City Cast

3 Questions With an Expert on Flying Cheap

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on June 23
DCA airport

DCA airport. (Patrick Donovan/ Getty Images)

Scott Keyes, the founder of Going — formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights — has perfected the art of traveling for cheap. Lucky for us, he used to live in D.C. and agreed to walk us through his secret strategies of Dulles, National, and BWI.

What’s the difference between the three DMV airports? Is one cheaper?

I would say that at BWI, flights on average are a little bit cheaper than the other two, in large part because Southwest has a hub at BWI, and they have cheaper routes around the country. DCA and Dulles are similar to each other. The main difference is that from Dulles, you can get a lot of non-stop long-haul flights to Europe or Asia, whereas DCA almost always has connecting flights.

What is the best day to book a flight?

Especially in D.C., Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and to a lesser extent, Saturdays see airfare that's 30 or 40% cheaper than other days of the week. Airlines know if you're flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you're probably flying for leisure and will actually offer cheaper tickets during those dates. Also, August is a good time as it’s dead in D.C. and there isn’t much business travel. So, if you're hoping to travel soon, target that end of summer period for the cheapest fares.

What are the cheapest/coolest places to visit from D.C. right now?

You're seeing a big increase in new nonstop flights to Africa. There's also a great new airline called Play out of Iceland that is flying non-stop to Reykjavik, a manageable four-and-a-half hour flight that’s very cheap. It's a budget airline, so although it’s $250 roundtrip, it won’t include seat selection or bags. But it’s still a great deal to Iceland!

Wondering what airport has the best food? How to hack a carry on? Or if you should stay loyal to one airline? Scott answers all these questions on yesterday's City Cast DC episode!

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