[01/22/2019 @ 1:45 PM] Book this fare on: Spirit, Priceline, BookingBuddy, Travelocity, Orbitz, CheapTickets, Expedia, Hotwire.
Deals are usually valid 24 to 72 hours after posting, but can expire at any time (see time-stamp).
Spirit has round-trip flights from Austin (AUS) to Chicago (ORD) for $103, NONSTOP. $52 each-way. Flights from mid-February to the first week of March. Departures on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Returns on any day except Friday or Saturday. Origin/Destination reversible.
Note: Spirit fares do not include a free carry-on bag. Only a small personal item, like a Jansport City Scout backpack is free. Checked bags cost +$30 each-way. You can avoid paying for seat selection if you accept the randomly assigned seat prior to boarding.
I’m currently using the Jansport Right Pack as my “personal item” when I fly Spirit. Which is slightly more than expensive than the Jansport City Scout because its fabric is Cordura instead of Polyester. Both have the same dimensions which are: 18″ x 13″ x 8.5″. There is half-an-inch of extra depth than what is officially allowed by Frontier, but it has never been a problem for me. The bag has a large main compartment, which makes it ideal for stuffing as much as you can into the limited amount of space.
- Example Dates: (Spirit / BookingBuddy) Feb 16 – Feb 18 / Feb 23 – Feb 25 / Mar 02 – Mar 04 / / Other dates: There are more dates available than the ones we list here, experiment on your own.
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- Tips: Use Tripadvisor to create a Hotel “short list”. First, plug in your dates and destination. Then select “Sort by Traveler Ranked”. Finally, select the “Traveler Ranking” filter to show “only 4* and up”. Use this resulting “short list” of hotels to find the cheapest one with a high ranking.
- Tips: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows for 1-to-1 point transfers to several airline loyalty programs. Booking with points is a good alternative to paying with cash when the price of airfare is high. Here is the current list of Chase Sapphire transfer partners: United, Southwest, jetBlue, British Airways, Iberia, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, Aer Lingus, and Air Canada.
- Tips: Vacation rentals on Vrbo are usually cheaper per night for longer stays than shorter stays. This is due to three main factors; The first is that most properties have a cleaning fee that is a fixed rate, the second is that many hosts provide discounts for stays longer than 6-days, the third is that the Vrbo service fee percentage is higher on short stays.
- Tips: You can (and should) sort the Vrbo vacation rental search results by “Total” price. Doing so exposes properties with high fees. For example, a $140 per-night property with $100 fees will rank as being more expensive than a $150 per-night property with $30 fees, when sorted. Sorting by “most reviews” is also a good option, as this will show you the most popular properties.
- Tips: Rent a car for cheaper by using Priceline’s “Express Deals”. The rental car company will be hidden until after you purchase, but this allows those companies to undercut the published rate indirectly. You can remove low quality companies from those hidden results. The trick is to use the quality filter on their website to remove any rental car company with a review rating under 7.0 and then pick the deals that survive the filter.
- Tips: Hotel rates for Weekend dates are usually higher than the rates for Sunday through Thursday. Tripadvisor has a color-coded date calendar, red when the average hotel price for that day is more expensive, green for less expensive. You can use this to get an overview of what dates in the month are at a discount.
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I was able to pull this fare up on Spirit. Screenshot taken when this post was initially created. See timestamps at the top of this post.
Note: OTAs such as Travelocity and Priceline allow free cancellation without penalty within 24-hours after you purchase. As deals sell-out or expire quickly, this policy will allow you to “lock-in” the cheap fare while you sort out a plan. Just keep in mind that after 24-hours, you will not be able to cancel without the regular penalty.
- Previous Lowest Price Average:
- Book this fare on: Priceline, BookingBuddy, Travelocity, Orbitz, CheapTickets, Expedia, Hotwire.
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- Airfare + hotel: Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotwire, Travelocity, CheapTickets.com, Skyscanner, Kayak
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