When it comes to helping young people travel, budget airlines are the enabling dealers to our intrepid addictions. The fact that it’s now cheaper to fly to most major capital cities than to buy a whole new outfit is practically criminal, as is the fact that you can fly to Bali for less than the price of a Playstation. And it’s all thanks to our friends Scoot, AirAsia, Tiger, and Jetstar.
However, there is a way to save even more. Yes, save more money off of already rock-bottom fares. And it’s all about holding one company to their word.
Jetstar has a famous price beat guarantee that they stick in all of their ads. The long and short of it is that they’ll beat any competitors’ fare for the same direct route by 10%. The good news is that they’re serious about this. The bad news is that they really bury the method to actually get ahold of this deal.
WHAT DO I DO?
Get ready, because here come the boring details.
There are two things you need to do when you start seeking out this deal. The first is find the flights on the competitor website to where you want to go. Save the URL and note down the time and price.
Then you go to Jetstar’s website and find the comparative flights on their flight search menu. For international flights (except to New Zealand), the flight has to be on the same day. However, for domestic flights or flights between Australia and New Zealand, it has to be within the same hour, either side. So if you’re flight is at 6pm, the biggest difference in time it can have either side is 5:01pm or 6:59pm.
Also important to remember is that – if you are price matching an international flight – both the Jetstar and competitor flights must be direct flights with no stopovers. So no dice if you want to price match any of those cheap Japan fares that do a fuel stop at Cairns, but direct flights to Bali or Phuket are fair game.
After you have all that info under your belt, you go to the bottom of their page and find the (very small) link to their price beat guarantee page. Or just click here. I’m not your dad. There, you’ll find a button to start a live online chat with their customer service team. Give them the details of the Jetstar flight and the one you want them to beat, and if they say it’s good to go, voila! Cheaper fares.
SO WAIT, HOW MUCH WILL I SAVE?
Potentially: a whole damn lot.
See, Jetstar are cool to price match sale fares, as long as they’re available to the general public and not hidden behind a frequent flyer program or something.
So if your flight from Melbourne to Brisbane return, each way, was $50 with a competitor during a sale, you would have paid $100 with that airline.
But, if you followed the details above, you’d get 10% each way, plus no booking fee. Meaning your entire return flight would be $90. Use that $10 to get yourself a lunch, mate!
WHAT’S THE CATCH?
There’s little point to doing this if Jetstar’s flights are actually cheaper, which is a good thing when you think about it. Also, like death and taxes, there’s a tonne more terms and conditions to inevitably go through, including the usual “checked baggage is not included” clause that comes with every cheap flight ever. In addition, any mandatory surcharges and taxes are still applicable. And, of course, if you’re keen on the creature comforts of a conventional airline, maybe this deal (and budget flying in general) is not for you.
But for everyone else? There is no reason to ever pay full price for flights ever again.
*The above article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent financial advice before making any financial decisions.