Cheap Airline Tix?
September 26, 2012 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Hello everyone, This is my first post, though I'm a longtime reader. I am trying to find out if there are any ways I haven't thought of to buy cheap airline tickets from Reno, NV to Nashville, TN and back three times a year to visit family.

Currently, I'm paying roughly $500 every time I fly (I'm working on accumulating miles with one carrier). I am aware of all of the obvious ones, such as and Are there any lesser-know sources I'm not thinking of? I did do a Mefi search, but everything I found is at least a couple of years old and I know that new things pop up every day on the web. I also searched Google and didn't find anything I don't already know about.

As an aside, I was recently disappointed to find that the only flights I could use my AA miles for were three red-eyes that included an overnight stay in a city in between my travel points. Phhht on that. Thanks everyone!
posted by michellenoel to Travel & Transportation around Nashville, TN (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I go to Nashville a few times a year, and generally from the places I am, I find Southwest to be the cheapest (I hate Southwest's seating system, so this is the only time I use them). If they fly out of Reno, it's worth checking. Their flights don't show up on Expedia (not sure about hotwire).
posted by primethyme at 11:51 AM on September 26, 2012

Flyertalk is populated by frequent fliers and other travel nerds. It's a great place to ask your question. Pay particular attention to "churning" discussions -- if you have good credit and are okay with signing up for a series of different credit cards, you can easily get 2-3 free flights every year through credit card promos. Beyond that, set up fare alerts at the site of your choice (I like Kayak) so that you'll get emails when fares drop on the route that you're commonly flying.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:52 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

RNO is killing you. It looks like Delta on Orbiz is $437.50 RT if you travel on Saturday.

Have you thought about driving down to SAC? That gets the price down to $297.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:55 AM on September 26, 2012

Oh, or fly out of Sacramento. Sure, it's a drive, but a quick Kayak search shows that you might be looking at saving $200 or so on each trip that way.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:56 AM on September 26, 2012

Not specific to any airlines, but what about getting something like a Capital One card that gives you double miles and no blackout dates? Use it for purchasing your flights (plus everyday expenses if you can) and eventually, you should have enough points to get a couple free flights.
posted by ejazen at 12:04 PM on September 26, 2012

Tangential, but if you're doing the sign-up-for-lots-of-credit-cards thing, don't cancel them as soon as you've gotten the freebie they offer. It can hurt your credit rating.
posted by resurrexit at 12:08 PM on September 26, 2012

Southwest doesn't list its fares on expedia or the like, and they often end up being competitive with, if not better than, the discount sites. You get bare-bones service, but I've found them to be reliable (and there's no checked-baggage fee).

Also, plan your trips as far in advance as possible, and check for sale events regularly.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:14 PM on September 26, 2012

If you wind up doing Southwest, make sure to sign up for their Rewards program. It's actually pretty good, or was when I had occasion to fly them.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:23 PM on September 26, 2012

Response by poster: I have just signed up for the SW rewards program, so that may end up being my best route, along with watching for their sales. I'm avoiding new credit cards like the plague. At first I thought that the Sacramento idea might work (thanks!), but if there were snow in the mountains, we couldn't get through and I would miss my flight.

Thanks everyone. I'll think I'll mark my question as resolved and see how it goes with SW.
posted by michellenoel at 12:27 PM on September 26, 2012

I've had luck with Bing Travel giving me information on when rates will be going up or down. They have a little app that shows you the best time to purchase.
posted by blurker at 12:29 PM on September 26, 2012

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