This morning, I was up early talking travel on WGN Radio with legendary broadcaster Bob Sirott. Since I did two segments, I created an article of everything we talked about as my tips should save you time and money, regardless of whether you live in the Chicago area or not.

How to Save Money on Gas This Summer
Bob asked me about ways to save money on gas. I just so happened to write a post on 9 ways to save money on gas but he did follow up and ask, “What about turning the air conditioner on?” I somehow left that out of my post but you might be surprised to learn that according to the EPA, it actually might be more efficient to turn the AC on than drive on the freeway with the windows down. The EPA has an informative post on the subject with all the variables to see what’s right for you.

New Low Fare Carrier
Fortunately, the producer tipped me off just before I went on that Bob will probably ask me about a new low fare carrier coming to Midway Airport. I did a quick search and was relieved to see it was Avelo Airlines because I was on their inaugural flight last April from Burbank to Sonoma. Here’s what it’s like flying Avelo Airlines. I logged on to their website and learned that starting on May 26, Avelo will be flying to/from New Haven, CT. Although New Haven is just 30 minutes from where I grew up, I have never been to that airport. There’s never been much service and usually just puddle jumpers. NYC airports are just an hour away from Fairfield County so this is going to be a great option and fares start at just $69 each way.

Will the Mask Mandate End?
The federal mask mandate is set to expire on April 18th. Bob asked if the flight attendants want it to end and I said I think it’s split, kind of like the general public these days. I appreciate the mask mandate since there are so many inconsiderate people who fly sick and don’t cover their mouth or nose when they cough or sneeze. I do know that over 70% of the increased air rage incidents were over wearing masks. Thanks to the new BA.2 variant, I think the mandate might be extended by another month but I’m betting it will be over by June 1.

How to Get the Exit Row for Free
Bob asked how to get the exit row for free. I will write a detailed post on this question but these days, it’s difficult. The safest option is to pay the fee in advance since it’s a coveted seat for everyone and frequent fliers get it for free. Your only real chance of snagging one is if the plane is full and they upgrade an elite frequent flier. Always ask the gate agent.

Be Extra Nice to Gate Agents and Flight Attendants
Speaking of the gate agents, I told Bob how I dated a flight attendant for four years, twenty years ago. I learned how difficult their job is, as well as the gate agents … and it’s only gotten more difficult thanks to pay cuts, staff cuts and the pandemic. I almost always bring them a box of chocolates when I travel. Here’s more on the importance of being nice to gate agents and flight attendants.

Don’t Miss Important Emails from Your Airline
We also spoke about the importance of making sure the contact information tied to your reservation is up to date so you don’t miss any flight changes. These days, airlines are changing routes and aircrafts and you don’t want to find out at the last minute that the airline tried to contact you weeks ago. Here are more reasons why you should make sure the contact information tied to your reservation is up to date so you don’t miss any flight notifications.

Airfare Deals
Finally, Bob asked if there are still any deals to be had for this summer? I said it’s getting more and more difficult as  prices are going up thanks to the surging demand (it’s the law of supply and demand). According to airline executives, they’re having their biggest revenue days ever. The CEO of American Airlines said last week: “Demand is enormous right now for air travel. We had last week the 3 highest revenue booking days in our history.” Here are my tips on how get airfare deals from anywhere this summer.

You can listen to my interview here on

1 Comment On "Gas Prices, Exit Row Seats, Airfare Deals and More"
  1. Marlin Yoder|

    Don’t think the country is split evenly on masks, I just flew on four flights and was in three airports in the last three days, and see a lot of people either not wearing masks or wearing them in such a way that can say they are wearing them, but they don’t do anything (not that cloth masks ever did anyhow). I think most people are done with them, we don’t wear them anywhere else, why on an airplane or in an airport?

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