Farther away is often cheaper with Delta.com

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We play a fun game with our dear airline. They try to get as much of our money out of us to move us from A-B and we try to pay as little as we can and get as many perks as we can along the way. This should not really shock us. Who has ever in their life paid sticker price for a new car?

So if you are going to buy a ticket with Delta, you need to know how to play the low price game. Delta will help you “win” most of the time if you know where to start.

Let’s say you want to buy a ticket for Detroit to Paris non-stop. If you search direct you come up with this price below:

But, if you use the search airports up to 100 miles away this way:

from Google maps


Look at the price you get:


We are talking over $300 less! Now the part that makes my head hurt is you are burning more gas to drive to an airport farther away, burning more jet fuel for Delta, Delta has to pay Sky West the regional carrier some of the fare price, and you are flying back to the airport you would rather depart from to begin with! But this is market driven pricing where out of Flint the competition is more than out of Detroit. If you happen to book a tight connection and there is a schedule change, more than likely you can, for free, drop the extra leg if you want to fly direct so keep that in mind as well.

Also, if you are talking about 2 or 3 or more in a family all flying together, you can quickly see how big the cost savings can be when you are willing to put up with a drive before you fly. Not just this, but many times I have found parking can be cheaper away from your home airport. Sometimes hotels offer deals or free parking if you are willing to stay just one night even with a mattress run, that is you only go up to the room, ruffle the sheets, and leave never actually staying in the room, to get the deal.

The lesson from this is: it is up to us to find the best deals. To understand the “logic” behind pricing and why routes are the way they are, and buy the best deal we can find! – René


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  1. Timely post. I need to go to BDL in late June and found it strange that RIC-CVG-BNA-ATL-BDL-DTW-RIC is cheaper than RIC-DTW-BDL roundtrip. It makes zero sense.

  2. We see the same pricing for fares out of O’Hare compared to Milwaukee (which normally means you fly the 20 minute flight to O’Hare to make the original connection). I believe the reason is that American and United may be competing for the passenger out of Flint for flights to Paris. The opposite is true for Milwaukee where United & American are competing for the passenger with Delta who may connect the passenger to their final destination from Detroit or Minneapolis.

  3. If I book a tight connection and there is a schedule change, how do I try to drop the extra leg for free?

  4. But Rene, you need to factor the possibility of delay/cancellation in your trip. If your flight begins with a hub, like DTW, it’s easier to rebook your flight.However if starts with a tiny regional airport, like LAN or AZO, well, you’ll probably spend a day in the airport!

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