Airfare Tips

Find Best Airfare! Aberdeen, Huron, Sioux Falls, Minneapolis, and Omaha information! Always also check with more than one multiple fare search service (links further below).

General Tips: Make sure to check for updated requirements of what you can bring with you. For example, a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cannot be brought even in checked luggage! Look at the airline’s Baggage section! Many airlines have changed how they deal with luggage, so always check to compare total costs between airlines. Ones that charge extra for luggage usually offer much better deals when pre-purchasing luggage options at time of reservation. A more expensive airline may be comparable when considering luggage, travel to airport, parking, motel costs due to flight time, etc. Normally, the earlier you book with smaller airports/airlines, the less it costs. It is usually worth looking at the Deals/Specials section of an individual airline website to see deals that won’t be easily shown on travel sites. Combinations of air, hotel, and/or car rental on a travel site can save significant money. Many multi-search travel sites such as AirfareWatchDog or airlines such as AllegiantAir offer email deals if you signup for the service. For example, AllegiantAir offered $63 each way from Sioux Falls to Tampa on the day this was written. It also advertised several hotel and airfare packages such as $79 per night per person for an Orlando hotel that included the airfare.

Low Fares:

AllegiantAir in Sioux Falls usually has low fares to its limited destinations. If you don’t mind driving more and the extra time and gas, you may want to check out Spirit in Minneapolis or Southwest in Omaha. These airlines are often not included in travel site search systems.

From Sioux Falls (FSD), AllegiantAir often has the best deals to the following airports especially if you are packing light. See the Allegiant Rules information below. AllegiantAir is not always included on travel sites. You can usually save even more if booking one of their hotel choices at the same time. For all other airlines at Sioux Falls, check with one of the multi-search systems such as Kayak or AirfareWatchDog.

Allegiant destinations:

  • Florida: Daytona Beach or Orlando/Sanford or Tampa/St Pete/Clearwater (Orlando/Sanford or Tampa are usually the lowest FL fares. They do not fly into Orlando/MCO, but nearby Sanford has shuttle and better car rental options.)
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles/LAX
  • Phoenix

AllegiantAir.com Rules:
Remember carry-on and checked luggage can cost as much as $35 each for each way! You may have to pay up to $8 more each way if you use a credit card instead of a debit card. It can also cost $14.99 more each way if you call in your reservation instead of booking online. The rates fluctuate depending on your travel dates, especially days leaving and returning. Always check for nearby days to see rates. You can usually save even more if booking one of their hotel choices at the same time.

Spirit from Minneapolis (MSP) can offer very low fares if you have very little luggage, and even more if you first enroll in their $9 Fare Club that costs $9. Only the person making the reservation need enroll. Spirit uses unbundled pricing, so you have to pay extra for carry-on and checked luggage. Make sure to pre-purchase carry-on or checked luggage when buying the ticket! With the $9 annual Fare Club enrollment, carry-on is $26 and/or 1st checked bag is $21. One personal item such as a purse or small backpack is no charge. If you wait until the gate to pay for luggage, the price can go up to $100 per bag! Seating assignments cost extra, but have found that if you check in early (online 24 hours before), you can usually sit together for free. As with many airlines nowadays, seating is very very cramped on Spirit! Remember Minneapolis is going to cost more for car parking and require more auto travel than SD airports. However, if you stay in a nearby hotel the night before, the hotel may offer parking and shuttle to MSP. If not, the MSP covered airport parking is very convenient to the terminals.

Southwest flies out of Omaha (OMA). Southwest is usually not listed in multi-airline searches, so is worth checking directly. Be sure to check for any additional carry-on or luggage charges in case their policy has changed!  Southwest has been including a carry-on and a checked bag. That should be kept in mind when comparing between Spirit, AllegiantAir, and Southwest. OMA is much easier to get to on the north side of Omaha than downtown Minneapolis. Even though OMA is further by about 80 miles than MSP, it is usually 60 minutes less drive time.

Nearby Airports:

Aberdeen Regional Airport and Huron Regional Airport are nearby, better parking options, and have connections to almost anywhere. Even though they might be included in major fare search systems, if you do not use the right days, you may get “unavailable” results. It would be helpful to check with the airport or known airline directly first, so you know how to search on travel sites.

Delta flies out of Aberdeen (ABR). Keep in mind there is free parking, plus less gas and travel time. ABR will be available for searching on most travel sites, but Sun-Thurs travel may cost less. It is always good to use Flexible Days in a search so you know options. You should search both on Delta’s website and major travel sites to compare results. Early reservations usually saves quite a bit of money, but look for specials. Most flights will go to Minneapolis, then to the destination.

Huron (HON) currently offers Great Lakes. Fly Great Lakes flies to Denver, Minneapolis, and Pierre.  If traveling further, use United’s site instead to find a single fare that handles the entire trip. If searching with a travel site, United is a common result even though the first leg will be on Great Lakes. You can also use AA.com for American Airlines, but you may get an error message on the next screen where you need to check All Carriers lower on the page then click Continue. You should check directly with Fly Great Lakes, United, or AA, then also check with AirfareWatchDog or Kayak that check multiple travel sites. Early reservations usually saves quite a bit of money, but look for specials.

Fare search services that check multiple systems from one place:

Google.com/flights

Airfarewatchdog.com

Hopper.com  (don’t have to know dates and can see when is best to fly)

Kayak.com

Fares not always included in major fare search systems:

LastMinuteTravel.com

CheapFares.com

Hotels:

Hotels.com (usually best)

TripAdvisor.com (also great for hotel reviews)

Trivago.com

Travelocity.com

Orbitz.com

Oyster.com (Photo fakeouts show why reviews are important!)

Misc:

Center for Disease Control

Travel Documents

Exchange rates website

Electricaloutlet.org

BudgetYourTrip.com

FoodByCountry.com

GlobalGourmet.com

Language:

Freetranslation.com

Learn a language online!  Babbel.com  Livemocha.com


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