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South America is a region emerging as one of the more desirable international travel destinations. Air fares to the region remain relatively high, but air travel within the continent can be a bargain. 

 

Several strategies which can save a significant amount of money for travel to and thru South America are discussed at the links below:

  • Internet Sale Fares Opodo and other major travel sites have negotiated special fares to South America.

  • Low fare Airlines: use our low fare airline locator to see which discount airlines service your destination

  • Consolidators Several consolidators offer some bargains to South American destinations.

  • Airport Web Sites: Many times the airport you are traveling to will provide valuable money saving advise.

  • Seasonal Fares Save by knowing when the fares go up, leaving a day earlier could save a great deal.

  • Back to Back Ticketing  discover how to buy two tickets for less than one and see even more of South America

  • Children and Senior Fares Which airlines offer discounts and how much.

  • Student Fares: Several companies offer programs for students, teachers and some youths.

  • Auction Sites Several auctions sites have begun selling tickets offering tremendous savings

  • Packaged Deals  sometimes offer better prices than the airline ticket alone.

  • Air Passes This region offers many air pass programs with great values being extended.

  • Around the World Fares The dream of many may cost far less than you imagined.

  • Last Minute Bookings strategies for finding the lowest fare when you must depart quickly.

  • Travel Agents still offer a valuable service and if you are not satisfied talk to one, many time they can help.

South American Low-Fare Airlines

 

The competition is heating up in South America and a host of new airlines offering outstanding values have started service recently. Many of these airlines offer fares so low they are not noted in standard internet search engines. To see which cities are served please use Lowfare Airline Locator.

 

Internet Sale Fares

More than a dozen major booking engines are listed to the left of this paragraph. Each travel site will open in a new window for a quick comparison of who offers the best deal. Orbitz, enjoys a special relationship with several South American airlines and offers extremely competitive web fares. This is an area where Back to Back and Onward ticketing options works very well. For more information on the web fare search companies please use: Fare Search Engine page.

Many major airlines offer promotional fares at their websites; and they rarely share these fares with the search engines listed above. The airlines sell  tickets directly to the public; called by a variety of names, the unpublished fares are many times the lowest airfares available.  Two web sites with consistently low fares to South America are Taca, and Lan Chile.

Unsure which airline services your destination please use our timetable search page which also provides direct links to all the airlines. You may also display a list of each countries airlines by highlighting the country name in the drop down menu of this sites airline search page. This feature will view each airlines web site, route network and the promotional fares currently offered from the airlines.   Smarter Living is a great site that lists last minute deals from the major carriers each week.

Airport Web Sites

World Airport Locator Tool: Airports offer advise to travelers that can save a great deal of money.  Many have begun offering discount airline sections and most will provide information as to which airline service a particular city.  Sometimes a lesser known airport in a city may be serviced by smaller discount airlines unknown to most airports.  The link at the top of this section will investigate all the airports of a particular city or country.

Consolidators

 

Travel agencies sometimes known as "bucket shops" or "consolidators" frequently buy tickets in volume from airlines they have a relationship with. These tickets are sold at a significant discount and can save the consumer a great deal of money over normal fares. A few companies have begun selling tickets over the internet and many times the fares they offer are even lower than some Fare Sales.

Economy Travel is our favorite company for discount airline tickets to South America but three other companies to consider are Cheap Tickets,  Discountfares, and  One Travels White Label offerings.

 
Seasonal Fares

 

International travel to South America can be a bargain most of the year but for summer travel can be more expensive.  The summer season starts on different dates for each airline and destination. Check fares rules list at Travelocity for better understanding of when lower fares exist.

 
Back to Back Ticketing

 

Competition between airlines in South America has increased between North and South America where some great savings can be found.  Unfortunately other regions of the world still encounter very high prices for travel to this continent.

Usually it is less expensive if you live in Europe, Asia or the South Pacific to buy one ticket to a bargain priced North American city like New York or Miami and another ticket to the South American destination. 

Children and Senior Fares

While South American domestic airfares offer a host of discounts, International fares originating from North America are offering fewer incentives. Many airlines no longer offer any discount on fares from the U.S. to South America, even to children under the age of twelve.  Some airlines still offer some  markdowns (in fact one airline still has a 50% discount for children under the age of 12) and if you are looking to travel with your children it is best to do some extra research and find a family friendly airline.  

