If you are about to take a trip to an Asian vacation destination, you can benefit from shopping around for flight deals first before booking your reservations. This is where discount travel Web sites such as Hotwire come in. You can save a lot with the inexpensive Hotwire airfare deals being offered on the site but only if you know the right way to score bargain flight packages.
About Hotwire’s discounted airfares
Hotwire is a Web site where you can find cheap airfares. Hotwire is like an outlet store where you can score great bargains on flights. Hotwire works with airlines that release unfilled seats to the Web site as something like overstock. These are seats that the airlines are looking to fill through marked-down prices that entice people into booking them.
There are two ways to book flights through Hotwire. The first one is the Hotwire Limited rate. To take advantage of this feature, you need to be flexible about the time of your flight and the airline that you use. The other way is to just pick your own flight time and your own airline in the same manner as you would with other travel Web sites.
Limited Rate Offers from Hotwire
The best way to land great Hotwire airfare deals is to take advantage of the Hotwire Limited Rate offer. In this setup, you get to pick the date of your flight but you need to be more flexible in terms of the airline and the departure/arrival times to get greater discounts, considering that you can fly out at any time and through any airline.
For most Hotwire Limited flight rates to countries in Asia and other parts of the world, expect overnight travel and probably one or more connecting flights. Considering the great savings that you receive, this hassle is worth it. But don’t worry because, even with cheap Hotwire airfare, domestic layovers do not go beyond three hours. This way, you will not find yourself staying at another airport for a long time before you get to your chosen destination in Asia.
Choosing flight times to obtain cheap Hotwire
You may also want to use the site’s Flexible Date Search feature to find cheap Hotwire airfares. The feature lets you review flights within a 30-day timeframe to find the lowest airfares within that period. If you don’t see a limited rate for your search, you can change the dates or consider alternative airports. You can still get cheap Hotwire airfare packages through alternative arrangements that the Web site may suggest.
Airlines used for cheap Hotwire airfare deals
Hotwire works with several airlines to provide users with cheap airfares. It gets seat information from airlines such as Continental, American, Delta, Cathay Pacific, Northwest, United, British Airways, Singapore, Frontier, Virgin Atlantic, and US Airways. These companies typically offer advance selections on flights. For the fares already displayed, you don’t have to make an advance purchase but the fare is not guaranteed until you pay for your reservation.
Reservation arrangements for cheap Hotwire
Hotwire is great for last-minute travel arrangements. You still have a fighting chance of getting discounted fares for flights on the same day as your search. If you are flying to Asia, however, you might want to allot ample time to prepare for your trip and get to the airport. For this, you can only book Hotwire airfare deals that fly out at least seven-and-a-half hours after you have completed your reservations.
You will also be unable to book Hotwire Limited for these fights after 4:00 pm on the airport’s local time if you are departing on the same day. Suffice to say, you have limited options if you book on the same day that you are supposed flying out.
Trade-offs for cheap Hotwire
A setback with booking Hotwire limited rate airfares is that they are nonrefundable when you have already authorized a credit card payment. There is also no way for you to change your travel details even if you are willing to pay the penalty. You can only do so with regular Hotwire airfare packages.
However, many airlines allow you to stand by for an alternative flight on the same day without requiring you to pay a penalty, even when using discounted tickets. For instance, United allows for standbys provided that the alternative goes to the same connecting point as your original reservation, or you can switch to a nonstop flight to your Asian destination based on availability.
If you want to change your flight, you may want to stand by for an earlier flight. If you can’t get on that, then you still have your original reservation to fall back on. It would also help if you do not check your bags because airlines will not change your flight at the last minute if they need to transfer checked luggage. You will be higher on the airline’s priority list if you do not have a lot of luggage with you.
Final tip: What to do after booking your cheap Hotwire
After you have reserved your Hotwire airfare, call the airline to confirm the reservation and request a window or aisle seat based on your preference. It’s also important that you verify the check-in deadlines and the time that you have to be at the gate. If you are late, you may forfeit your slot to a standby passenger.