From Dreaming to Departure: How Pinterest Reaches Travelers Throughout The Entire Customer Journey

From Dreaming to Departure: How Pinterest Reaches Travelers Throughout The Entire Customer Journey

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Skift Take: With nearly one in four online travel planners using Pinterest as a resource––often beyond the initial inspiration and ideation phase––marketers and advertisers looking to reach travelers should consider the value Pinterest has to offer.

— Dawn Rzeznikiewicz

Pinterest has become a powerful platform for customers, from the dreaming stage to the doing stage. Despite common misconceptions, Pinterest isn’t only for DIYers and creatives looking for recipes, home makeover ideas, style and beauty tips. The visual discovery platform is also a valuable resource for travelers and the marketers looking to reach them.

Travel is one of Pinterest’s most popular content categories. As of February 2017, there were 3 billion travel-related Pins on the platform. And though the number of travel-related Pins is high, travelers aren’t only saving “pin-spiration” photos to fantasize about trips they might one day take––they’re actually using these Pins to help plan and book trips, to make decisions right before departure and as a point of reference during the trip itself.

The Booking Journey

It’s no surprise that Pinterest is a popular go-to for people in the inspiration and ideation phase of the journey, whether they’re dreaming about a budget backpacking trip or a honeymoon. People commonly use Pinterest to discover, learn about, and actually do the things they love.

However, it may be somewhat surprising to learn that travelers also use Pinterest as a visual search engine to help plan what they should eat, drink, wear, and do on their trips. In 2016, Deep Focus Intelligence Group conducted a survey of 2,000 Pinterest users and non-Pinterest users in the U.S. who have traveled in the past six months, or planned to travel within the next six months. The study found that three out of five Pinterest users use the platform to help them plan their travels––and those who do so are more detailed in their planning than non-users. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of travelers who plan travel online use Pinterest for this purpose, putting it on par with Google, Facebook, and major travel sites such as Expedia and Priceline.

Planning travel on Pinterest leads people to take action, collaborate with others, and make well-informed decisions, often translating to actual bookings and purchases. Deep Focus found that 62 percent of Pinterest travel planners will click on a Pin for more information, while nearly half of these planners show their ideas to someone in person. Another 48 percent of Pinterest travel planners say the platform helps them find hotels to book.

Once a traveler books a trip, Pinterest is there when the time comes to start packing and organizing the nitty-gritty details of the trip. Deep Focus found that Pinterest users are more likely than non-Pinners to want a resource that gives them tips on how to get to their destination, as well as tips for inspiration while they’re traveling. Travelers commonly turn to the site to help them decide what to pack, how much to budget, and how to map out their itineraries.

No matter what step of the journey they’re in, travelers who use Pinterest are a highly engaged, detail-oriented, thoughtful and creative group, open to new ideas and inspirations. Incorporating striking imagery, tasteful design and action-oriented, mobile-friendly content into campaigns will help your brand reach, engage, and gain the loyalty of this highly captive group.

To learn more about travel trends on Pinterest, visit the Pinterest for Business blog.

This content was created collaboratively by Pinterest and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

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August 21, 2017 at 05:04PM

Check Out Our Photo Review of Air France’s A330 Business Class!

Check Out Our Photo Review of Air France’s A330 Business Class!

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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to fly a new business class product (for me) – it was Air France’s A330 business class!

Even though the seats are angled-flat, I thought it was a great experience. I did fly on a daytime flight from Paris to Chicago, so sleeping wasn’t high-priority, but I did take a two hour nap while on the plane. The duvet provided on the flight was one of the more comfortable compared to other business class flights I have flown.

I was most looking forward to trying out Air France’s business class food because I’ve heard great things, and while I would say that the food was pretty good – even for business class – it wasn’t quite as good as I was expecting.

The salmon appetizer was probably my favorite dish, but my boyfriend wasn’t as big of a fan. That worked out fine for me because I got two servings!

For the main course, I chose to have the roasted chicken thigh because it was one of the dishes recommended by Francois Adamski, the chef who designed Air France’s business class dishes.

