I'm not sure if I mentioned this yet but my friend Robby and I are flying to NYC for a long long weekend (a long weekend would be like a Friday to a Monday but we're leaving on Wednesday so I think the extra "long" fits in there). Robby and I are visiting our other friend Laura, who is a sophisticated citified lady that has been living in Manhattan for years now. We are leaving Wednesday afternoon. Yee-haw!

In looking at the bus/train schedules and budgets about a month ago, we actually ended up booking a flight  since they are fairly cheap now (our tickets were $250 round trip). I still think the rush of booking a plane ticket can top any high out there, but I did learn a few things in booking this ticket a few weeks ago.

1. Yapta will probably never refund me ever, but it did make me feel better. Yapta is a free fare tracking website. In addition to tracking airfare, if you have already booked a ticket, you can register with the website and if the price drops below a certain point you get a refund on the difference.

So after putting in the information, I see my fare has to drop to $80 before I'd get a cent. (Yeah, like it'll do that!) On the upside, the weekly Yapta email has show the price steadily climbing. It leaves me thinking, well, at least I didn't pay $400 for the ticket I guess…

2. Flexible dates would have rocked. Robby is on a school schedule but looking at the average ticket price the weekend before and the weekend after, we would have saved some money. Oh well, I'd rather have Robby along but it's good to know airlines take advantage of things like school vacations.

3. It's cheap for a reason. Yeah, Laguardia tickets were so much cheaper then JFK…why? Oh, because it's the "far" airport. Oh well, I certainly don't mind a little extra traveling (Laura found us a cheapish car service and even a coupon code for us to use, score!) As with most things, cheap comes with a catch (in our case, some extra travel).

All in all, I could never be one of those last minute standby flight passengers (I'm too type A for that) but it is good to know that some flexibility combined with planning will get me out of town cheaply…and man, could I use this vacation!

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