BBB Tip: How to avoid purchasing fake tickets to events | Business

As another Texas summer with record-breaking heat ends and the beginning of the fall season approaches, many people will be looking to get out and enjoy themselves at various events across the state. Residents may be planning to watch their favorite sports team compete this season or attend a concert featuring a famous musician. With the prices of tickets to major events increasing and the ever-present threat of con artists capitalizing on marketplace trends, BBB recommends consumers exercise caution when searching for and purchasing tickets to their next event.

While most people know to be careful when purchasing tickets off a third-party website or reseller, recent reports to BBB Scam Tracker show a concerning trend of scammers disguising themselves as reputable ticket sellers when interacting with the victim. These schemes often leverage the credibility of companies such as Ticketmaster to convince victims to provide payment for tickets that are either fake, for the wrong event or priced significantly higher than the going rate. Some may also advertise discounted tickets for high-priced seats or sections, which turns out to be false once the tickets are received, or the purchaser arrives at the venue.

In many worst-case scenarios, a consumer who is provided a fake ticket plans an entire weekend around the event, including travel costs and a hotel room, only to be turned away at the entrance. Victims may also find that the credit or debit card used to pay for the tickets has a series of charges they do not recognize, resulting in them having to cancel the card and dispute those transactions with their bank to varying degrees of success.

To help prevent fraudulent sellers from interrupting your event plans, Better Business Bureau provides the following tips:

  • Purchase directly from the venue whenever possible. Many consumers automatically go to a secondary resale market to purchase tickets for an upcoming event before first checking with the venue. Going directly to the venue may not only save money but is also a way to ensure that a purchase is for a valid ticket. Venues also often include what secondary resale organization they are listing their tickets on, giving consumers an additional layer of protection from purchasing fake tickets.
  • Consider your source. There is a significant difference between purchasing a ticket from a professional ticket broker and a ticket scalper. While dealing with the latter may result in obtaining valid tickets, the risk of encountering a scammer is significantly greater. Always exercise caution when purchasing from sources that are not members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) or Better Business Bureau.
  • Research the seller/broker. Brokers who are members of NATB offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets, protecting consumers that use their services. Visit to confirm you are interacting with a NATB-member resale company.
  • Check for website encryption. It is good practice to always check for the lock symbol in the website address, indicating a secured system is enabled on the site. BBB strongly recommends against giving any banking information to websites that are not secured.
  • Know the refund policy. Only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that clearly details the purchase terms. Avoid sellers who do not disclose where the seats are located or where purchasers can pick up tickets. If the deal seems “too good to be true,” trust your instincts and thoroughly investigate the seller before purchasing tickets.
  • Use protected payment options. Debit or gift cards, mobile banking apps and cash transactions are risky due to difficulties recovering money if the tickets are fake. BBB recommends using credit cards for all online purchases due to the additional protections they offer consumers to obtain a refund.
  • Verify tickets. If you doubt the authenticity of a purchased ticket, present it to the “Will Call” or customer service center of the event venue. They will inform you if it is legitimate or explain how a legitimate ticket for their venue should look.

If you have been a victim of a fake ticket scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Information provided could prevent another person from falling victim.

For more information about ticket scams, visit

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Travel experts share tips on how to save on plane tickets

Exerts said flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday is “significantly cheaper” than flying on a Monday, Friday or Sunday.

BEAUMONT, Texas — With the school year coming to a close and summer on the horizon, Southeast Texans are already thinking of destinations for summer vacations. 

Community members are looking for where to travel and ways to save. There are rumored tips and tricks that suggest when it comes to travelling by plane, getting cheap tickets is all in the timing. 

“We booked it two months in advance, so we got a pretty good deal,” a Southeast Texas traveler said.

Some believe booking an airline ticket on different days of the week can have a major difference in the price. Experts said a number of different factors play into how much a traveler will pay for a ticket.

“If you waited until May, mid-May to book your summer travel, you’re not out of luck but you are in a tougher situation,” Willis Orlando, Scott’s Cheap Flights employee, said. “So, you need to be as strategic as possible.”

Orlando said there is still hope for those looking to catch cheaper flights for their summertime vacations. The expert shared his top three tips on scoring a deal when travelling for the summer.

