Positioning Flights are the Key to Flight Deals

The problem with flight deals is many times they are only from select cities. Most people just ignore a mistake fare or fare deal if it’s not originating from their city. This is a huge mistake! Many times you can find a cheap round-trip fare or use points & miles to get to the city the flight deal is originating from. These are what are known as a positioning flights, and they are essential to being a thrifty traveler.

Let’s take a look at this week’s Qatar flight deal to South Africa and then on to Europe. It’s available from most major cities but not my hometown. Many times you can take advantage of a great flight deal for only $75-$150 extra by booking a positioning flight which will get you to where the flight deal is originating from.

I booked the Qatar flight deal so I’ll use it as an example. I live in Minneapolis and wanted to get in on the mistake fare. The cheapest flights were out of Boston or Dallas. I decided on Boston and did a quick Google Flights search and  found a great one-way direct flight for only $115 on Sun Country! If I wouldn’t have paid for the Sun Country ticket I probably would have used Southwest miles to fly to Boston. If you frequently travel with another person the Southwest Companion Pass is especially valuable for domestic travel!

Thrifty Tip: Do you have Chase Ultimate Rewards miles? Use them to book flight deals. 1 Ultimate Reward (UR) point is worth 1.25 cents! I booked my $425 Qatar ticket through the Chase site for only 36k UR points instead of using cash! I then booked my Sun Country positioning flight with URs as well! Not only did I get in on a great flight deal, but I also didn’t spend any cash!


positioning flights

Sample positioning flight for Boston Qatar flight deal


Bottom Line 

Positioning flights make almost any flight deal accessible from anywhere in the US! It’s no secret that the best flight deals are typically out of New York City. The good thing is it’s typically a relatively cheap city to fly to! Mrs. TT and I are using a positioning flight for our upcoming trip to Istanbul (flying out of Dallas) and also for the Qatar trip to South Africa (flying out of Boston). Positioning flights are a thrifty way to take advantage of the many flight deals we post here each day. Don’t let another incredible flight deal pass you by because it’s not originating from your home city!


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  • VLB

    What do you do about your luggage? Do you have to pick it up at baggage claim and go through security at the airport you’re using as a positioning flight?