In the ever-expanding world of travel, subscription services are on the rise. These days, there’s membership for virtually everything, from the best hotel rates to airline “passes” guaranteeing subscribers cheaper rates. But as a frequent traveler who prides himself on finding money-saving deals and using credit card points to cover about one trip a year, I’ve always been wary of paying do something cheaper. That was until I tried to plan a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon with business class flights – also my first trip out of the country in over two years – in the midst of a pandemic.
Thanks to the coronavirus, the attitude of many people towards upgrades has changed: more and more travelers are choosing premium economy and looking for comfort rather than stress. For me, at least, I opt for quality over quantity upgrades when I can, and my partner and I have always dreamed of flying business class together on our honeymoon. Going after the search for premium flight deals during the high summer season of the Greek islands, however, proved to be a difficult task. After signing up for a sea of stressful Google alerts (and in the middle of wedding planning turning them off), I opted for a paid service that streamlined those business class fare alerts and contextualized them all to me. This is how I used Scott’s Cheap Flights Elite to mark my first ever business class tickets overseas, and how other travelers can best use the $199 per year service.
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Editor’s note: For a limited time, Traveler readers can buy Scott’s Cheap Flights Premium for 25% off with code CNT; offer expires March 31.
How to decide if a paid subscription to flight deals is right for you
Paying $200 to get premium flight deals sent to your inbox is of course not for everyone. For me, after searching all the usual suspects – flight blogs, Google Flights, OTAs – for about a month and finding nothing but an inbox full of unimpressive fare alerts to delete, my end result was that planning the honeymoon took way too much of my time, and time is money. Additionally, the money a typical Scott’s Cheap Flights subscriber saves on a single flight (their average fares are usually several hundred dollars less than the standard ticket price) generally makes the service worth the initial cost. And many people agree: Scott’s Cheap Flights currently has over 2 million paying subscribers. In general, compared to other services and automated alerts I’ve used in the past, Scott’s Cheap Flight Alerts are more frequent and seem to offer better deals than many other options.
How? ‘Or’ What? The company has a small team of full-time fare analysts who research bad deals and fares on Google Flights, and deliver them straight to your inbox with contextual information about deal quality, dates which it can be reserved and a live link. directly to Google Flights so you can compare other options yourself. For me, this was the most key part of the service: there is no detail too small when it comes to these emails, which define for you what the fare class includes depending on the airline, and if they have ever found such a low rate. like what they alert you to. Here’s an example I received for a first-class option in Athens during my search, although it was a little too expensive for us: