TIME cybersecurity

Want Free Airline Flights? Hack Into United

United is using free miles as an incentive to uncover security flaws in its systems.

United on Thursday said that it had awarded millions of frequent flier miles to unlikely recipients: hackers.

The airline, in an effort to ramp up its web security, offered “bug bounties” to hackers who uncovered cyber risks within its systems. United wants helpful hackers to find the weaknesses before malicious ones do.

United first announced the program in May and told Reuters on Thursday that it has twice paid out its maximum award worth 1 million miles to individuals who flagged security flaws. One million miles can be cashed in for dozens of free domestic flights on the airline.

To receive the free miles, hackers must be the first to discover a bug and notify United of it, according to the airline’s website.

Jordan Wiens, who researches cyber vulnerabilities, tweeted last week that he was the recipient of one of the 1 million mile awards.

 

TIME Travel

These Are the World’s Best Airports

From China to Texas

For years, airports were little more than stale, gray holding grounds endured only briefly before boarding and during layovers. Cramped, tandem chairs and saran-wrapped sandwiches were the status quo.

Significant innovations and attractions have transformed airports into more than just a stopover to your final destination. Efficient layouts, epicurean dining, and luxe shopping are just a few of the features turning the airport experience on its nose.

That’s why Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards added airports to its annual survey in 2013. That year, Singapore’s Changi Airport took the No. 1 spot for international hubs. And it did so the following year, too. Since inaugurating the category, Changi has come out as the best international airport every time.

Last year, we separated International and Domestic Airports into two distinct categories. In doing so, Portland International Airport was vaulted to the top of the U.S. list. It’s been No. 1 two years in a row, and we suspect it will continue to be a local and visitor favorite.

The next time you’re booking a flight, consider connecting to one of the world’s best airports—both small regional terminals and major international hubs made the list—and you might even find yourself actually enjoying the wait between flights.

  • No. 5 International: Munich Airport, Germany

    munich-airport
    Courtesy of Munich Airport

    Score: 75.615

    Would you expect anything less than pint perfection from Germany’s second busiest airport? Travelers celebrate flight delays over a cold brew at Airbräu, a tavern-style biergarten with onsite brewery, live music, and a fringe of chestnut trees. Afterward, retreat to an individual, space-age sleeping pod (outfitted with iPhone and USB docks) or wake up with a cup of free coffee and complimentary copy of the Financial Times. This impressive steel-and-glass complex, with its impressive runway views from the skywalk and assortment of Bavarian pastry shops, is becoming even more notable. Before the end of this year, the airport’s new satellite Terminal 2 will be complete.

  • No. 4 International: Zurich Airport, Switzerland

    zurich-airport
    Zurich Airport

    Score: 77.188

    Calm and convenience are two words rarely associated with airports: or travel in general, for that matter. But as the Swiss historically do, logic and order have been enforced with an airport we can only describe as graceful. Self-service check-ins (programmed in three languages), seamless integration with the metro, and separate arrival zones for speedy security are a few of the airport’s smart innovations. Thanks to a $200 million expansion that was completed in 2011, the European hub now sports twin rooftop terraces. Board the Skymetro to enjoy the calming sounds of the Alps while shuttling between Terminals A and E.

  • No. 3 International: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands

    amsterdam-schiphol
    Remko de Waal—AFP/Getty Images

    Score: 79.198

    Century-old Amsterdam Schiphol Airport boasts a number of firsts. The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam is the world’s only museum annex at an airport, and for no cost travelers can spend their layovers appreciating paintings by Dutch masters such as Steen and Rembrandt. Settle into a cushy armchair at the world’s first airport library and browse the collection of tomes printed in 29 languages. Can’t get enough of this airport? A five-star Hilton will open before the end of the year. All the more reason to linger at one of the outdoor terraces and appreciate the relative airport calm made possible by the Buitenschot Land Art Park, a noise-reducing series of ridges and ripples.

  • No. 2 International: Hong Kong International Airport, China

    hong kong
    Courtesy of Hong Kong International Airport

    Score: 85.067

    If all airports had iSports simulators, regulation golf courses, and IMAX theaters, we might (cheerfully) arrive a few hours early in the hopes of securing a bit of playtime. Kick-off the fun at the city’s Central station, where you can check your bags for a comfortable, hassle-free train ride to the airport. Fill up before boarding on tender pork dumplings at Crystal Jade, or the outpost of Michelin-starred Hung’s Delicacies. After all that action, head to the OM Spa at the connected Regal Airport Hotel. Treatment highlights include mosaic steam rooms and soothing jasmine milk baths.

