What's the best way to score cheap plane tickets?
Right now, of course, air travel is a risk-reward proposition. As of press time, for instance, round-trip flights between Portland and Hawaii will only set you back about $200, provided you're up for playing roulette with your immune system or don't mind sitting in coach with a hazmat suit on. Once things return to normal—whatever that means these days—the best option, according to Lillian Karabaic, host of XRAY.FM's Oh My Dollar! and a frequent flier, is to "let robots do the work for you." Google Flights will send you an email when prices for a specific trip drop below the average, and Scott's Cheap Flights (scottscheapflights.com) and The Flight Deal (theflightdeal.com) send curated newsletters crammed with deals directly to your inbox. More specific to this part of the country, Alaska Airlines has occasional social media "happy hours" where it raffles off, say, $25 flights to Las Vegas—not a lot of travelers participate, Karabaic says, so set a Twitter notification and your chances of scoring are high. A slightly more hardcore method? Scan travel-hacker message boards for alerts on "mistake fares," when airlines accidentally throw out, like, a $50 flight from PDX to JFK—they won't always honor it, but it's worth a shot. Otherwise, the advice you've heard is true: Fly out on a Tuesday, come back on Saturday, and you'll save cash.
It's a "trick" hiding in plain sight—right there on the team's official app. An hour or so before tipoff, a select number of seats on the 100 and 200 levels are made available on the Trail Blazers app at whatever the going rate happens to be, which, given the dynamic pricing system employed at Moda Center and the fact that it's just before game time, is basically the lowest it's going to get. The catch is that the user must have already purchased a ticket, so some forethought and dice-rolling are required. Want to sit close enough to distract Ja Morant on a free throw as the Grizzlies try to edge the Blazers for that last playoff spot? Nab a $14 nosebleed seat and get your swiping finger ready. It's a crapshoot, but the payoff can be rewarding—one fan on Twitter says he's successfully upgraded three times and saved around $80.
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