The apricot tartlet was a delicious thing to finish off with for desert.

For the second meal, I elected to have the potato patty with thyme, mushrooms, and asparagus. I absolutely loved the sauce that was drizzled over the dish and the mushrooms. The mushrooms presented another opportunity to cash in on my boyfriend being a bit more picky than I am.

Overall, I found Air France’s business class to be very pleasant, and would definitely fly it again if I have the chance – especially on a daytime flight. Air France is a member of SkyTeam, so you can use Delta miles to book business class flights on Air France. Additionally, Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Starwood Preferred Guest points all transfer to Air France/KLM Flying Blue for another opportunity to book Air France business class flights.

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August 21, 2017 at 04:04PM

Focus: Triometric Launches Trio Express for NDC to Help Airlines Harness the Power of API Analytics

Focus: Triometric Launches Trio Express for NDC to Help Airlines Harness the Power of API Analytics

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Triometric Launches Trio Express for NDC to Help Airlines Harness the Power of API Analytics

Triometric, the leading provider of real-time XML business intelligence solutions to the online travel industry, today announced the release of Trio Express for NDC, an easy to access and use version of its powerful XML analytics platform customised for airline distribution.

This solution is designed to give airlines easy access via dashboards, reports and alerts to the business insight residing in their search and booking message streams flowing through their direct connect APIs. Using this insight helps airlines better understand their customers, respond with relevant offers and regain control over the customer relationship.

This business insight, delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS), helps airlines take advantage of the many indirect retailing opportunities enabled by IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC). NDC revolves around a new communication standard based on XML which is already widely used by the online travel industry. It addresses the end-to-end airline distribution process, such as shopping for tickets and booking them, and delivers improved customer experiences. NDC gives airlines the ability to offer their customers using the indirect channel the same range of products and ancillaries at the time of sales as available through their own websites.

In implementing NDC, airlines are transforming their existing distribution models and adopting new merchandising practices often in collaboration with other distributors and technology partners. These new practices let airlines differentiate themselves through product innovation and manage their pricing with greater precision, thus enhancing their connections to their customers purchasing through the agency channel.

To support these new distribution initiatives, Trio Express for NDC gives airlines two vital insights:

• Real time metrics for tracking operational performance of their APIs
• A wealth of actionable business insights from the XML message flow content.

This unique combination gives airlines the insights they need to make time-sensitive decisions to ensure their web services infrastructure is optimised while at the same time gathering the intelligence to build a real-time view of what customers are searching for and buying. In analysing their XML or JSON data, airlines are able to enhance their connections to customers, build profitable ancillary revenue streams and uncover new merchandising opportunities.

Trio Express is Triometric’s fully managed analytics solution delivered via the cloud which busy users can use on a self-service basis.

The service draws on Triometric’s extensive experience of delivering API analytics platforms to companies with extensive API capabilities such as Farelogix and Hotelbeds. It analyses all requests and replies from large search and booking data sets to deliver key performance and business insights. With just a few clicks, users can view dashboards and reports, drill down to the source of any issues or receive alerts and use the insights gained to make faster and better decisions.

The insights help airlines with NDC enabled APIs to:
• Monitor and manage their API activity and connectivity performance
• Optimise their operational performance including response times
• Monitor and manage any message errors such as mapping issues
• Manage their inventory pricing in line with demand
• Track their Look-to-Book ratios against routes and distribution partners
• Make assessments about which distribution channels deliver the best returns
• Monitor market trends and buying behaviour as it happens, and for future planning.

“We are delighted to be apply our wealth of XML analytic experience to the needs of the airline industry and bring a version of our analytics solution to those airlines implementing NDC. By leveraging the flexibility and reliability of our Cloud environment and with a unique business model, we are delighted to be able to bring the power of XML analytics to airlines in an accessible and affordable way,” said Matthew Goulden, CEO of Triometric.