First, the expert encourages travelers to be flexible with their dates. Orlando confirmed flying on certain days is a lot cheaper than on others.

“If you can be flexible, if you can say, ‘Listen, I understand the flying on a Tuesday or a Wednesday or a Saturday is significantly cheaper almost across the board than flying on a Monday or Friday or Sunday,’ you’re much more likely to find a good deal,” Orlando said.

A 12News crew put the strategy to the test by searching for flights from Houston to Miami for a week in July. When crews looked at July 15 and July 22, which are both Fridays, the lowest price was $292.

When the days switched to July 12 and July 19, which are Tuesday, the price dropped to $201.

Orlando also highly suggests that travelers check competing airlines. Houston is a hub for United Airlines and competing airlines always try to dig the competition.

Lastly, Orlando said Texans should book a season ahead. Two to three months ahead is ideal for domestic flights.

As a bonus tip, Orlando said the destination matters as much as the day.

“If you want to go to the Florida Panhandle, or what have you, and everybody else, you know, you’re gonna pay more,” Orlando said. “Consider the inland or the mountains or the northeast or these places that are coolers for summertime. You’ll find great deals, small crowds, cheap hotel prices. It’s a good time to travel to those places.”

Orlando also said travelers should track their flights, so they can be alerted when prices drop or when they’re about to increase.

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Half-price European train tickets on sale plus the best rail passes in each country

All aboard! Interrail has slashed the cost of its unlimited travel passes in half.

The special flash sale – launched to celebrate Interrail’s 50 year anniversary – runs from today until 11.59pm on Tuesday 10 May.

The deal opens up thousands of kilometres of the European rail network, from northern Sweden to the sunny Greek Islands.

“A big celebration calls for a big adventure,” Interrail says.

How much will the new passes cost?

The massive discount applies to “global passes,” which allow unlimited travel for one, two or three months on the national railways of 33 European countries.

Passes purchased during the sale can be activated at any point over the next 11 months.

The one-month pass costs €335 with the offer – less than €13 per day.

A two-month ticket is €366, while three months costs €451, which is less than €7 per day.

Tickets cost even less for those aged 12 to 27. One month costs €252, while two and three months cost €274 and €339 respectively.

Mark Smith, the writer behind popular rail-travel blog ‘The Man in Seat 61’ has described the offer as “too good to miss.”

What’s the appeal of long distance train travel?

Generations of travellers have used the Interrail pass to explore Europe.

As consumers call for more sustainable travel, rail is an increasingly attractive option. Between 2005 and 2018, sales of interrail passes tripled.

This is great news for the planet.

According to the European Environment Agency, rail travel accounts for 14 grams of CO2 emissions per passenger mile. Air travel generates 285 grams per passenger mile.

What are the best national rail passes?

If you’re sticking to one country on your European adventure, it’s worth checking out national passes.

Interrail offers “one country passes.” Passengers on this ticket can book 3, 4, 6 or 8 days of travel around a nation of choice.

But national rail companies have their own passes, which can cut out the costly seat-reservation fees (up to €20) that train providers sometimes levy on Interrail pass holders.

Unfortunately France doesn’t have a whole country pass alternative to the Interrail pass. But other major European destinations do, so read on for all the details.

National rail pass in Italy

Craving a glass of vino under the Mediterranean sun?

Italy’s national rail provider offers their own railpass – the “Trenitalia pass” – for anyone resident outside Italy.

Unlike Interrail, it only covers Trenitalia high-speed, Intercity and sleeper trains. Regional trains are excluded, but costly seat-reservation fees are lifted.

Passengers buy a specific number of journeys (3, 4, 7 or 10 trips) in a set period of time. Prices start at €129.

Senior and youth versions are available and up to two children under 12 can be added to an adult pass for free.

National rail pass in Germany

Go from partying in Berlin to hiking in the Bavarian mountains with a German Rail Pass.

Non-German residents can purchase various consecutive or any-day passes, allowing unlimited travel on Deutsche Bahn trains for set periods within a month. Seat reservation fees are optional on most German trains.

Prices range from €182 to €470, and 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, and 15 day passes are available.

