Making the Convenience Connection
Gain an advantage most air travelers never know about by using last flight in/first flight out flexibility. You can fly to your connecting airport on the last flight of the day, overnight in that city, and catch the first flight to your destination in the morning.
Let's say you live in Dallas and need to be in New York City for a 10 a.m. meeting Tuesday. Your Monday schedule is full, and you need every available moment in Dallas, even planning to work well into the night. The first Tuesday Dallas-New York departure is at 7 a.m., a time that makes it impossible for you to be on time for your meeting. The last Dallas-New York flight on Monday night departs at 7:40 p.m. Your Monday schedule makes that flight unacceptable. Even if you rushed through your work, you don't want to check in to a New York City hotel at 1 a.m.
Using creative ticketing, you book the last Dallas-Atlanta flight on Monday night, departing at 11 p.m. You lay over at an airport hotel, get a good night's rest, and take the first morning flight to New York. You arrive in plenty of time to make your meeting. In this case, Atlanta is in the same time zone as New York City. It's also a Delta hub and offers frequent flights beginning early enough to get you to Manhattan with time to spare. You don't have to pay the airline extra for the layover because this is considered a connecting flight.
You can also use last flight in/first flight out when low-priced fares to your destination are sold out. Say you want to fly from Orlando to New York City, but the cheapest available seat for a late afternoon flight is $700. There is a $200 fare open on the last flight of the day, because most travelers never even consider an overnight on a connecting flight. By booking that flight, and connecting to a 6 a.m. Atlanta-New York flight with many available seats because it leaves too early for other feeder flights, you've saved $500 minus your airport hotel stay.
Rates at hotels near most hub airports are usually much lower than those in major metropolitan city centers. A $70 overnight near Atlanta Hartsfield sure beats a $225 rate in Manhattan -- a rate you'd have to pay on top of the high roundtrip fare had you opted for the $700 late afternoon flight.
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