Travel Arbitrage/Hacking is our core specialty at PremiumCabin.Deals and this comes in many forms but Arbitrage can be categorized into four major types:

A) Mixed Tickets

B) City Specific

C) Hidden City

D) Flexible Trip

A) Mixed Tickets

Travel Hacking allows passengers to fly to certain destinations with a side trip or detour in order to get some massive savings.

Traveling during 2023 to Europe, you could expect at times to spend $3000 or $4000 on a round-trip, but add a mini-trip to for instance Egypt and you can pay just over $2000 as in this example: Chicago to Munich with a side of Egypt

TAP and Turkish are known for having very competitive airfares from North America to Europe. In the case of Turkish it is due to a mix of currency devaluations and the extra time flown which makes them less competitive than non-stop options from the East Coast.

You can also build your own RTW (Round the World), which combines two or more separate tickets in Business Class to get some great deals, such as:

Europe to Australia from ~€2234 which if flown directly the layovers can be rough with 7+ hour connections at times, that's why this is best used as an inspiration to visit multiple regions by building in stopovers and spend additional days in the Middle East (Jeddah), Singapore (easy access to Southeast Asia) or spend times along the thousands of islands that make up the Philippines. 

Same technique can be used to travel from New York to Australia from $3400 and spend time in the Middle East, South East Asia and Philippines while still enjoying a trip to Australia. Simple flights from Europe to Australia via India are usually available for €2600.

Or what about France to New Zealand with stopovers in the United States and Japan from €3209.

We know these tricks and share many of them on our site, but feel free to outreach and our team can help!

Just a heads up, when planning these trips add in time as in a day or two between major flights to account for any potential delays.

B) City-Specific Arbitrage:

Certain cities are dominated by a "hometown carrier" London with British Airways, Frankfurt or Munich with Lufthansa, Madrid with Iberia, Paris with Air France and Amsterdam with KLM.  This gives them a natural advantage in frequent flyer base numbers and contracts with local business partners. But it leads to significant premiums on non-stops flights!

At the same time this creates an opportunity for carrier neutral smart travelers.

Let's use this airfare as an example: Amsterdam (AMS) to New York (EWR/JFK) 

How does this reflect on normal travel? If we take a sample flight in February, purchased more than 30 days before the flight...

Ex. Amsterdam to New York on February 9 returning on the 14th.

But if we are to insert a flight on Lufthansa via FRA (Frankfurt) and still have a non-stop return flight from NYC to Amsterdam (AMS) the price drops to just 1820 USD.

Based upon this example we can see that the dominant carrier KLM partnering with Delta and Air France (all of these are TATL JV Partners so they share revenue from their flights based on confidential % ratios).

Savvy or flexible flyers can encounter savings of 60% or more by adding a segment on Lufthansa or United and taking advantage of lower overall fares.

Other examples include departing out of markets such as the Nordic Countries, which have significantly lower fares than markets such as the United Kingdom or Germany.

Egypt, Sri Lanka and Burma (Myanmar) have had devaluations in the past which led to strong savings. 

Utilizing these techniques, passengers who are flexible can see savings by adding a segment or connection that can save $1000s off a vacation trip. Our team can build itineraries based upon your expected travel patterns and provide recommendations or alternative travel routes that can lead to significant savings and better travel experiences.

C) Hidden City Arbitrage:

Sometimes called Skip-lagging, these are some of the most controversial types of fare arbitration. Many airlines claim that utilizing these opportunities is against the Terms and Conditions of their Contracts of Carriage but in many instances the airlines will not seek to enforce these against one-off users of these types of fares. But there have been several prominent cases in recent months especially with American Airlines which has banned some passengers and sued major sites promoting these types of trips.

The classic example (for US based flyers) is the “Last Segment Hidden City”. All passengers on flights to the USA or that connect in the USA must clear immigration and customs at their first point of entry into the country, with the exception of "pre-cleared" flights that originate in Dublin, Abu Dhabi and most Canadian cities among other destinations. 

If the first point of entry into the USA is JFK, ORD, EWR, IAD, etc. and have a connection you must clear immigration and claim your bags.  This presents a valuable opportunity for passengers willing to "break" T&Cs.

JFK-LHR and then LHR-JFK-XXX may be cheaper than a Round Trip from JFK to LHR.

Just another heads up, United in recent years has been allowing direct luggage connections at certain airports such as Houston so this might no longer be valid.

These types of deals are popular with travelers seeking to take advantage of fare differences between markets as even amateur travelers can take advantage of these fare arbitration opportunities with low risks as all luggage must be collected in the USA. It goes without saying that this does not work the other way around, if you fly from JFK to LHR and have an additional segment to XXX, your luggage will end up at XXX and if you miss the flight all further segments will be canceled.

Now, how does this apply to Premium Cabin Deals? 

Let's use this fare (Hidden City fare: HELsinki to MIAmi viaISTanbul (and JFK or ORD) ) as an example.

In this case, the carrier Turkish Airlines published a fare from Helsinki to Miami. The carrier does not operate this flight non-stop, instead via its base in Istanbul. But the fare allowed passengers to route via New York (JFK) or Chicago (ORD) and then continue their travels on another carrier to the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. Savvy passengers who lived in the Chicago or New York area could book this fare, accumulate enough miles to obtain status with certain Star Alliance carriers and save significantly when compared to other airlines in that market.

D) Flexible Trip Arbitrage: 

This type of arbitrage works best for business travelers with predictable travel patterns.

For instance, if flying between LGA – ORD on a Monday to Thursday pattern. Instead of weekly tickets it can be cheaper to use “Back to Back” or layered tickets.

  • Ticket 1: LGA-ORD Monday Week 1

  • Ticket 2: ORD-LGA Thursday Week 1

  • Ticket 2: LGA-ORD Monday Week 2

  • Ticket 1: ORD-LGA Thursday Week 2

These two tickets LGA-ORD-LGA and ORD-LGA-ORD stacked in this manner might be more affordable than two tickets LGA-ORD-LGA on Week 1 and 2. This takes advantage of the fact that many fares have a Saturday night stay requirements.

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