National rail pass in Spain

Non-Spanish residents can purchase the Renfe spain pass. Travellers can buy either 4, 6, 8 or 10 individual one-way train journeys of any length in a one-month period. These journeys are valid on all of Renfe’s long-distance and medium-distance trains. The cost of the pass covers all booking fees.

Unlike the Interrail pass, it does not offer unlimited travel over the course of a day – if you change trains, that will count as two journeys. On the interrail pass, if you book a day of travel, you can take as many trains as you want.

Renfe pass prices range from €180 to €210.

Travel passes in Switzerland

Tourists to Switzerland can buy a Swiss Travel pass. This gives unlimited travel on the Swiss rail network over a continuous period of 3 days, 4 days, 8 days or 15 days.

A Swiss Flexi pass offers unlimited travel across the Swiss rail system for either 3, 4, 8 or 15 travel days with an overall period of a month.

Prices range from €232 to €439 for a second class ticket.

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6 Travel Tips to Save You Money on Plane Tickets and Hotels in 2022

Travel is back — complete with sardine-packed airports and stuffed seats, despite the masking and COVID-19 testing requirements for international travelers. At least, that’s what I thought when I took a trip to Spain via Chicago this March.

Nearly a month later, the picture of what travel looks like for the rest of 2022 snaps into sharper focus. The immediate future of travel is expensive. At least in the US, the mask mandate is essentially no more — but airline cancellations and delays are skyrocketing, along with fuel costs. Those rising prices will affect road trips as well as flights. In fact, airfare costs rose by 10.7% in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rebound in travel comes at a time when inflation has reached its highest point since 1981. Climbing gas prices the world over are exacerbated by the ongoing war in Ukraine. Food costs are also higher (some warn of a global wheat shortage as a result of the conflict), and global economies remain short-staffed as a result of the pandemic.

Yet, 85% of Americans expect to travel this summer, according to the US Travel Association. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to use every tool you have to cut costs, whether you’re hopping into a car, boat or plane. Here’s how to save on travel despite the climbing costs.

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Take advantage of COVID-era booking flexibility

Many COVID-related changes for airlines and hotels are here to stay. “Airlines have mostly removed the punitive change fees that had been a long-standing frustration with travelers,” said Scott Mayerowitz, executive editor at CNET’s sister site The Points Guy

Now, most major airlines will allow you to change a flight without incurring fees for most domestic, Caribbean and Mexican destinations. Change fees, however, will still largely apply to international flights, Mayerowitz said, so keep this in mind if you’re planning to travel farther abroad.

The same applies to flights booked using miles. Airlines used to charge a mile redeposit fee, Mayerowitz said. Now, you can book a flight directly with an airline using points and cancel with no penalty.

This mass elimination of change fees can be an opportunity to save money, said longtime globetrotter Stephanie Zito in an email. “Book early when tickets are cheaper,” she said. “Then change or cancel if your plans change. If there happens to be a price decrease on what you booked, you can still cancel and rebook” at a lower price.

Basic economy is cheaper, but think twice before booking

While regular flights are getting easier to change or cancel due to COVID, basic economy tickets are becoming more restrictive. Basic economy tickets usually offer the lowest upfront prices, but they lack flexibility — you can’t reschedule or cancel at all — and they charge extra fees for almost everything from bringing a carry-on to choosing a seat. And you’ll most likely be one of the last passengers to board the plane.

It’s important to keep this in mind because most booking portals, including those from airlines and credit card loyalty programs, will show you basic economy options first, stealthily sometimes. You might think you’re getting a great deal, but if you read the fine print on that fare — as you always should with any travel booking — you’ll realize you’re painting yourself into an option that could cost more than you bargained for in the end. 

A quick search for flights from Austin, Texas, to Amsterdam in April on Kayak and Expedia showed me round-trip options between $560 and $612, which sounded pretty good for that route. But it was only after I selected the tickets that all the restrictions came to light. When I picked the standard economy option, the same trip’s cost jumped up hundreds of dollars to $842 on both sites.

Travelers need to do their research first and be comfortable with restrictions they agree to. If you need to be flexible with your dates and can afford the extra cost of standard tickets, it may be a better value in the long run. 

