How Cheap Flight Alerts Work (and Why Your Next Vacation Depends On It) – Episode 151

How cheap flight alerts work. Everything you need to know about flight deal alerts.
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Following the flight deals is one of the core strategies I’ve used to afford travel. Cheap flight alerts have helped me save between 40-90% on airfare, and it was often the inspiration I needed to keep my finances organized to seize time-sensitive travel opportunities. Flight deal subscriptions might be the game-changer you’ve been missing, but I get it—you might be skeptical, so I’m breaking down how flight deal subscriptions work, how they can benefit you, and why they are the golden ticket to travel experiences you’ve been overlooking. 

Keep reading or listen to the podcast episode here.

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Danielle Desir Corbett: Have you ever felt FOMO when your friends brag about scoring these crazy flight deals? Well, let's be real here because I'm that friend finding the crazy flight deals and bragging about it. Well, I better be because the skies are calling, guys, and I'm telling you to pick up the phone. As many of you know, or will soon find out, I'm quite literally obsessed with flight deals, cheap flights, airfares, or mistake fares. I know I have a little bit of accent when I say air. but mistake fares, flash sales, you name it. You name it. All right. Following the flight deals is one of the core strategies that I've used to afford to travel. For a long time, I wouldn't fly to Europe for anything over $350 from New York City. By the way, that's become rare these days, but still. I've seen flights to Havana, Cuba from $190 starting out. I've seen flights to Calgary, Canada from $189 from like 20 plus cities. I've seen flights to Mexico cities for $137. I mean, I've seen I've seen all different types of flight deals and these cheap flight alerts have helped me save between 40 to 90% on airfare. And it was often the inspiration that I needed to keep my finances in order so that I could seize those opportunities, those time-sensitive travel opportunities. This meant that I always had to have some money in my travel fund. And so, you know, I created a system that ensures travel was always a financial priority, regardless of what was happening in my life, whether that's paying off debt, paying off student loan debt, buying a house, paying for retirement. No matter what, travel has and will always be a financial priority for me. And again, I created these systems to support that. If you don't have a travel fund yet, please go back and listen to episode number two, because I break it all down there. The links will also be in the show notes. So flight deal subscriptions might be the game changer that you've been missing. But, you know, I get it. You might be a little skeptical. So in this episode, I'm partnering with Thrifty Traveler to share how flight deal subscriptions work, how they can benefit you, and why they are the golden ticket to travel experiences and opportunities you may have been overlooking. Now, if Thrifty Traveler sounds familiar, that's because I've partnered with them in the past, and I'm so excited to have them on board again as a sponsor of the podcast, which means go check them out. I am a big, big, big fan, and we even had founder Jared Kamrowski join us on the podcast in episode number 70. The link to listen to that episode, all on Finding Cheap Flights, will be in the show notes as well. So together with Thrifty Traveler, we are partnering on a three-part flight deal series to ring in the new year. So if you're not already following the podcast, do it now because we're about to go all the way in. As Financially Savvy Travelers, we value smart money decisions. That's why I've been a loyal Thrifty Traveler Premium subscriber for nearly six years. It's my go-to resource for finding cheap flights since 2018 because who likes to pay full price for flights? Not I. Not me. With Thrifty Traveler Premium, you'll get instant email alerts for cheap flights departing from the U.S. and Canada. Plus, your subscription includes notifications about points and miles sales, secret mistake fares, and discounted business and first class tickets. Save $10 on your first year of Thrift Through Traveler Premium using the promo code TC10. Again, that's TC10. Visit slash thrifty and join the 30,000 plus travelers who love their premium flight deal alerts. You can find the link in the episode description below as well. Welcome to the thought card, a podcast about traveling money, where planning, saving and creativity leads to affording travel, building wealth and paying off debt. We are the financially savvy travelers. As I mentioned in the intro, flight deals allowed me to travel to places I have never considered before. It has gifted me more travel opportunities than I could have ever imagined. In my book, We Are Financially Savvy Travelers, we talk about the importance of building up your knowledge base and getting really good, really, really good at one or more areas of expertise. And for me, flight deals are my thing. It's what I enjoy learning about and I invest in tools and resources like flight deal subscriptions to stay in the know. So let's kind of take a step back and talk about what is a flight deal. So a flight deal is a notification that you receive when an airline ticket price drops significantly. Like I mentioned, it can be anywhere from 40 to 90 percent. That is a big, significant jump. And Oftentimes, without these alerts, we wouldn't know about it. So these flight deals can look like flash sales, they can look like special promotions that airlines are running, or it can look like a mistake fare. I want you to know that these flight deals are time sensitive. Seats in these aircrafts are limited. So you really have to act fast. And you can imagine all these people, thousands of people, millions of people who have access to these flight deal subscriptions are seeing it at the same time. So we're all excited about a deal and we're all trying to book. So I want you to know that these flight deals are time sensitive. So when you see something that you want to go after, Go for it. Act fast. These flight deals are typically found via email. This is the most common. You'll get like an email notification. You may also follow these different subscription services on social media and they may send out a social post so you could follow these accounts on social and that may be a way that you can learn about them as well. And then a lot of these paid services offer this exclusive benefit of text messages. So for example, yesterday was Cyber Monday and Thrifty Traveler Premium sent me over a text message alert. and they told me, hey, thrifty traveler unicorn alert, exclamation mark, Delta One to Japan is 85,000 sky miles each way. Book this via Delta ASAP. Dates are from January to March, limited cities, email to follow. So this is fantastic because maybe you're not looking at your email right now, but you are looking at your phone and you get this text message ping And you're like, oh my gosh, I've been wanting to go to Japan and I've been wanting to fly with Delta One. And