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Two tricks to save costs of airline fares

Airfares rack up by your law department’s travel or flights by outside counsel can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fast Co., July/August 2007 at 58, points out two secrets to reduce those costs.

The website of Yapta let’s law departments take advantage of an underused regulation called “guaranteed airfare rules.” A law department can save because “if the price drops on the exact class of fare that you purchased, the airline owes you either a refund for the difference or a voucher for future use.” The department has to be able to monitor tickets that qualify for this benefit and their law firms, which can do so also, need to share the refund (See my post of June 15, 2005 on whether ethics rules require law firms to pass on savings to clients.).

The second Fast Company secret is to look for tickets that are “Y-Up” fares. These tickets are coded for a seat in coach but they get you a first-class seat. If you’re outside counsel can fly first class when a trip exceeds a certain length of time, this class of tickets can save money because they cost much less than a full fare first-class ticket. A website to help with this was described as