There are two things I hate about traveling: packing and planning. There’s a reason why I don’t blog about travel hacks and tips and it’s because I suck at it (at the moment I’m writing this post, I’m less than 48 hours away from a trip and my packing list has precisely 2 items). As for spending hours browsing the web for flight deals? Forty-five minutes sound like an eternity to me so I give up quickly (and probably lose unmissable deals in the process). Enter Dollar Flight Club*, the service that’s like having your own personal travel planner that not only finds flight deals for you but saves you money on international flights. Curious to know how it works? Read on.
What is Dollar Flight Club and how does it work?
I confess that when the introduction email to Dollar Flight Club landed in my inbox a few months ago, I was skeptical. The subscription service promised to search and deliver flight deals straight to my inbox, for 40$ a year (yes, a year not a month), and I should expect savings of 500$+ per roundtrip ticket on international flights from my preferred departure airport(s).
Now, why would a reasonably affordable subscription service go out of its way to benefit me with amazing deals via email on a regular basis? Surely there had to be a catch.
Spoiler alert: there is none.
Determined to find out just how good they were, I accepted their invitation to sign up for a Premium account (I’ll explain the differences between the Premium and the free account in a bit) and I’ve been testing it for the past months. I also downloaded the mobile app (available here for iOS and here for Android).
How does Dollar Flight Club work then? Super simple process:
- Sign up
- Select your departure airport(s) (or region if you’re using the free version)
- Dollar Flight Club searches for deals on your behalf
- You receive an email and/or an SMS with the latest deals (or a notification on the mobile app if you’ve downloaded it) that are really worth it, which means you’ll only be informed of the deals that are 60%+ off
Although I live near Lisbon, most of the blog’s readers live in the United States, so I added a bunch of airports in major cities in that country. Unfortunately, as I quickly found out, Lisbon airport is not swarming with as many deals as other airports, but oh well.
At the moment, Dollar Flight Club sends deals to members in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and North and South America.
My list of airports is based on the cities most of my readers live and includes Lisbon (LIS), Boston (BOS), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR), Washington (DCA and IAD), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Houston (IAH), Miami (MIA), Richmond (RIC), Raleigh Durham (RDU), Tampa (TPA), Dallas – Fort Worth (DFW), Austin (AUS), New York (LGA and JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), Chicago (ORD and MDW), and Baltimore (BWI).
To be frank, I expected one of two things. Either I’d be so swamped with emails that I’d give up the service just to get rid of the clutter, or I’d receive zero deals. None of those two things happen.
A reminder that DFC doesn’t create these deals for you, they just find them. You can always try the Premium subscription for free for 7 or 14 days or sign up for the free version instead if you’re not ready to commit.
Dollar Flight Club also doesn’t book the flights for you and can’t guarantee that the deal is still there when you click the button to see it. But, worry not, it’s not one of those websites that forces you to book a flight by claiming the deal will vanish in the next 2:35 minutes, 2:34, 2:33, 2:32… You get the picture right?
Below a screenshot (the red boxes were added by me) from one of the emails I received recently with flight deals from Baltimore (BWI) to Ponta Delgada (PDL) in São Miguel Island,
What’s the difference between the free version and the Premium subscription?
With the free version, you still get flight deals in your inbox, so you have access to the core purpose of the service, but you don’t have all the perks of a Premium Membership. That said, below are the differences between both:
- Premium Members get every flight deal for their departure airport while Free Members only get a fraction of the deals. That means the chances of getting a flight deal that’s perfect for you increases with a Premium Subscription;
- Free Members can select their departure region whereas Premium Members can select their exact departure airport(s);
- Premium Members get deals alerts before the Free Members;
- Premium Members get special discounts with Dollar Flight Club partners and exclusive features like the Weekend Warrior Getaways Deals.
Most travelers prefer a DIY approach to travel planning and are probably not too keen on paying for a service. That’s fine, you can try Dollar Flight Club* on a 7-day or 14-day trial to assess if it’s worth it.
My impression of Dollar Flight Club as a brand (and why I recommend them)
The good thing about the flight deals you get on your inbox is that they are not anxiety-inducing nor you’ll have a fit of FOMO. This is not that kind of flashy deals that screams “BUY NOW OR IT DISAPPEARS” from your computer or phone screen when you’re at work or on public transport on your way home. If that was how they communicated, I would’ve canceled my subscription on the spot.
The information is clear, with no hidden messages or annoying pop-ups and flashy buttons. In an age of BUY! BUY! BUY NOW! I appreciate a brand that respects the relationship between consumer and product and that, especially, gives me time to make an informed decision about a purchase that not everyone can afford on a whim.
*NEW* Features for Premium Members!
Just minutes after I was adding the finishing touches to this blog post, wonderful news dropped in my inbox. What if you could get the same deals for domestic flights as you get for international flights?
Well, now you can! Dollar Flight Club added the Weekend Warrior Getaways Deals as a new feature for Premium Members only, so you don’t have to miss out on a travel deal even if all you have time for is a weekend getaway in your home country.
How this feature works:
- Once a week, Dollar Flight Club sends you a roundup of the most convenient and cheapest weekend trips from your selected airports
- All weekend deals depart on a Thursday or a Friday and return on a Sunday or a Monday, so you don’t have to worry about wasting vacation days
- All flights are nonstop flights to save time on your weekend getaway
The feature will roll out for U.S. departure airports first and will roll out later for other countries, so stay tuned!Disclosure: Since its beginning in 2014, Tripper has partnered with brands and businesses that align with the blog’s mission and values. Dollar Flight Club* is one of them. The author, Sandra Henriques Gajjar, has full editorial control of all blog content. That means all opinions are her own and, unfortunately, all (hilarious?) puns too. For more details on how and why Tripper works with brands, read the Work With Me page.