Advance Purchase Excursion Airfares

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APEX (and Super APEX) fares are airline fares that usually discounted because they have advance purchase requirements. APEX stands for Advance Purchase Excursion Fares.

APEX Fare Details

APEX fares can be among the lowest scheduled fares advertised by an airline. They've typically discounted fares but have restrictions such as: having to be purchased a certain number of days beforehand (typically 14 days, possibly 28); a minimum stay requirement (seven days or over a Saturday night). APEX fares are typically non-refundable and may have many other restrictions.

Other Types of Fares

Airlines typically sell airfares by one-way or round trip. Most general travelers end up with an airline's published fares, which can now vary greatly over time. 

However, airlines also offer other fares, including negotiated fares (typically with companies or government agencies). An example might be military fares, as well as consolidated fares. Consolidated fares are typically offered through third-party providers (or consolidators). 

Excursion fares are another type of discounted airline fares. Excursion fares are typically cheaper than full fare, but also have restrictions, such as weekend stays, advanced purchase, and times of the year.

Airlines sometimes also offer discount fares. Discount fares are typically offered for a limited time. For example, about every two weeks JetBlue sends an email highlighting a limited number of discount fares that are being offered for a limited time and between limited destinations. Make sure you check the details before booking a discount fare, and also make sure to save the details associated with the fare, so you can reference them later on if needed. Discount fares are typically only good for business travelers on the off chance that your business trips coincide with the specific sales and requirements that the airlines are offering.

Unrestricted fares (sometimes known as full fare) are the most expensive fares offered for a route and typically provide the most flexibility and options. They may be the only fares available on the day of travel or under short notice. Many business travelers frequently fly on unrestricted fares because they schedule at the last minute or have business travel needs that require additional flexibility.

Tips on Getting the Best Airfares

Getting the best airfare requires a little bit of planning, but it's usually worth it. And book early. Airlines are getting ever-more aggressive on raising rates, so if you see an airfare that you want today, you need to book it today. Otherwise, it will be gone tomorrow.