Trio Express is based on the technical architecture of the proven Trio Enterprise platform, designed for both large and smaller scale users, deployed either on premise or via the cloud. Both delivery models are available to airlines and Triometric’s experts work with airlines to offer a custom solution to meet their NDC needs.

www.triometric.net

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August 21, 2017 at 04:00PM

Qatar Airways Now Lets Premium Passengers Pre-Select Their Meals

Qatar Airways Now Lets Premium Passengers Pre-Select Their Meals

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Qatar Airways offers one of the best products flying in the skies right now, its new Qsuites business class. Between the closing doors at every seat, top-notch dining and amenities, Qsuites (and the experience on Qatar’s other premium products) is hard to beat. Now, it’s allowing passengers to customize their experience even more.

The Doha-based carrier announced this week that it’s going to allow its first- and business-class passengers to pre-order their dining selections before their flight. Effective immediately, premium passengers can pre-select their meals on select flights departing from Doha (DOH) bound for Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, South America, Guangzhou (CAN) and Bangkok (BKK). If you’re on an eligible route, you’ll be able to select one main course from the à la carte menu as far as 14 days in advance and up to 24 hours before departure.

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To utilize this new option, go to Qatar’s website and log in to select your trip. If you’re eligible for the pre-selected dining service, you’ll be able to choose from the seasonal options on the menu that’s listed online. Once selected, you’ll get an email with your confirmed meal choice.

Qatar isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel with this addition — American Airlines began offering pre-order meal options back in 2012. In addition, Singapore Airlines offers its famous Book the Cook option for premium passengers to select their meal in advance. Surely for Qatar’s premium passengers it’s a welcome development, but it’s hardly groundbreaking.

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August 21, 2017 at 03:55PM

DJ Taye’s “Burnin Ya Boa” Extends Chicago’s Dance Tradition

DJ Taye’s “Burnin Ya Boa” Extends Chicago’s Dance Tradition

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“As hip-hop had developed unheard outside of the South Bronx,” Bob
Stanley writes in “Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Pop from Bill Haley to
Beyoncé
,”
“so house grew in an isolated, post-disco pocket.” That pocket was the
Warehouse, a Chicago night club that opened in 1976, on South Jefferson
Street. There, d.j.s became amateur producers as they recut disco
records with extended dance breaks, and padded them with tinny new
electronic drum machines. Local record shops sold the edits and labelled
them “Warehouse Records,” a title that was soon shortened to “House.” By
the mid-eighties, Chicago’s house scene had produced international hit
records, popularizing a sound that would reverberate across the globe
for years to come.

House music went on to produce a distant offspring in Chicago, an
electronic dance sound referred to as “footwork,” and when fans discuss
it today, it’s often in a similar club context. Like house, footwork is
tethered to the live-music venues in which it is played, and to the
style of dancing it inspires. Its savviest inheritance from house music
is the subtle warmth both genres share, but footwork has proved to be
even bolder with these textures than its predecessor. One of its most
promising practitioners is the twenty-three-year-old DJ Taye. Last
month, I caught the young producer at Chicago’s Smartbar, where he
strung together original beats from his Teklife crew while dancers took
turns writhing in a dense circle, stoked by the crush of the club’s bass
and bristling strobe lights. The sound fits just as well at home, or in
headphones on the street, as it does in the club. It is an effective way
to jostle through the world and wall it off all at once.

Taye’s “Burnin Ya Boa” is core footwork for its drums—metronomic throbs
of bass and claps race forward at high speeds, designed for feet to
quick-step around them like gag noisemakers tossed at toes. Beyond the
drums, Taye and his collaborator DJ Manny handle a small snatch of piano
and saxophone, tapping out an entirely new melody that bends and sways
across three minutes. The tension between the track’s central warmth,
through the presence of real instrumentation, and its trimmings of icy
digital drums and stuttered vocals create an atmosphere that’s both
inviting and imposing. For a sound that was developed communally,
“Burnin Ya Boa” bears a powerful air of solitude.