this is the time. I have the points and miles. Let's do it. Right. So there are a number of ways that you can receive these deals. But again, email is most common. But I personally, I love the text messages. And I want you to also know that Thrifty Traveler Premium doesn't just text you all the deal alerts. They typically text you like these unicorns, like this is super rare. We absolutely want you to know about this, so go look at it. Okay, so we talked about delivery, and I also just want you to know that sometimes these deal alerts may come through the airlines. So sometimes the airlines are gonna share them, but oftentimes we're finding them through these flight deal alert subscriptions that specialize in helping us to be in the know and find these deals, all right? So let's talk about how long do these deals last? They can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. It just depends on how many people are booking at the moment. However, I will always recommend to assume that these deals will not last. So act fast. Oftentimes, I will see a flight deal, I text my friends, I text my family members, and I'm like, hey, y'all, this is happening. We got to do this now. You in for these dates or you're not in. And it's so funny, like, it's like become common practice now where everyone knows like Danielle is finding the deal for us. And when she hits us up, we got to be ready. Either it's a yes right now or it's a no right now. Because again, that window of opportunity closes as those tickets and those seats get booked up. All right. So let's talk about some of the flight deal benefits. Like what's the benefit of receiving these fare alerts? So the first benefit is going to be cost savings. Undoubtedly, when you are receiving these flight deal alerts, you're going to be paying a fraction of the ticket price when you are booking those flights. So that 40 to 90% off is real. And those are real savings that you will get when you are taking action and you're booking these flight deals. But also there's a time savings component as well, where it saves you time, a lot of time on research. I wouldn't even honestly, you know, I love to travel and I do this for a living, but I wouldn't even begin to know how to find these deals manually on my own. And honestly, I don't have the time to do it. So what I love about these flight deal alerts is that they'll let you know immediately when they find a good deal. And they have the discretion to know the difference between a good deal and a great deal, which we talked about in the last episode, right? Flight deals are also unpredictable. and they can happen at any time. So it's really, really, really helpful to be in the know and this is what those flight deal subscriptions do. They let you know immediately when something is on sale and it's worth checking out and now you can go and decide if you wanna take advantage of it or not. Let's talk about the travel dates when it comes to flight deals. There are, I would say, differences in the quality of these different types of subscriptions. There are free ones and there are paid ones, right? Which we'll talk about in a second, but the reliable flight deal subscription services, they're gonna share flight alerts for deals that are far in advance and not last minute deals, okay? Last minute deals are typically the ones where it's like, hey, you gotta travel in a couple of weeks or in a month from now. That is maybe unrealistic for a lot of people who have jobs, nine to five jobs, who have families. Many times it's unrealistic for us to jump on a last minute deal. However, if we see flight deals out for six months, eight months, nine months out, that becomes more realistic. We can plan, we can ask for vacation time, we can get babysitters, we can plan the family vacation around that. I really want you to understand that these flight deals are not last minute. For example, Thrifty Traveler never shares last minute fares. They only share deals that are up to 11 months in advance, which I love. I love that because, again, life be lifing. And although I love to travel, I can't always just pack up and go. So I love that I can book far in advance. If I'm not mistaken, I remember hearing the founder of Thrifty Traveler, Jared Kamrowski, talking about how if he couldn't share the deal with his mom and it's an advance enough for her to book it, he wouldn't share it with his customers and his community. So that's something I remember him saying somewhere. I think I listened to a podcast, he said that. Maybe he even said it on my podcast. I don't remember exactly, but I remember that. And I love that, right? Like if he wouldn't share that with his loved ones, he wouldn't share it with us, which I value. And I feel like that's super, like, I appreciate that so, so, so, so much. Also, these reliable flight deal subscription services, they're going to share with you instructions on how to book the deal. They'll tell you which airlines to book with, and they'll even share with you like pre-filled out Google flight links, for example, where you can go and search for that deal and quickly book, right? When we get these deal alerts, we don't want to be fumbling around. So I love that these services, what they do is they make it easy for us where we can literally search for a flight, Super easy, they pre-fill a lot of this out. And again, that's the difference between like a reliable deal subscription and one that is like not as reliable, I would say. Okay, so look for ones that are sharing instructions on how to book the flight deal. And of course, we know Thrifty Traveler Premium, they do that. So you're all set when it comes to that. Also, when it comes to flight deals, what we're looking for is no budget airlines. OK, we're not looking for budget airlines. They have their own processes. They have their own different types of deals. And that's a completely different category. When we're looking at flight deals, we're typically looking at American Airlines and Delta or United. No budget airlines. OK, so that's something that is really important and differentiate between what you will be finding. Sometimes, you know, for the ones that are less reliable, they will share with you budget airlines. But for the most part, these, again, like I mentioned, these are like the American Delta, the United. So that's something that I love about them. Also, American Delta United, you can use your points and miles, you can stack on points through your loyalty program. So there are a lot of perks and benefits with these airlines, right? So that's something to note as well. And I mentioned this briefly, but there are free services and they're also paid services, right? What's the difference between the free and the paid? Well, each one is a little bit different. So you definitely want to make sure you're reading and understanding like what they're going to provide you. But typically speaking, you're going to get more deals when you go with a paid service and you're going to get like these really cool perks like being able to pick your departure airports, multiple departure airports, and getting these exclusive text alerts like the one for Japan, which I just literally got yesterday. All