  • No. 1 International: Changi International Airport, Singapore

    changi airport
    Changi Airport Group

    Score: 89.547

    For three years in a row, Changi International Airport has asserted its superiority over all other international urban hubs. As the 15thbusiest airport, Changi’s layout is necessarily intuitive and thoughtful. Hundreds of so-called “Changi Experience Agents,” sporting purple and pink blazers and wielding iPads, are on hand to assist lost, perplexed, or harried travelers. Charging stations with lock-boxes and free foot massage machines are a few of the small touches that make people pleased to idle here. There is also something clearly Singaporean about the aesthetic. There’s a two-level butterfly habitat in the new Terminal 3 filled with thousands of fluttering creatures, a Balinese-style rooftop pool, and five distinct gardens throughout the property presenting everything from waterfalls to sunflowers and orchids. Movie theaters, lounges, and authentic restaurants are great for those seeking a diversion. And for those looking to refresh, there are dedicated Snooze Lounges in every terminal. One thing is for certain—we’re sincerely looking forward to the new terminal, scheduled to open in 2017.

  • No. 5 Domestic: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

    austin-bergstrom
    Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

    Score: 74.022

    Despite a growing volume of travelers—nearly 11 million in 2014—Austin-Bergstrom International Airport keeps flights on time and passengers pleased. The hassle-free hub is just around the corner from downtown Austin, and for those who experience serious pinings for local grub before leaving the city limits, there’s Salt Lick Bar-B-Que. The venerable local franchise serves up sauce-covered sandwiches and sides worthy of entrée portions, such as coleslaw and potato salad. Excellent customer service from check-in to departure doesn’t hurt, either.

  • No. 4 Domestic: Dallas Love Field, Texas

    dallas-love-field
    Courtesy of Dallas Love Field

    Score: 74.621

    DFW’s little brother is moving up the ranks, beating mainstays like Charlotte Douglas and Orlando. While enplanements at Love Field plummeted when Fort Worth opened, the result was a unique, leisurely airport experience. Murals, sculptures, and paintings from local Texan artists decorate the new Terminal 2, which is also home to community-favorite food and beverage options. Wait for your next boarding call (probably for Southwest, which now has 16 gates at Love Field) while sipping a frozen margarita at Cantina Laredo.

  • No. 3 Domestic: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

    minneapolis-airport
    Courtesy of Metropolitan Airports Commission

    Score: 75.48

    Maintaining its spot at No. 3, this bustling hub doesn’t falter when it comes to cheerful service (even in the face of those horrible Midwestern winters). Shopaholics have long favored Minneapolis-St. Paul for its upscale mini-mall disposition, with storefronts like Aveda, Bose, Tumi, and Wilsons Leather making it a worthy retail destination even if you don’t have travel plans. A full-scale renovation in 2010 saw $3.2 billion in improvements to infrastructure, including two new terminals with a skyway security checkpoint.

  • No. 2 Domestic: Tampa International Airport, Florida

    tampa-international-airport
    David Lawrence

    Score: 76.671

    Travelers may just choose to enter the Sunshine State via Tampa, thanks to its uncomplicated layout and light-filled rooms. The current renovation and expansion project aims to add an indoor/outdoor terrace and dozens of new concessions, as well as a new conductor-free train to teleport the airport into the 21stcentury. Already, modern features such as estimated checkpoint wait times have kept things sailing smoothly through security and ticketing.

  • No. 1 Domestic: Portland International Airport, Oregon

    portland-airport
    Courtesy of Port of Portland

    Score: 79.162

    PDX shines as the best airport in the U.S., thanks to an impressive on-time departure record and convenient location just minutes from downtown. Advancements like in-line baggage screening have helped keep the process streamlined, while such quirky, crunchy granola novelties (goats to remove invasive plant life, protected from predators by a llama) and food trucks (steamed buns and vinegar sodas from Pok Pok) give the airport an authentic Portland vibe.

    This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure

    More from Travel + Leisure:

TIME JetBlue

This JetBlue Video Shows You How Not to Behave at the Airport

JetBlue
Preston Rescigno—Getty Images

Don't push and shove, please

We’ve all been there: waiting outside a departure gate at the airport, ready to storm the jetway like it’s the Bastille, hoping to avoid too many sharp elbows in the mosh pit of travelers that’s sure to form.

JetBlue, though, wants to change all of that.

The airline — which made waves recently when it became the latest carrier to completely do away with free checked bags — has posted a humorous video on its Twitter account showing how you shouldn’t behave when boarding a plane.

Things to avoid include blocking the entrance, trying to get on the plane before your row has been called, and getting in the way of someone in a wheel chair who is trying to board. It even features one woman who decorates a gourd as a child to try to get on the plane before everyone else.

Watch below if you need a quick refresher before you jet off on a summer vacation.

TIME Food & Drink

A Man Got Served the Worst Sandwich Ever at Edinburgh Airport

"As soon as I opened it I burst out laughing"

What may well be one of the most miserly sandwiches ever served has gained viral fame around the world after a Reddit user posted a photo of the paltry offering he says he bought from the chain EAT at Edinburgh Airport for the equivalent of $5.

“This is what a £3.20 bacon and egg roll from Edinburgh Airport looks like,” user spambox wrote on June 30, of a miserable offering that contained hardly any filling. There doesn’t even seem to be any butter on the bread.

“Sadly on this occasion we fell below the mark and offer our apologies to this customer,” a spokesman for Edinburgh Airport told the Scotsman newspaper. “Clearly this is not the service we should be providing and we will be addressing this complaint with EAT.”

Still, spambox took a positive view of the experience, writing, “As soon as I opened it I burst out laughing as did my girlfriend because, well, look at it. It’s so bad it’s funny.”

TIME Travel

How to Earn Airline Miles Without Flying

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Getty Images

From credit cards to online shopping

There are plenty of ways to rack up frequent flyer miles, no flying required. Not all of us are in the high-flying position to jet off regularly on mileage runs — not yet at least.

I’m so, so close to reaching the threshold for a free ticket with American that I’m determined to get there without having to buy another one. Turns out if I play it right I can earn miles for plenty of things I’m already doing or would be doing regardless of whether miles were involved.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are the typical motherload for earning miles — buckets of them. But it’s not any or every credit card.

Ones billed as travel credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred will typically do the trick, as long as you watch the fine print about which credit cards transfer to which programs or have great redemptions. In case there’s any doubt, there’s the plastic airlines themselves offer, which can come with huge signup bonuses ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 miles that’s offered by cards like the British Airways Visa Signature Credit Card on occasion. (And if they don’t, wait to apply until they do! For point of reference, 25,000 miles is often good enough for one domestic round-trip ticket or more.)

Spending with the card also earns additional miles or points. It’s a whole wide world of gaming the system out there.

Some debit cards net miles with use, too. And while we’re talking money, Fidelity Investments often gives out wads of miles as promotional sign-up bonuses for opening a new brokerage account.

Hotel Stays

Even if they don’t tout their alliances, most major hotel chains are hooked up with some airline. I went to a wedding and stayed at an InterContinental Hotel Group property, so I could earn miles on American Airlines for my stay. I’ll take those, thank you very much. In fact, most major airlines have relationships with pretty much almost all of the hotel chains. Just make sure to drop your frequent flyer number off at the door.

Other booking sites like PointsHound.com and Rocketmiles.com up the ante and offer miles for hotel bookings made through their sites.

Car Rentals

Get somewhere with a car rental and earn miles. Like with hotel groups, most major car rental companies are affiliated with frequent flyer programs. It’s a quick and easy way for most travelers to keep their frequent flyer miles active, too.

The only thing to look out for when crediting those points to a major airline is that there may be a (small) surcharge but like everything else, there’s a way to avoid those too.

Dining Out

Maybe it has something to do with wanting to make up for the poor quality of airplane food but many airlines give miles for eating out at specific restaurants through their dining rewards programs. Searching “[Airline] dining rewards program” will bring them right up. Basically, any money I spend at restaurants in their network also will earn me miles. All it takes is a little premeditated action.

There aren’t even that many hoops to jump through, just sign up for the program with an existing frequent flyer number and associate a credit card with the account, which is how miles are issued. And then, you know, actually use that card to pay once there. (They have to get you somewhere, right?)

I plugged in a New Jersey ZIP code for a couple airlines’ programs for a quick look. Honestly, I had expected a smattering of blah chains to pop up but instead I got a nice spread of participating spots (mostly independently-owned) ranging from fine dining to pizzerias.

Shopping Online

A slew of airlines have arrangements with big name retailers so travelers can earn miles for purchases online. United Airlines’ MileagePlus Shopping works with Apple (a mile per dollar) and Macy’s (four miles for every dollar currently), for example. Getting those miles requires signing in and going to the airline’s shopping portal first but it’s really just an extra stop online for nifty travel bucks. By going through the website, the cookie gets logged onto the browser and you’ll eventually land on the retailer’s regular page. I am still in the market for a new laptop…

Rewards search engine Evreward.com makes it all that much easier. Searching the name of a store brings up every loyalty reward program that place is associated with including frequent flyer miles (and also hotel rewards). Banana Republic, for example, works with American, Delta, Hawaiian, Hilton, Southwest and United. Amazon lovers are out of luck.

Many frequent flyer programs also are linked up with online flower companies FTD.com and/or 1-800-Flowers.

Survey Sites

This is more of a piecemeal approach to earning miles but instead of falling down the rabbit hole of Facebook or Candy Crush or whatever it is, I can spend my idle time online completing surveys and questionnaires to earn miles. That can happen through sites like e-Rewards, which is global, e-Miles, Opinion Miles Club for United, e-Miles, and My Points.

On that note, follow airlines on social media and watch for their promotions and updates. From time to time they bait us with miles in exchange for simple likes or clicks. #clickformiles

Everywhere Else

DirecTV has been known to throw in some 30,000 miles as a sign-up bonus; even Netflix ran a similar promotion to spur new sign-ups. (No harm no foul in canceling an existing subscription and signing up again, either.) And JetBlue and Zipcar have a thing. The miles are out there!

This article originally appeared on Map Happy.

More from Map Happy:

MONEY Travel

The 10 Cheapest Flights in the US

JetBlue airplane
Larry MacDougal—AP

These roundtrip flights are all priced at $78 or less.

There’s nothing worse for the would-be traveler than when the wanderlust takes hold and the bank balance doesn’t agree. Don’t worry, because all is not lost: At least not with Hopper at hand to set you straight with a selection of the 10 cheapest flights currently on offer in the United States. (These prices are averages, based on billions of individual flight searches.)

Granted, they may not take you to the most distant continents, but they do offer wonders of a different kind, from Chicago’s blues bars to Philly’s food scene to the sights of the National Mall, all for $78 (that’s round-trip!) or less.

10. Washington D.C. to West Palm Beach from $78

If you fancy escaping the capital for a spot of sun and sand but need to do it on a budget, then these super-quick two-and-a-half-hour flights from Washington Dulles International to West Palm Beach are perhaps the perfect choice. Flyers can expect to pay in the region of just $78 for round-­trip tickets when going on Frontier Airlines. Prices stay pretty steady throughout the year, meaning there’s a chance of bagging a bargain hotel deal during the Sunshine State’s shoulder season. Oh, and this one costs just the same going in the other direction, too.

9. Kansas City to Chicago from $78

Also clocking up an attractive average price tag of just $78 round trip are seats on routes between Kansas City International and Chicago, which are cheapest when flying on Spirit Airlines and hit yearly lows in April, August and September (summer travelers, take note). Tickets cost just the same when flying in the other direction, which is great news for Windy City locals eager to escape the metropolis and try Kansas City barbecue at any number of world-famous joints.

8. Las Vegas to Denver from $78

The Mile High City is on offer for Las Vegas locals. Spirit and Frontier both offer sinfully cheap flights that you can nab for as little as $78 round-trip. In less than two hours, you’ll be on the ground (but high above sea level) in Denver. In summer, the Rocky Mountain ski slopes are perfect for hiking and biking, while the city itself has a popping bar scene, plenty of major sports teams, and the family-friendly Denver Museum of Nature & Science to enjoy.

7. Miami to Washington D.C. from $78

For a measly $78, Miami locals can escape the heat and head to … well, the swampy national capital of Washington D.C. So the weather isn’t always so pleasant in summer, but the eclectic food scene, patriotic monuments, and (mostly free) museums within the Smithsonian Complex more than make up for the humidity. The cheapest non-stop flights come courtesy of Frontier and land at Dulles (which is at least $60 cheaper to fly into than Reagan National).

6. Atlanta to New Orleans from $78

It’s an unbelievably short hop from Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson to New Orleans on one of these $78 flights. At 90 minutes a pop, Frontier can fly you into the heart of the country’s jazz scene (and one of the country’s most fascinating, historical cities). Within mere hours of leaving your house, you could be bobbing your head in a dimly lit jazz club, dancing your way around the bustling French Quarter, or licking the powdered sugar from your beignet-holding hands.

5. Charlotte to Philadelphia from $76

The next cheapest domestic flight comes courtesy of budget carrier Frontier, who’ve certainly lived up to their ultra-­low­-cost model with these round-­trip tickets on routes linking North Carolina’s largest city of Charlotte with bustling Philadelphia. That should leave plenty of cash for trying the city’s legendary cheesesteaks and hoagies (that’s sandwiches for most of you), not to mention the legendary Philadelphia Museum of Art.

4. Indianapolis to Atlanta from $68

Insiders have been calling Atlanta a tourist destination on the rise for some time now, and with these sub-$70 flights from Frontier, you can be among the masses! A fun nightlife scene nicely complements this historical city. See the moving Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Site, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum all in one fell swoop. For family fun, don’t miss the sprawling Georgia Aquarium or the World of Coca-Cola (the soft-drink giant is based here).

3. Las Vegas to San Francisco from $66

What could possibly be a better end to a week spent gambling, partying and gawping at Vegas’ glitzy sights than a soothing jaunt along the bracing cliffs of the Point Reyes National Seashore or a detox at the juice bars of San Francisco’s downtown area? Well, the prospect is well and truly on the cards for travelers this year, with round-trip flights on either JetBlue Airways or Virgin America between McCarran and San Francisco coming in with an average price tag of just $66.

2. Washington D.C. to Hartford from $66

It’s great news for any Washingtonians looking to escape the familiar sights of the National Mall for a spell this year, because flights from the city’s Reagan National Airport to the historic town of Hartford, Connecticut, are currently coming in as the joint cheapest in all of the United States. The non-stop connection is run by budget carrier JetBlue Airways and has an average ticket price of just $66 round trip. Oh, and the reverse journey costs just the same, meaning Connecticut locals can now enjoy the capital without breaking the bank.

1. Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville from $66

OK, so it may only be a short hop of just over an hour up the coast of the Sunshine State from Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville, but boy, does it beat a lengthy drive up I-95 — especially with the Florida sun beating down and the promise of getaways like Little Talbot and Black Hammock Island beckoning on the other side. The connection is run by low-­cost carrier JetBlue Airways, enjoys steady lows of around $66 round-trip throughout the year, and costs the same going in either direction.

This article originally appeared on Hopper.com. Hopper is a travel app that tracks and predicts airfare prices.

More from Hopper:

TIME Aviation

Delta Air Lines Experiments With Loading Carry-ons Before Passengers

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 lands in Las Vegas on March 3, 2015.
Larry MacDougal—AP A Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 lands in Las Vegas on March 3, 2015.

"Early Valet" trial runs from June 1 to Aug. 31 on select departures in the U.S.

Airlines seem to be forever tinkering with the boarding process in an effort to get passengers onto planes quickly.

Now Delta Air Lines is trying something new: pre-loading carry-on bags before passengers.

In a complimentary program the airline is calling “Early Valet,” agents will ask customers seated in the gate area if they’d like to participate, Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant told NBC.

“Their bag will be specially tagged, similar to what you’d see at a hotel for room delivery,” said Durrant, “and then taken down onto the aircraft before boarding and placed above a customer’s seat based on their seat…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Aviation

These Are the 10 Worst Airports for Summer Travel

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Getty Images

Summer is high season for airline delays

You probably already know the worst airports for delays. They’ve been the same for years: Newark, LaGuardia, JFK and San Francisco. When the government finally got around to reporting its annual delay statistics for 2014 a few days ago, we saw those lists with the historical laggards. We yawned.

But look closer if you want to see the real problem airports. MileCards.com collected Department of Transportation on-time data exclusively for Fortune, crunching 10 years of data to generate a list of airports where summer delays are harsher than winter delays.

The government considers a flight delayed when it arrives 15 or more minutes later than the schedule. You can find all of the government’s on-time data on the Bureau of Transportation Statistics site.

Why are these the real problem airports? Because relatively problem-free winters leave air travelers with the false impression they can expect an on-time arrival all the time. But the exact opposite is true; summers are markedly worse.

That kind of Jekyll-and-Hide behavior can wreak havoc with summer travel plans.

Top 10 airports where summer delays are worse than winter delays

10-worst-airports-list
MileCards.com/Fortune

“JFK, like all of the New York area airports, is one of the most delay-prone all year round,” Brian Karimzad, director of MileCards.com, notes. “But it also gets hit harder during the summer by more frequent flights to connect to and reach European destinations during the heavy vacation season. Add to that afternoon thunderstorms and it’s a recipe for missed connections.”Put differently, you might be lulled into a false sense of confidence in JFK’s 71% on time rating during the winter. But come summer – bam! – it drops by almost 4%. And you have a roughly a 1 in 3 chance of experiencing a delay.

Also, runway repairs that weren’t possible during the colder winter months tend to happen during summer. And that, of course, creates even more delays.

How do good airports turn bad?

  • Every one of the airports with the biggest drop in on time performance during the summer is along the East Coast.
  • Four of the 10 (New York, Atlanta, Miami, and Raleigh) are among the 15 wettest cities in the U.S., with summer thunderstorms that throw a wrench in the spokes of busy summer flight schedules.
  • Half are connecting hubs like JFK, are busy hubs where seasonal air traffic can lead to lengthy delays.

So what’s the takeaway? It’s kind of hard to avoid the entire East Coast, especially if you live there, but if you’re considering a connection, avoid connecting through New York or Atlanta in favor of other hub airports.

“Consider alternate hubs like Minneapolis, Detroit, Houston, and Dallas, all of which have onward service to Europe and better on time records during the summer,” says Karimzad.

If you have to connect along the East Coast, try Charlotte, which has a 76.4% on time, and is the least likely to delay. If that’s not an option, go with Washington-Dulles (73.1%).

Historically, summer is high season for airline delays. This list of problem airports will help you avoid the worst of them.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

MONEY Travel

9 Mistakes You’re Making When Booking a Flight

man on cell phone at airport booking flights
Getty Images

Insider tips on getting the lowest airfare.

Wondering why you never manage to bag a flight for quite as cheap as the next guy? Pining for a summer getaway but really need to keep the cost down? Then this list of 9 mistakes that the average buyer makes when booking flights is sure to help.

1. You’re Only Checking One Airline

In the days of flight-aggregating websites and airfare-prediction apps, travelers no longer need limit themselves to the prices of just one carrier. So if you’ve always flown Airline X because you think they have the cheapest flights, check again! A new route may have opened up or an airline may have dropped its prices due to competition. Always comparison-shop before you hit that purchase button.

2. You’re an Impulse Buyer

It’s a very bad idea to rush into paying for your flight without exhausting all your options first. That means holding off the “buy” button until you’ve made sure there are no more competitive offers out there — from other airlines, to alternate airports, or to a different destination entirely. Oh, and if you do happen to find yourself regretting that impulsive buy moments after booking, then remember: Most major carriers in the United States allow you to cancel your booking within 24 hours of purchase — for free.

3. You’re Booking on the Wrong Day

Although it may seem a little odd and the savings may seem negligible, choosing the right day to book your flights can actually help reduce the cost of tickets. Hopper’s research has shown that buying on Thursdays (for domestic flights) and weekends (for international flights) offer the largest savings, on average. The data also revealed that it’s much more likely that passengers will be able to bag a bargain by buying on Thursdays for both domestic and international connections, because that’s when the vast majority of routes offer savings. (And that old adage about booking being cheapest on Tuesday? Not always true.)

4. You’re Not Checking Alternate Airports

When it comes to touching down in some of the world’s larger destinations, it’s likely that there will be more than one airport on offer. For example, New York boasts Newark, JFK and LaGuardia; London has Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow, and Washington DC is served by Ronald Reagan National Airport, Dulles International and Baltimore-Washington International. So before booking, check all the available arrival points and include the cost of transfers into town in your final calculation.

5. You’re Not Being Flexible with Destinations

Perhaps you’re considering a trip to the bubbling baths and industrial beer halls of Budapest, Hungary, but can’t seem to find any bargain air connections into town. Well, a wise traveler would expand their range of choices and look at flights to Vienna, Munich, and Prague, too, all of which are just one manageable and affordable overland journey away from Budapest (especially when budget European airlines offer cheap connections!). It’s always worth checking out prices to alternative arrival points nearby — you never know, you may just discover some other place you love.

6. You’re Not Being Flexible with Dates

Hopper’s statistics have shown that there are some pretty hefty savings to be had on airfares by simply changing up the days of departure and return to suit the trends for particular routes. In general, Wednesdays are the best for travelers to depart, offering savings around $60 on international flights, while Sundays are the most expensive. For returns, Wednesdays are once again the best for international fliers, while Tuesdays come in as the cheapest overall for those on domestic flights. And these are just average savings — your own haul could be much higher.

7. You’re Not Including Taxes and Fees

It’s the same old story: shelling out for a “bargain” airfare because you forgot to add up all those additional fees, airport taxes, and the like. In recent years, the aviation industry has certainly become more transparent when it comes to these extra charges, but there’s still a whole load of potential costs for the would-be flier to consider, from checked- and carry-on baggage fees to fluctuating departure taxes.

8. You’re Booking Too Late

Generally speaking, the modern commercial airline industry does not reward spontaneity. In fact, with rapid and exponential growth in most airfares in the days leading up to take-off, it’s easy to see that — in most cases at at least — the early bird really does catch the worm. So, be prepared and plan your trips with ample time (at least 25 days in advance, according to Hopper research), and you should find your ticket prices are taking a turn for the more affordable.

9. You’re Booking Too Early

While many travelers think the earlier the better when it comes to bagging bargains in the air, the statistics actually speak to the contrary. Often, airlines will lower seat prices at a specific point before departure, all in the hope that the maximum amount of passengers will book for the maximum amount of money. The key is to buy just as carriers start to realign seat prices in accordance with demand (a process known as yield management). It’s a tricky thing but booking at the right moment can offer up potential savings to the tune of hundreds of dollars on some routes. Generally, waiting until 150 days out will save you the most money.

This article originally appeared on Hopper.com. Hopper is a travel app that tracks and predicts airfare prices.

More From Hopper:

TIME Research

The Scientific Reason Why Airplane Food Tastes Bad

It has to do with the dry cabin air

Why does airline food taste so lousy? A new study from Cornell University has come up with an answer, and it ain’t bad cookin’.

Turns out, the noisy environment inside a claustrophobic airplane cabin may actually change the way food tastes.

In the study, 48 people were handed a variety of solutions that were spiked with the five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami (basically, a Japanese word for the savory flavor found in foods like bacon, tomatoes, cheese, and soy sauce). First, the testers sipped in silence, then again, while wearing headsets that played about 85 decibels of noise, designed to mimic the hum of jet engines onboard a plane.

What the researchers found: While there wasn’t that much of a change in how the salty, sour, and bitter stuff tasted, the noisy surroundings dulled the sweet taste, while intensifying the savory one—which might explain why a meal eaten on a plane will usually seem a little, well, off.

“Our study confirmed that in an environment of loud noise, our sense of taste is compromised. Interestingly, this was specific to sweet and umami tastes, with sweet taste inhibited and umami taste significantly enhanced,” said Robin Dando, assistant professor of food science. “The multisensory properties of the environment where we consume our food can alter our perception of the foods we eat.”

This isn’t the first time airlines have tried to figure out the reason behind funky in-flight food. The Fraunhofer Institute, a research institute based in Germany, did a study on why a dish that would taste just fine on the ground would taste, “so dull in the air,” as Grant Mickles, the executive chef for culinary development of Lufthansa’s LSG Ski Chefs, put it to Conde Nast Traveler.

German researchers tried taste tests at both sea level and in a pressurized condition. The tests revealed that the cabin atmosphere—pressurized at 8,000 feet—combined with cool, dry cabin air numbed the taste buds (kind of like when you’ve got a bad cold). In fact, the perception of saltiness and sweetness dropped by around 30% at high altitude. Multiplying the misery: The stagnant cabin dries out the mucus membranes in the nose, thus dulling the olfactory sensors that affect taste. All of which adds up to a less-than-fine dining experience.

The good news: This research may help airlines find a way to make in-the-air meals more palatable. (That is, for flights and airlines that still offer any food at all!)

The key, according to Mickles, may be using ingredients or foods that contain a lot of umami to enhance the other flavors. He may be on to something: The folks at the Lufthansa have found that passengers guzzle as much tomato juice as beer (to the tune of about 425,000 gallons a year). Turns out, cabin pressure brings out the savory taste of the red stuff.

Good to know. Now pass the earplugs—and bring on the Bloody Marys.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

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