VIDEO

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August 21, 2017 at 03:24PM

U.S. Escalates Russia Dispute by Cutting Back on Visa Services

U.S. Escalates Russia Dispute by Cutting Back on Visa Services

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Bloomberg

U.S.-Russia tensions continued to mount as the United States announced a plan to cut non-immigrant visa operations in Russia. Pictured is traffic along the Moscow River embankment. Bloomberg

Skift Take: The market for Russian travel to the U.S. might not be a huge one, but the decision to drastically cut back visa offerings is highly symbolic of the simmering tensions between the countries at the moment.

— Patrick Whyte

The U.S. said it’s slashing visa services in Russia after the Kremlin ordered it to cut two-thirds of staff at its embassy and consulates as relations between the former Cold War rivals spiraled.

All non-immigrant visa operations will be halted from Aug. 23 and will resume “on a greatly reduced scale” from Sept. 1, with applicant interviews conducted solely in Moscow, the U.S. embassy said in a website statement. Non-immigrant visa interviews at the U.S. consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok “are suspended until further notice,” according to the statement.

The decision is “due to the Russian government-imposed cap on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia,” the embassy said in its statement. President Vladimir Putin’s demand for the U.S. to cut 755 staff from its embassy and consulates by Sept. 1 “calls into question Russia’s seriousness about pursuing better relations,” it said.

Putin ordered the U.S. to cut staff at its diplomatic missions in Russia in retaliation for the passage of new sanctions legislation by the U.S. Congress last month. He said the decision would bring the U.S. total into line with the number of Russian embassy staff in the U.S. Putin added that he hoped the action would draw a line under the dispute that was triggered when the administration of then President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats in December in retaliation for alleged meddling by Moscow in the U.S. presidential election.

But Andrey Klimov, a senior member of the upper house of Russia’s parliament, warned that Moscow would react to the U.S. visa-service reductions. “This is of course a demarche,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying. “We can’t leave this unanswered and everything will clearly be mirrored.”

Russian Reaction

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia wouldn’t “take out its anger on American citizens” and would “study closely” the U.S. decision before deciding on a response. He questioned the U.S. justification for the service cuts, saying they seemed aimed at the “political” goal of sowing discontent within Russia.

The U.S. measures will negatively affect only the small “most pro-western group of Russians,” said Alexander Baunov, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center. They support ending the confrontation with the West but are too few in number to influence Kremlin decision makers, he said.

The U.S. ranked 25th of countries outside the former Soviet Union in popularity among Russians tourists in the first quarter of 2017, with 46,150 trips, according to government data. Travel has declined steadily in recent years as tensions have risen and the ruble has weakened against the dollar.

“In all probability, we can expect a further reduction in the flow” as a result of the U.S. service cuts, Maya Lomidze, executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, said by telephone.

Alexis Rodzianko, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, said wait times for visa interviews would likely grow to 4-6 months from the current two. “This decision won’t have a major impact on business because the volume of trips is small,” he said by phone. “It’s not yet clear whether there will be a special process for businesspeople or employees of American companies.”

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Stepan Kravchenko and Andrey Biryukov from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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August 21, 2017 at 03:04PM

Norwegian Air Is Already Driving Down Trans-Atlantic Airline Fares

Norwegian Air Is Already Driving Down Trans-Atlantic Airline Fares

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Skift Take: Low-cost carriers like Norwegian need to strike the right balance between a low-cost, reliable product, and decent service on the consumer side and sustainable business on the corporate in order to remain a threat to legacy carriers.

— Jason Clampet

Already under pressure from discounters at home, major U.S. airlines are facing a tighter squeeze abroad as low-cost rivals ramp up service across the Atlantic.

At American Airlines Group Inc., a measure of trans-Atlantic fares just plunged 9.1 percent, the most since right after the recession ended in 2009, as European budget carriers such as Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA added more flights. Delta Air Lines Inc. also recorded a sharp drop in the same yardstick. United Continental Holdings Inc. eked out a tiny gain.

While that’s great news for bargain-hunting travelers, it’s a blow for traditional airlines. The increased seat supply is dragging down fares in a lucrative overseas market just as a rebound in domestic pricing is starting to look shaky. American and United rattled investors last month when they forecast tepid revenue growth and signaled that an already tenuous grip on ticket prices was slipping.