right. So I paid for a handful of cheap flight alert subscriptions, and honestly, I would not have it any other way. I let these flight deals find me versus me going out and searching for these deals. All right. So those are the benefits, the time savings, the cost savings, the travel dates are far in advance. You're going to have links to be able to go out and find and book that deal really, really quickly. You don't have to worry about flying with budget airlines because they're going to be sending you deals from like American and Delta and United and all those other ones. And, you know, there's more deals. There's more deals when you go with the premium or the paid services. All right. So that is all the benefits. So let's talk about some of the cons as well. Right. Like we have to talk about the cons because Let's be real, you know, we have to be just and fair. There are pros and there are also cons. So one of the cons is that you're going to get a lot of emails and it's easy to get overwhelmed. So I recommend organizing your inbox, automating things and deleting what you don't need. often, all right? So you want to create a system for yourself where you can organize, streamline, review, and delete because you're going to get a lot, which we love. We love getting a lot of deals, but again, your inbox may need some TLC, tender love and care. Also, this is not Pokemon. You don't have to catch them all. You will see a lot of deals come across your desk, and you have to be disciplined to pursue the deals that are of most interest to you, whether it's a trip that you have planned or it's something that you're really, really interested and committed to. I mentioned this in previous episodes, but I am really interested in going back to Bermuda for my third trip. and I've been following flights to Bermuda to see flight prices. And unfortunately, I haven't had much luck. But recently I did get an email notification about a fair sale to Bermuda. So I see, like I mentioned, I said, I see multiple deals anywhere from like one deal to three deals plus a day. And I'm not going to book every single deal that I see, of course, but I'm definitely going to book the Bermuda. I'm definitely going to book the standout ones and the places that I truly want to go to. Those are the ones that I'm really, really keeping an eye out for. Now, this is a helpful tip. In my book, We Are Financially Savvy Travelers, we talk about flight price baselines, right? We talk about understanding a good deal versus a great deal. And one of the things that I use these flight deal subscriptions for is to figure out that baseline, right? I know how much flights typically cost. And because I see these deals so often, I know typically how much it's going to cost to get to Puerto Rico, or how much it's going to cost to get to Europe, or how much it's going to cost to get to Toronto or someplace in Canada. So you could use these flight deal subscriptions to be a more informed traveler to create that baseline so you know, and you know personally, when you stumble within like a good deal, a great deal, and all of those, again, all those little nuances. But those are the cons. You're gonna get lots of emails, maybe one to three plus a day. So don't get overwhelmed, just figure out a system for your inbox and do not feel like you have to book everything. Our finances are limited anyway, so I know we're not going to be booking everything, but I just have to say it. I have to say it out loud. You want to have discernment and really pursue the deals that make sense to you and that are interesting to you. So overall, flight deal subscriptions are a trusted companion looking out for you. When airline prices drop, you'll be amongst the first to know about it. I'm a big fan because of the ease and the convenience and the expertise that's built in behind the scenes. And like I said, I am more than happy to pay for this type of service. Because you know what? All it takes is one deal. All I need to do is book one flight and get those savings and that flight subscription will pay for itself. And even when I wasn't traveling during the pandemic, for example, I wasn't taking flights at all. I still kept my subscription because a couple things, reasons. Number one, the price is locked in, so I didn't want to be subject to price increases. But number two, I knew that one day I'll be able to travel again and I wanted to stay in the know. I wanted to know those baseline price. And I wanted to know what fares are going on sale, typically speaking. So it's a very powerful research tool. And again, it will keep you informed. So I'm more than happy to pay this annual fee. So for me, it's been worth it. And that's why personally, I've been with Thrifty Traveler Premium for the last six years, all right? So in this episode, my goal was to equip you with this knowledge because you aren't just a traveler, you are a deal-snatching, financially savvy traveler. And I love to see it, honestly, I really, really do. Thank you so much for tuning into another episode. Before we head out though, I really want to quickly shout out Vancouver Tony, who recently left a review that says, wonderful travel podcast. Honestly, one of the best honest travel podcasts available. Danielle's advice on budgeting and how it can be applied to your travels is invaluable. anyone with an interest in traveling their own way should listen to this podcast. Thank you so much Vancouver, Tony. I appreciated that review and I think what meant the most to me is when you said that this podcast is all about traveling your own way. And I love that. We're all different. And my goal with this podcast is to illuminate different strategies that people are using to travel on their own terms and to also keep an eye on your finances and ultimately build wealth. That to me is so important. Traveling your own way. Okay. I'm going to put that frame that and put it on my wall because it literally captures what this show is all about. We also got another five-star review from Anthony from About That Wallet who says, Danielle, your voice is easy to listen to and your stories leave me wanting more. Keep up the great work. I appreciate it, Anthony. Thank you so, so much for taking the time to leave me a rating and a five-star rating, by the way, and a review. So here's why reviews are so important. Your reviews signal to potential new listeners that this podcast is worth their time. So if you feel like this podcast is worth other people's time, please take a moment, maybe when you're listening to our next episode, to share your thoughts in a rating or a review. A rating, literally, you'll figure out what stars you want to give and just click a button. And if you want to leave me a few words, you can go ahead and do that. leaving a review. Either way, I really do appreciate it. Leaving a review is an easy way to support my work and it doesn't cost a thing. Not a dime, not a penny. It's a free way to support my work. Now, that is all for this one. I will catch you in part two of the flight deal series. A special thank you again to Thrifty Traveler for partnering with me on this episode and the next two coming forward as well. and I'll see you all soon. Bye!