Pack strategically to save money (yes, really)

Can the way you pack your bags save you money? Absolutely, though it depends on the situation.

If you’re flying on an airline where you’re not a loyalty member, packing everything you need into a carry-on bag could save you up to $30 per traveler for each leg of the trip. If you do check bags, doubling up so one large suitcase holds two people’s clothing (particularly if you’re a part of a family group) can halve your total costs in that department. 

While some airlines, like Delta, are experimenting with removing baggage fees to reduce delays, low-cost airline Frontier airline lowered its weight limit for checked bags to 40 pounds from 50 pounds — the industry standard. In this case, packing less could save you more. 

(Remember, many airline credit cards offer at least one free checked bag, plus priority boarding, as part of their benefits.)

Keep in mind when you check bags that you run the risk dealing with unexpected delays and lost luggage — and in the worst case scenario, a night without your suitcase. 

You might want to bring more snacks, extra days’ worth of medication and a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage, Mayerowitz suggested, in case your flight gets canceled or plans change. 

“Airlines are doing very big schedule changes to this day” and restaurants are not fully staffed in many places yet, he said: “As a traveler, you just need to be prepared for all sorts of scenarios.” While some airlines will reimburse you for basic needs in certain circumstances, you’ll largely be on your own for food, toiletries and additional comforts.

Redeem those points you’ve been sitting on

Thousands of travelers haven’t gone on a trip since the pandemic started. If you’re one of them, dipping into the reserves now is an easy way to save cash.

“There’s just a massive stockpile of unused points and miles out there,” Mayerowitz said. How many? Travelers accumulated over 27 billion unused miles by the end of 2020, according to a ValuePenguin study.

“I think the cost of flights in cash is rebounding a bit faster than the cost in points,” said Emily Sherman, senior managing editor at education site Optimal and a self-proclaimed points and miles travel fanatic. “The cost of a flight in points is often more affordable than in cash, and you won’t feel the sting of the charge hitting your account,” Sherman said in an email.

Not all points structures are the same, and the longer the flight, generally the more points it costs. Still, dipping into your points reserve could help reduce the overall cost of travel while you save up for your next trip.

Join your favorite hotel’s membership club

Signing up for a hotel loyalty program — such as Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors or World of Hyatt — can save you money in the long run in several key ways. Remember, these are bonuses that add up. I’m not talking about room upgrades, although those are always nice. Benefits like free faster Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, late checkout and additional bonus points have equivalent monetary value. 

Taking the family on a five-day trip now can help you earn toward a free night later in the year. And a room that gives you a 4 p.m. checkout instead of the usual 12 p.m. might save you money by using the hotel amenities longer before a late flight, compared to finding other activities to fill your time before heading to the airport.

Joining hotel loyalty programs is free and they usually offer discounted rates or guaranteed lowest prices to their members, but you’ll have to book directly with the hotel to reap the rewards. Using a branded hotel credit card when booking directly with a hotel can help advance your rewards and savings even further.

Just keep in mind that benefits can vary by the hotel chain and individual property, so you’re not guaranteed all benefits every time you travel. 

Say yes to alternative destinations — and low season

While millions of travelers stayed put during the first two years of the pandemic, many popular destinations that were sinking under the weight of tourism overcrowding — also known as overtourism — had the chance to rethink their approach to visitors. Cruise ships have now been formally banned from Venice’s historic city center in Italy. Barcelona, Spain, has forbidden short-term private room rentals. Amsterdam, Netherlands, has banned new hotels and souvenir shops in the city center. Other places like Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Machu Picchu, Peru, are taking similar measures in response to the potential massive return of tourists.

Choosing alternate destinations, traveling domestically and taking trips during the so-called shoulder season — the time between peak and off seasons — is a time-tested way to reduce the outflow of cash while you explore or relax.

Tools like Hopper and Google Flights can help home in on good deals at unexpected destinations, said Sherman, the avid points collector. “It’s amazing how much you can save by traveling outside the normal tourist season,” she said, “And there is usually still plenty to do at your destination.”

Whether you travel domestically or plan to branch out further, make sure you stay updated on travel restrictions to avoid unexpected obstacles. If you’re worried about uncertainty when planning a trip, you may consider travel insurance, which you can buy as a stand-alone policy or get through a travel credit card. This may give you some peace of mind while protecting you financially.

