The best coach seats are emergency exit and front bulkhead seats. The bad news for occasional travelers is that many airlines allows their very frequent flyers to reserve emergency exit seats when they make their reservation. The good news is that many business travelers miss their flights (took an earlier/later flight, didn’t show, etc.) and you can ask the gate agent if there are any unclaimed emergency exit row seats for which you want to stand-by. The risk is that if the passengers do show up, when you get on the plane, all of the overhead space is gone. A great site shows seating for many airlines SeatGURU.
Getting bumped: There are different types “bump” coupons and types of compensation. How can you increase your chances of getting bumped and what can you get? Read my detailed tutorial/explanation by clicking here (don’t forget to return to this page for lots more tips).
Northwest Airlines’ web site will not necessarily give the lowest prices they offer. It’s imperative that you check with Orbitz or ITASoftware first. You may have to force the Northwest web site, call their reservation center or a travel agent to buy their lowest priced tickets. When going from Detroit to Minneapolis, lower fares are available if you go from Detroit to Chicago Midway and then to Minneapolis. Northwest’s web site does not show those fares but Orbitz and ITASoftware do. The only way to reserve this on Northwest’s web site is to make it a three or four leg flight. I don’t trust Northwest’s web site to provide the lowest prices that they offer.
Split tickets, what are they? Split tickets involve connecting two flights and possibly different airlines in a low fare city. The combination of two tickets cost less than one ticket. Chicago Midway, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Baltimore are inexpensive connection cities. The best way to find them is to check at Orbitz and ITASoftware. The risk you take is that you could miss your connection. An example is from Detroit to Minneapolis. The business traveler (non-Saturday night, two week advance) pays over $1,000 round trip on Northwest. If you buy a round trip ticket from Detroit to Chicago Midway and another round trip ticket from Chicago Midway to Minneapolis you will spend a LOT less. You can do this using different airlines or often the same airline. If using different airlines, allow extra time to connect, don’t take the last flights of the day and don’t check luggage unless the airlines specifically states that they will transfer your bags.