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One of my specialties is finding inexpensive plane tickets. It’s how I got started really, because once I started to travel, I quickly got addicted. Travel really can be addictive and I have many friends who feel the same way.

Delta Air Lines aircraft at LAX.On top of being addicted to travel, I also became obsessed with flying in business or first class. Once you get a taste of the good life, or a lie-flat seat, in this case, it’s hard to go back to the little legroom and slight recline of economy seating. It’s also why I created the word ‘econophobia’, which I definitely have.

I have a lot of tricks for finding cheap airfare, which you can read here: 17 ways for to find cheap flights. One of those tips is to set fare alerts so you know when a fare drops on the route or specific flight you want. I do this before and even after I book tickets because if a fare drops, you can get a credit as long as you don’t buy a Basic Economy fare.

My wife recently saw that one of our contributors, Melissa Curtin, had written about a unique way that she was able to get some money back in the form of a credit for a ticket she’d already purchased.

Here’s Melissa’s tip:

Whenever I book airfare, I set a Google Alert to let me know if the price drops in the future. I recently needed a last-minute flight and there were few options, so I booked a one-way from Los Angeles to Panama for almost $800, which I was not happy to pay. Then I searched for the itinerary on Google Flights and clicked the “Track Prices” option on the top right-hand corner to monitor the pricing and receive emails when the fare drops. RELATED: How to track airfares by signing up for fare alerts

Sure enough, less than a day later, the price I paid had decreased by almost $200, so I contacted Delta’s Virtual Assistant via text and in minutes, they refunded the difference in price onto my credit card since it was less than 24 hours since purchase. A few days later, I received a new alert that the ticket price had decreased again. Another text to Delta and an eCredit appeared in my account for the difference, since my ticket was nonrefundable but changeable. That’s a total of $250 total saved. Cha-ching!

I have personally only tried this approach with Delta Air Lines, but it’s likely to work with any airline that allows ticket changes for free, as long as you didn’t purchase a basic economy fare. Plus, all domestic flights (from all airlines) are fully refundable within 24 hours of purchase, as long as the ticket was purchased at least seven days or more in advance of departure. It’s my understanding that American Airlines, United, JetBlue and Southwest all offer methods to receive a travel credit for the price difference.


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