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From low-CO2 flight tickets to the best eco-hotels

Enjoying a glass of Bordeaux at my seat on the top deck of the TGV train from Paris, I soaked up grandstand views of the saltwater lagoon at Étang de Thau as the train rolled south from Sète, across the Spanish border.

It was early November and, having left London on the Eurostar just after 7am, I’d spent the day catching glorious glimpses of the French countryside as I journeyed south, arriving in Barcelona just as evening fell. Going green, I mulled, has become positively serene.

It’s not just travelling by rail that has become smoother. It is now far easier to choose more sustainable options at all stages of holidaying. At the outset, there are any number of ways to pack greener, from portable solar-powered devices, such as stoves and phone chargers, to reusable items to avoid single-use plastic.

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Green hotels are also easier to track down. and Google both now flag up eco-certified hotels in their search results, and many accommodation websites now group green businesses in collections, such as Sawday’s “Sustainable stars”, i-escape’s “Eco rating”, Host Unusual’s “Eco Stays” and Cool Places’ “Eco Retreats”.

While flights continue to burn huge amounts of fossil fuel, they can’t be framed as “green”, but it is possible to choose services that generate less-than-average CO2 emissions; flight search engine Skyscanner highlights these “Greener Choices” within its results and has recently expanded the initiative to cover car hire, showing customers where electric and hybrid options are available.

Changing trains in Paris on my way to Barcelona, I glanced up at the departure board at Gare de Lyon and spotted several exciting destinations I could reach by high-speed train for my next trip, from Annecy to Lausanne. As a greener traveller, Europe has never felt easier to navigate.

Richard Hammond is a writer and filmmaker who founded the award-winning website 

The Green Traveller is published on 5 May (£18.99, Pavilion)

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Summer 2022: How to save money on plane tickets

While plane ticket prices are rising, there are still ways to lower the cost as much as possible.

Hoping to fly to your summer vacation? Plan on opening your wallet a little, perhaps a lot, more than a few months ago.

According to the fare comparison site Hopper, the average round trip ticket is up more than 30% from a year ago, to now just over $330. But that may seem cheap if you’ve been searching for summer flights, where many are $400 or more.

RELATED: Construction at Bush Airport is causing traffic jams for travelers

The biggest reason for rising fares right is the dramatic jump in oil, and therefore, jet fuel prices.

Delta says jet fuel is costing the airline 33% more than at the end of last year, so it recently announced a 10% across-the-board fare hike to cover those costs.

Other airlines are raising fares too.

RELATED: Check flight status, road traffic and forecast ahead of your travel plans

The second reason for rising fares: Soaring demand for travel.

Scott’s Cheap Flights says flights are as full as they were in 2019, pre-pandemic, but fewer planes are in the air.

Airline seats are priced based on demand, and with most flights full, prices are going up up and away.

Hopper says to keep your fare down:

  •    Avoid flying on Friday or Sunday
  •    Book 4 weeks in advance.
  •    Price other airports within a 2 hour drive.

RELATED: Why are ‘ghost flights’ causing controversy?

Finally, business travel is starting to return after a two-year pandemic pause and that’s increasing demand even more.

As always, don’t waste your money.

Note: The following video was uploaded in March 28

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7 Tips To Book Cheap Air Tickets For Your Next Holiday

Aren’t the airfares the most expensive part of our travel plans? We need to keep aside a large portion of the travel budget for booking the fights. Finding budget-friendly tickets can be a deal maker or a deal breaker for anyone, a solo traveler or a family on a vacation. Despite the deals offered by the airlines and tour operators daily, there’s always a fine line we just always seem to miss and never get down to planning the perfect getaway. This is where we help you with tips and tricks to always get the perfect price that fits the bill and ensures you never miss a moment of fun on your next holiday. We’re sure that with these tips for booking cheap air tickets, you’ll never be stranded at home.