Listen to learn:

  • How flight deal subscriptions work
  • Why cheap flight alerts are important for saving money on travel

We also discuss:

  • [6:08] Types of flight deals, such as flash sales and mistake fares
  • [11:27] Differences between reliable and less reliable flight deal subscriptions
  • [14:07] Benefits of cheap flight alerts
  • [16:43] Flight deal subscription disadvantages and things to keep in mind

About Our Sponsor – Thrifty Traveler

We’ve partnered with Thrifty Traveler in the past, and I’m so excited to have them on board again, which means go check them out; I’m a big fan and even had founder Jared Kamrowski join me on the podcast in Episode 70 on how to find cheap flights with Thrifty Traveler Premium.

Listen to that episode here or on your favorite podcast player.

As financially savvy travelers, we value smart money decisions. That’s why I’ve been a loyal Thrifty Traveler Premium subscriber for nearly six years. It’s my go-to resource for finding cheap flights since 2018 because who likes to pay full price for flights? 

With Thrifty Traveler Premium, you’ll get instant email alerts for cheap flights departing from the US and Canada. Plus, your subscription includes cheap flight notifications about points and miles sales, secret mistake fares, and discounted business and first-class tickets.

How to get alerts for cheap flights?

Save $10 on your first year of Thrifty Traveler Premium using promo code ‘TC10.’ Click on the link if you want to be notified of cheap flights.

What You Need To Know About Flight Deal Subscriptions

Listen to this episode on YouTube!

What is a flight deal? 

Flight deals are notifications you receive when airline ticket prices drop significantly. They can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, including flash sales, special promotions, or error fares (a.k.a. mistake fares). Click here to learn all about mistake fares and how to find them.