European discounters can hurt revenue at big U.S. airlines “by taking incremental bookings and forcing them to lower their own fares,” said Michael Bentley of consulting firm Revenue Analytics. “I don’t see any reason why they can’t cause trouble with the major carriers.”

American cited the low-cost competitors as it reported a second-quarter drop in the average fare per mile for Atlantic flights.

“Atlantic is challenging. The fundamentals are challenging,” Don Casey, American’s head of revenue management, said in a conference call last month to discuss earnings. “There is excess capacity in the marketplace. The capacity is being driven by low-price carriers.”

The U.S. airlines are likely to fight back by extending overseas the so-called basic economy prices they are offering at home, said Savanthi Syth, a Raymond James Financial Inc. analyst.

Those tickets typically don’t allow passengers to select their seats or choose an upgrade option, while limiting their carry-on items. And they’re helping American, United and Delta to recover from a two-year slump in revenue per available seat mile that was triggered by the expansion of low-cost airlines in the U.S.

Upselling Opportunity

“My expectation is they’ll roll it out in some form,” Syth said. “Right now they’re aggressively matching” the European discounters.

Basic economy enables a traditional airline to meet demand for lower-priced fares without blanketing the market with cheap tickets. It also gives them a chance to coax customers into switching to more expensive tickets when they realize that the discount option offers limited amenities.

Delta already offers basic-economy pricing in Canada and is rolling it out to other international markets. American is expanding the category across the U.S. and hasn’t said if it will be offered elsewhere. United has said it will offer the option in Latin America by year-end and is evaluating its use on long-distance international flights.

American and Delta declined to comment about the trans-Atlantic market for this story, while United said it was happy with its performance there.

Low-Cost Expansion

Meanwhile, the European discounters are plotting their expansion. In the benchmark month of August, the number of seats departing daily across the Atlantic in the month of August has increased 29 percent over the past five years and two-thirds of the growth has come from non-traditional carriers, said Samuel Engel, head of the aviation practice at consultant ICF International.

Discounters now account for a quarter of seats, almost twice the level five years ago, Engel said.

Norwegian Air, one of the most active low-cost carriers, with 46 routes between the U.S. and Europe, plans to start a dozen more. “This year will see the biggest growth of Norwegian in the U.S.” with fares on some routes as low as $99 each way, said Anders Lindstrom, a spokesman for the Fornebu, Norway-based company.

Other discounters also are increasing service. Iceland’s Wow Air Ehf, which flies between eight U.S. cities and Europe, added three U.S. destinations last year and three this summer. Primera Travel Group Hf, also from Iceland, has said it will begin flights next year between three European cities and New York and Boston with bare-bones fares as low as $99.

Among big carriers, Air France-KLM Group, which is selling a stake to Delta, is considering adding a reduced-fare unit. Deutsche Lufthansa AG, a Star Alliance partner of United, wants to add longer-range planes to its Eurowings discount operation for U.S. flights. Level, a low-fare sibling of IAG SA’s British Airways — a partner of American — has five weekly flights to the U.S. from Barcelona.

Business Travel

For now, the U.S. carriers are confident they can withstand the assault on their strong market positions. One reason: They’ll have an easier time than low-cost rivals absorbing higher jet-fuel costs as prices rise from last year’s trough. Their national networks will draw passengers who need connecting flights.

Business travel provides another source of insulation from discounters. Corporate fliers typically are willing to pay higher fares to get the amenities that go with them, said Alan Bender, a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. All three of the biggest U.S. carriers report higher corporate demand.

“We read a lot about the European business sector picking up, and we’re seeing that in the travel to and from Europe,” Delta President Glen Hauenstein said on a conference call last month.

Those factors aside, the big airlines can’t afford to ignore the growth in low-cost trans-Atlantic service. Memories remain vivid of 2015, when expansion at Southwest Airlines Co. and Spirit Airlines Inc. triggered the U.S. fare war.