Also Read: 7 Things To Pack In Your Travel Backpack


Travel guide to fly cheap

7 Easy Tips To Remember When Booking Cheap Air Tickets

1. Book Your Trip Based On The Dates Availability 

Instead of keeping the travel dates fixed, keep a scope of flexibility in your travel so that you do not face high prices. When the dates are flexible, it is easy to book the flight tickets based on the availability rather than paying high for the desired dates.

2. Have No Fixed Destination

If you are traveling for leisure or planning a family trip abroad, it is always better to keep your choices open. Plan your vacation based on the availability of cheap airfares rather than keeping a fixed destination.

3. Choose The Route Which Will Save Money

We know that layovers between two countries can be cumbersome and boring. But won’t it be worth it if you are saving a large chunk of your travel budget by choosing two connecting flights rather than a direct flight? Unless it is a business trip or an emergency, we advise you to take connecting flights instead of non-stop flights.

4. Check Your Spam Folders For Great Deals

Travel aggregators sometimes send in great deals on your registered email addresses with promotional codes or slashed flight tickets. So, checking the spam folders once in a while can save you a few bucks.

5. Don’t Restrict To A Single Search Engine

You may be relying on a particular search engine or using something particular for normal use. But when it comes to booking an airplane ticket, we recommend using more than one search engine to crack the best priced deal.

6. If You Are A Student Then That’s A Bonus

Students with a valid identification proof get discounted prices for their travels in various airlines. Additionally, some airlines also allow a few extra kilos to carry in their check-in baggage too so don’t forget to check that as well.

7. Try Multiple Airlines Covering The Route.

Even for a single journey with layovers, try to check the cost by choosing a different carrier and the cost may be lower than choosing a single airline carrier. For example, if you are planning a trip to New York from Mumbai, try to check the tickets from Mumbai to Frankfurt or London, separately and then check for Frankfurt or London to New York. This may give you a better price than if you book them with the same airline.

These are just a few hacks which may work for you. We have also heard that booking tickets on Tuesdays or at a particular time of the day or even searching in incognito mode works in giving you the best deals. How about you tell us some more tricks of the trade that aren’t listed here on the comments section below?

Also Read: 5 Places To Travel In India This April To Beat The Summer Heat

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Planning to travel this summer? Buy plane tickets now before prices soar

If you’re panning to travel this summer, act fast because plane ticket prices are going up.

A travel advisor is warning that high gas prices and high demand are going to drive up prices. Also, airlines still haven’t fully restored the number of seats or flights that were cut during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We used to see, ‘Oh I could go to florida last minute, it’s only going to cost me $300.’ That trip is going to cost you $400-$600. Same thing going to Vegas for $400 – that’s going to cost you $700-$800,” said David Fishman with Cadillac Travel.

Fishman recommends booking your flights for the rest of the year as soon as possible.

He said prices will level out once airlines restore their inventory. But when could that be?

A spokesperson from southwest said the airline is four percent down from its pre-pandemic level and expects to be back by 2023.

Delta Air Lines cut 80% of its capacity in 2020 compared to 2019. At this point in 2022, Delta is nearly 90% back to its pre-pandemic capacity.

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March Madness tickets 2022: Final Four ticket prices falling ahead of tip-off of Duke vs. UNC, Kansas vs. Villanova

NEW ORLEANS – What was anticipated to be one of the most expensive Final Four tickets ever has .. gotten pretty close to normal?

It seems the challenge for those wanting to get to the end of the Mississippi River and attend tonight’s matchups of Kansas vs. Villanova and Duke vs. North Carolina is actually getting to New Orleans in the first place. As we’ve discussed previously the prices for hotels and air travel from most of the country to Crescent City have been through the roof.

So the market for tonight’s tickets is limited to those within driving distance of the Superdome. And for that reason you can get a seat for a very reasonable amount to see what might be Mike Krzyzewski’s last game as the head coach of the Blue Devils.

This has gone from one of the most expensive Final Four tickets last weekend to one of the cheapest now, with no games played in-between.

It seems travel is limiting the price of tickets more than the desire to be here. But New Orleans doesn’t have the biggest airport, isn’t exactly designed as a city for last-minute travel, and every AirBnb for dozens of miles is quite pricey.

If this game were in New York or Philadelphia, or even a city like Houston or Los Angeles, we might see some serious upward price pressure. But in The Big Easy, it’s pretty easy to get to tonight’s Final Four doubleheader.

