Positioning Flights are the Key to Flight Deals

Most people simply ignore a mistake fare or fare deal if it’s not originating from their home 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 positioning flights, and they are essential to being a Thrifty Traveler.

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. 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.

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 cheap one-way direct flight for only $115 on Sun Country. The cheap one-way flight was all I needed to get in on the incredible deal.

Thrifty Tip: Make sure to leave enough time (3-4 hours) between your positioning flight and your connecting flight. It’s always smart to leave a nice time buffer in case you run into issues.


positioning flights

Sample positioning flight


Bottom Line 

Positioning flights make any flight deal accessible from anywhere in the US. 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?