“We’ve seen it time and again,” said Bentley, the Revenue Analytics consultant. “If you shrug off worries about no-frills competitors you ignore these guys at your peril.”

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Mary Schlangenstein from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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August 21, 2017 at 02:07PM

Trump’s Horrific Spelling Reassures Nation That He Cannot Correctly Enter Nuclear Codes

Trump’s Horrific Spelling Reassures Nation That He Cannot Correctly Enter Nuclear Codes

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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump’s demonstrable inability to spell even the simplest words has reassured many that he lacks the aptitude to correctly enter the nuclear launch codes entrusted to the President of the United States.

While millions of Americans have lost sleep over the thought of Trump being anywhere near the nuclear codes, his failure to spell such words as “heal” and “tap” suggests that mastering a more complicated sequence of letters or numbers would be well above his grade level.

“Giving one person the power to launch the most destructive nuclear arsenal in the world has always been problematic,” Harland Dorrinson, the director of the Society for Nuclear Security, said. “In their infinite wisdom, the American people have solved that problem by electing someone whose brain would be utterly flummoxed by the task.”

While Trump has demonstrated an ability to use simple tools, such as a television remote or a fork, Dorrinson does not foresee him mastering the nuclear codes anytime soon. “This is not exactly the system of checks and balances that the Constitution intended, but we should all be grateful for it,” he said.

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August 21, 2017 at 01:22PM

How to Get the Most Points on Paid Airfare Bookings

How to Get the Most Points on Paid Airfare Bookings

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Most of us earn airline miles so we can minimize our travel costs. However, it’s not always possible to redeem them. Maybe there is no award space or perhaps a generous friend/relative has allowed you to charge their travel to your credit card. No matter the circumstances, you’ll want to maximize points on paid airfare bookings to the full extent. Here are four tips for doing so:

Research the Best Fares: Miles vs. Cash

The first thing you want to do to maximize points on airfare bookings is to compare paid fares against award redemption rates. Everyone values their miles differently depending on how they’re earned. Whatever your method, consider how much the miles required for an award are worth and compare that value against the cost of paid fares. I personally earn most of my miles from credit card spending, so a lot of times I consider how much I’d have to spend on a mile-earning credit card vs. a 2% cash back card to earn enough rewards for a specific flight. Then I go with the cheapest option. This is the single most important step you can take in making sure you get the most points out of your airfare bookings.

Use the Right Credit Card

Once you’ve determined that you’re ready to book a paid fare, it’s time to pick the right credit card to charge it to. It’s not as simple as focusing on the highest credit card bonus. Take into account whether it’s more important for you to earn more points or off-set your travel expenses. For example, the Barclay Arrival Plus card earns 2 miles per $1 spent on all spending, which is the equivalent of earning 2% cash back. Additionally, cardholders get a 5% rebate on travel redemptions. This would be my preferred way to maximize points on airfare bookings.

However, other folks would want to earn tons of miles they could redeem for other travel purchases. In this case, the following credit cards are your best bet:

It’s important to note that the 5x bonus from the Amex Platinum card only applies to flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. The 5x bonus from the Business Platinum card only applies to airfare purchased directly through Amex Travel. Additionally, Business Platinum cardholders are eligible for a 35% bonus when they use Pay with Points to cover airfare through Amex Travel.

If you want to off-set expenses and earn lots of points on airfare, the Sapphire Reserve may also be a good alternative. The card earns 3 points per $1 spent and you can apply the $300 annual travel credit towards these purchases.

Use a Rewards Portal

Another great way to maximize airfare bookings is to use a rewards portal. The rewards aren’t always going to be massive, but you can usually expect up to 4% cash back on airfare. That’s still a nice reward, considering all you have to do is click through a portal. Not to mention it can really add up on multiple bookings. You might also consider buying your tickets through an OTA like Priceline or Orbitz, depending on cash back rates. To find the biggest payouts, be sure to check CashBack Monitor, Cashbackholic, and EvReward.

 

What do you do to maximize your paid airfare bookings?

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August 21, 2017 at 01:10PM