mileage running is worth it). Likewise, if you don’t travel a lot but yearn to get away somewhere for quick weekend trips, you’ve probably looked for cheap flights rather than looking for a particular destination. The common ground between the two types of people? Both want cheap flights.
Most travel “experts” have heard of the website named The Flight Deal. If you haven’t heard of it but love to travel, I can almost guarantee you’ll think it’s one of the best websites ever.
The Flight Deal’s goal is to find truly cheap and amazing fares. While we are inundated with advertisements for “sales” and coupon codes from various travel websites, those usually only provide a marginal, if any, discount to the normal airfare price. The Flight Deal decided to break down all prices into an objective measure based on the distance of the flight – specifically, they only publish fares that are 6 cents per mile or less.
To put that in perspective, they think you should never pay for a round trip flight from Los Angeles to New York if it’s more than $297, from Los Angeles to Tokyo if it’s more than $654, or from New York to Paris if it’s more than $436. In many cases, they find deals that are significantly less than 6 cents per mile (I booked mileage runs that were 2.7 cents per mile).
For example, take a look at the current fare from Washington DC to Moscow for only $371. Or how about Los Angeles to Honolulu for $302, or better yet New York to Honolulu for a whopping $382, which is just 3.8 cents per mile. It doesn’t take an expert traveler to know that any 10+ hour flight that’s less than $400 is a good deal!
There are some caveats, though. The website was created for people that want to travel, but don’t have a particular destination in mind. If you’re thinking “I want to go to Vegas” or some other specific destination, you’re likely not going to find it. You have to be flexible, both in terms of the locations and dates.
It’s also important to note that you can’t actually buy the fares through their website. They give you the general dates and airports, but you’ll have to go through a different booking site like Kayak (or the airline directly) in order to purchase the actual ticket.
Of course, experts love this website too because it’s an easy way to find a mileage run. Between this website and the FlyerTalk mileage run forum, you can find all kinds of great fares if you’re trying to re-qualify for elite status. I think The Flight Deal knows that mileage runners use their website, because each post title starts with the airline on which the deal is valid (i.e. “American” or “United”).
FOR BEGINNERS – HOW TO USE THE WEBSITE
If you’ve never been to the website before, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out. The front page has the most recent deals regardless of what city pairs are involved. If you move your mouse to hover over the “Flight Deals” menu tab on top, it will open up a list of the most popular cities that have deals. Currently only 12 cities have their own pages, but there is an “other cities” option and I wouldn’t be surprised if more cities are added as the website becomes more popular.
When you click on a particular deal you’re interested in, you’ll see a description of the two city pairs, availability dates, the total miles flown, and what the cents per mile breakdown is. Again, you’ll have to book using a different website, but you’ll have all the information you need so it should be simple.
Now, go out there and travel!