For travelers looking to save money on their flights, these subscriptions provide regular updates, equipping you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions as well as cost savings and time savings.

Instead of constantly searching for deals, rely on subscription services to notify you of relevant offers. Use that precious time to live your life or focus on other aspects of travel planning.

Find these deals through specialty flight deal alert subscriptions like Thrifty Traveler or through the airlines. Here are some other important things to know about flight deals.

1. Flight deals are time-sensitive.

When it comes to flight deals, time is of the essence. When a deal is shared, thousands have access to it, so everyone is trying to book it at the same time. Seats in these aircrafts are limited, therefore, it is crucial to act fast.

2. Most deals are shared via email.

Subscribers of flight deal alert services typically receive email notifications about these deals. Deals may also be shared on social media. The most exclusive memberships share text message airfare alerts, providing immediate notification for those who may not check their emails regularly.

How long do flight deals last? 

Depending on how many people are booking, they can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Always assume that the deal won’t last. Act fast! 

Flight Deal Advantages

1. Cost savings: One of the benefits of receiving alerts for flight deals is the cost savings. By taking advantage of these deals, travelers can pay a fraction of the regular ticket price, saving anywhere from 40% to 90%.

“All it takes is one deal. All I need to do is book one flight and get those savings and that flight subscription paid for itself.”

Danielle Desir Corbett

2. Time savings: Receiving flight deal alerts saves time on research. Finding these deals manually would be challenging and time-consuming. These subscriptions provide notifications, allowing you to know when a good deal is available without having to spend hours searching for it.

Remember, flight deals are unpredictable and can happen anytime, so it’s helpful to stay in the know. 

3. No-Last Minute Deals: Reliable flight deal subscription services will share flight alerts far in advance (no last-minute deals). For example, Thrifty Traveler never shares last-minute fares, only things you can comfortably book up to 11 months in advance. Planning trips in advance and taking advantage of lower prices means you can coordinate vacations with work or family commitments.

4. Convenience: Another benefit of flight deal subscriptions is the convenience of offering instructions on how to book deals, including which airlines to book with, and pre-filled out Google Flight links, making it easier to search for and book the deals without wasting time inputting a lot of information.

Not to mention, reliable flight deal subscription services typically share deals from reputable airlines such as American Airlines, Delta, and United, not budget airlines.

Some services go one step further by providing valuable information and insights about travel destinations, such as tips on the best times to visit and recommendations for activities. Other additional perks include picking preferred departure airports. Customization means more opportunities to take advantage of time-sensitive deals, too.

The Disadvantages

Despite the many advantages, there are drawbacks to consider when using flight deal subscriptions. One of the main drawbacks is the influx of emails you’ll receive.

With regular updates and alerts for cheap flights, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the volume, which can be anywhere from one to three or more emails daily.

To mitigate this, I recommend organizing and automating emails into specific folders, as well as deleting unnecessary ones. By creating a system for managing these notifications, stay informed without feeling overwhelmed. Develop a workflow for organizing your emails and prioritize the deals that are of most interest to you.

Another point to consider is that you’ll see many deals cross your desk, and you’ll likely pursue a handful of them. This is not Pokémon; you don’t have to catch them all. :)

Another consideration is the cost of these subscriptions. While some flight deal services are free, others require a paid subscription, usually less than $100 a year. Carefully evaluate the costs of subscriptions and weigh it against the potential sayings you may receive.

Click here for a list of my go-to websites for finding the best flight deals.

In closing, flight deal subscriptions offer lots of benefits, including time and cost savings, as well as convenience. By subscribing to these services, stay informed about discounted flights and take advantage of opportunities to make your travel dreams even more affordable.

Listen to this podcast episode on Spotify.

Overall, flight deal subscriptions are a trusted companion looking out for you. When a price drops, you’ll know about it. I’m a big fan because of the ease and convenience of it all. And I’m more than happy to pay for that service. 

I hope you found this article (and podcast episode) on cheap flight alerts helpful.

I encourage you to listen to The Thought Card Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify and join my email list, where I share ways you can become a deal-snatching, financially savvy traveler.

Other Content You’ll Enjoy

Backpacking For Beginners with Will Hatton – Episode 138

What People Get Wrong About Financially Savvy Travel – Episode 148

How To Start a Travel Fund – Episode 2

1 reply
  1. Foodle says:

    Thank you so much for bringing this article to my attention since I think it is just incredible. It is precisely what I had been looking forward to finding, and I genuinely hope that you will continue to contribute content of such high quality in the years to come.


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