Senior discounts are less common today than ever before and sale fares are usually less expensive. Please use telephone link for airline toll free numbers from North America.

Sign up for Smarter Living's FREE monthly Senior Traveler Newsletter and receive timely travel discounts.

Student Fares

 

Many independent consolidators cater to youth, students and even some allow fares to be purchased by teachers. STA Travel is a pioneer and the leading provider of these fares. The fares while somewhat competitive in off seasons can offer substantial savings for travel in Summer and other peak travel times.  Travelocity has a section dedicated to these fares and ISE Cards also has some great offerings in the Student flight section of the web page.

 

Find money-saving discounts just for students from spring break trips to weekend getaways, in Smarter Living's monthly Student Traveler Newsletter! Click here to subscribe for FREE.

 

Auction Sites

 

SkyAuction.com is a great site and many times offer airline and packaged deals for travel to a few African destinations. This site has offered some tremendous savings on Safari Packages as well as South African Airline tickets, and should be investigated by anyone seriously interested in less expensive travel to Africa.  

Priceline has long engineered extensive consumer savings, but you must first be aware of what  price to offer.  If you have tried all the methods above and are still not satisfied with the lowest price you received, you may submit a bid to Priceline.

You could try a bid as low as twenty-five percent below the lowest price you are aware of, but seldom are these bids accepted.  We have seen bids ten percent below the lowest price accepted, and it is worth a try. A great site for trying to determine what your bid should be is Bidding for travel, where information about recently accepted bids is available

E bay has expanded its travel section recently and sometimes offers outstanding values although we have not seen many offers for travel to Africa.

The above sites are auction sites and your bid is binding, you will be required to pay the charges once the bid is accepted.  Make certain you know how much the airline tickets are worth before you bid at the above sites.  Remember your bid is not an inquiry like the other sites mentioned above.  Your bid  is a binding contract to purchase the tickets!

 

Auction Sites

 

These flights are extremely restricted but if you can actually meet all the requirements,  they are some of the least expensive tickets available.  You will be expected to give up most of your luggage space in return for this low cost ticket.  Usually you will have to join an organization that will provide you with availability information. Please make yourself aware of all the restrictions before purchasing a ticket this way. A search of the words air courier will display many organizations that offer this fare.  Many people have reported problems with this type of travel and a thorough investigation of the company should be conducted.

 

Packaged Deals

 

Many times packaged deals, a combination of hotel, car rental and airfare are less expensive than the airfare alone. Surprisingly some Safari packages are  less expensive than just the airfare. InfoHub  supplies a variety of bargain packages and more appear in the Travel Deals section of this web site.

Many of us shy away from packaged vacations because we feel the tours are heavily restricted. Most of the tours do not limit the length of the stay to just the number of nights proposed by the package.  In most cases you may be able to stay longer for no additional costs. Many times the restrictions on air travel for packaged tours are less than discount airfares.

 

Air Passes

 

Air passes are prevalent in this region and offer spectacular money saving opportunities. We have dedicate an entire page to the fares: please use the South America Air Pass link for more details..

 

Around the World Fares

Around the World tickets are priced at very low rates in this region and for residents of South America but which country to begin travel can make a significant impact on the price. The fares require travel across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Traveling in Business or First class, these tickets many times offer great values to everyone.  Many different "Around the World" fares exist and are discussed in great detail at the link listed above. These fares offer a wonderful opportunity for those who wish to visit an extensive array of destinations.

Travel Agents

 

Talk to a travel agent, many of them are well informed and may have special knowledge of some consolidator fares not listed here. Unfortunately the airlines have cut commissions on airfares to such modest levels that most travel agents no longer wish to book agendas for air travel only. Most travel agents may not even be able to find a fare as low as the one you have been quoted.

 

If you tell the agent, you have already performed an exhaustive Internet search; they may not be very interested in helping. Almost certainly additional fees will be added to any ticket price.

 

Last Minute Bookings

The fares from Hotwire offer outstanding value and should be considered if you must commence travel within a few days.  Usually this site will not allow bookings within three days for international travel. Smarter Living  posts the internet travel deals offered by the major U.S. and a few international airlines each week and some outstanding values can be found to many Asian destinations.  Most of these fares require travel be started within a two week time period.

If you have encountered an emergency and need to travel quickly please use Emergency Travel link.

 

 

 
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