30-year-old Texas-born Jack Sheldon, the founder of subscription newsletter Jack’s Flight Club, knows a thing or two about finding cheap flight deals.
A self-professed „geek” and „numbers guy” based in London, he sends email alerts on the cheapest deals on the web to his 500,000 UK and Ireland subscribers.
Having flown a lot himself, he believes that finding the cheapest deal always wins out over racking up air miles when it comes to longer term savings.
The advice is the opposite of what you hear from other travel experts and frequent fliers, who often say travellers should stay loyal to an airline.
„I know in the US they have very generous points systems and credit cards that give out huge bonuses,” Sheldon told Business Insider.
However, he added: „In the UK, Amex does small bonuses, but [otherwise] it’s virtually nonexistent.”
He said booking the cheapest flight available instead of the one with the airline you usually fly with will save you both money and time.
It also means you’ll end up collecting points with a number of airlines instead of just one.
„Collect points because they’ll build up over the long term, but the price difference between one airline and another is so large [that] if you purposely only fly with BA just to build up points, you’ll probably spend more over time,” he said.
„Buy the cheapest flight, but collect points, and you’ll have points with various airlines.”
Sheldon finds cheap flights departing from the UK and Ireland, then monitors and tracks prices multiple times a day to look at price fluctuations.
„When we see a route has fallen to a lowest price or there’s a mistake fare and the price is as low as it should be, we make sure our audience knows about it,” he told Business Insider.
While it’s free to register, premium members paying £35 a year for four times as many alerts, and the ability to select their ideal departure airport.
There’s also the option of downloading the newly launched Jack’s Flight Club app on iOS and Android which will let all members know about a deal right away.
Previously working in business development for a big data company, Sheldon launched Jack’s Flight Club in 2016 at the age of 28.
„I naturally started following airfare prices, and [was always] trying to find the best ways to get a cheap flight somewhere,” Sheldon told Business Insider.
He had the idea of starting a cheap flights club after realising the hunt for a deal was just as popular to the rest of the world as it was to him and his friends.
Though London is now his base, he said he has been „primarily living in Kiev” over the past few months and plans to head to Barcelona next — and he’s sure to find a cheap flight to get him there.