5 things your airline isn’t telling you

Bumped? You’re owed cash, not vouchers

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1. Clear your web browser.

Airlines track your previous online flight searches and increase prices in order to “create a sense of urgency to buy,” says travel writer Nora Dunn. So always clear your browser’s cookies and history to make sure you’re being offered the original base fare.

2. We’ll refund you for price drops.

Air Canada has a lowest price guarantee if the cost of your flight drops more than $5. The catch? You have to find the new price within 24 hours of purchasing the original ticket. Micki Kosman, co-founder of the travel blog The Barefoot Nomad, recommends using my.yapta.com/airline-refunds to track reimbursements for U.S. airlines. If you’re a WestJet flier, sorry, they no longer price-match.

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3. Mondays and Fridays suck.

This is prime time for business travellers heading home for the weekend—so expect jacked up prices, says Kosman. As a general rule of thumb, she suggests aiming for Wednesday and Thursday flights to curb costs. That, and to use Google Flights to find travel dates with the cheapest fares.

4. Bumped? You’re owed cash, not vouchers.

If you’re denied boarding because of overbooking, you’re entitled to $200 from Air Canada for any delay less than two hours, in addition to alternate transportation. Waiting between two and six hours? You’re owed $400. Any delays over six hours grants you $800. WestJet has the same policy as U.S. airlines: If you’re denied boarding by one to two hours, you’ll be refunded twice the total cost of your one-way flight, up to $650.

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5. Men should rock murses.

Along with carry-on baggage, passengers are often allowed an additional personal item, “and a lot of people, especially men, don’t take advantage of that,” says Kosman. For women that’s often a purse, but men can carry a satchel, briefcase or, that’s right, a murse.

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