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The Pros and Cons of Cheap Flying

What's more important to you? On-board comfort? Ease of payment? Here are the trade-offs for different discount flights.

Airline (sale price) Rebater Consolidator Charter Courier
Affordability $ $ $ 1/2 $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $
Canceled Flight Option Next available flight on any airline Next available flight on any airline May be required to fly only on issuing airline Company must supply plane or flight, long wait possible You are on your own
Amenities Seat assignments and special meals Seat assignments and special meals No seat assignments or special meals Crowded seating and no special meals No seat assignments or special meals
Frequent Flyer Miles Yes Yes Yes No Generally no
Credit Card Payment Allowed Yes Yes Depends on consolidator, may be 3% surcharge Generally yes No
Ticket Restrictions Saturday stayover and 7- to 21-day advance purchase Saturday stayover and 7- to 21-day advance purchase None None Length of stay may be restricted


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