But you’ve got to be here already.

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Travel to Qatar for World Cup 2022: Guide, requirements and FAQ on tickets, hotels and weather

Later this year, Qatar will make history as they host the first-ever World Cup held in winter, with the tournament getting underway on Nov. 21. 

Running until Dec. 18, the timing and location of the competition has sparked controversy and intrigue in equal measure as fans prepare for a feast of international football from all around the globe. Format-wise, 32 teams from eight groups will compete for a place in the knockout rounds in the lead-up to the final in Doha. 

Some of the biggest heavyweights from around the world have already booked their tickets to Qatar, including Germany, Brazil, France, and Argentina. The Canada, USA and Mexico national teams will join them in the Middle East after surviving the CONCACAF qualifying stages.

Below, Sporting News runs through some of the key things you will need to know if you’re planning to head to Qatar this year. 

MORE: Which teams have qualified to the 2022 World Cup?

Travel requirements to gain entry to Qatar

Any visitors to Qatar who are non-citizens “must submit a negative pre-travel PCR lab result obtained no more than 48 hours before the time of departure from the country of origin” as cited by the US Embassy to Qatar.

Fully vaccinated or recovered travelers will not need to quarantine or provide proof of a negative rapid antigen test on arrival. Non-vaccinated and non-immune visitors will need to quarantine for five days in a hotel or five days “home quarantine” for those with relatives in the country (proof of residence and relationship is required).

They will also be required to take a rapid antigen test on day five of hotel/home quarantine before being allowed to freely roam in the country. 

Travel restrictions currently present in Qatar

The US Embassy to Qatar currently advises a Level 4 Travel Advisory level, which indicates that citizens should not travel to the country based on high levels of COVID-19 being prevalent. Of course, with the World Cup just around the corner, many fans from all over the world will be looking to book up to see the world’s greatest players take center stage. 

Those keen on taking the trip should follow updates from the U.S Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs website for more details as they arise before the World Cup kicks off. 

MORE: World Cup intercontinental playoffs set to be held in Qatar

Qatar World Cup 2022 travel packages

Travel packages for the World Cup range from week one of the tournament right through to the final. 

Qatar Airways, the official airline of the country, is offering up a host of packages that can be found below that include flights, accommodation, and match tickets:

  • Support Your Team – Week One and Two (four-game package)  – from $6,590 
  • Early Groups – Week One (three-game package) – from $4,950
  • Later Groups – Week Two (three-game package) – from $4,700
  • Knockouts – Round of 16 (two-game package) – from $3,800
  • Knockouts – Quarterfinals (two-game package) – from $4,050
  • Knockouts – Semifinal and Final (three-game package) – from $7,300
  • Knockouts – Final and third-place game (two-game package) – from $5,600

FIFA is also offering several packages for the tournament; however, flights, accommodation, and tickets will all need to be bought separately for the finals in Qatar. 

USA Match Hospitality is also a verified distributor worth checking out for soccer fans embarking on an adventure to the Gulf Region this winter.

Flights to and from Qatar: How much will they cost?

Four cities will host 2022 World Cup matches: Doha, Al Wakrah, Al Khor, and Al Rayyan. Doha will be the main port of call for soccer fans heading to the tournament, and Doha Hamad International Airport will be ready to receive visitors from November when the competition kicks off. 

Since 2021,  Four U.S. cities – Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. – are offering two daily flights from the US to Qatar, while Dallas-Fort Worth increases to 12 flights per week with Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle all providing daily service.

For example, one passenger flying out from Washington Dulles International Airport to Doha on Nov. 16 and back on Dec. 19 to the same airport (duration of the tournament) would set themselves back roughly $2,100. 

Admittedly not cheap, but a worthwhile price to pay to see their heroes in action on the big stage. Below is a list of some airline providers for those looking for more information on the exact costs from their location: 

Hotels in Qatar

There will be several different options for visitors during their stay, including fan villages, cruise ship hotels, standard hotels, and local apartments and villas to call home for their time in Qatar. But given the demand, the availability might disappear quickly.

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has an official accommodation agency, which has important information and portals regarding the exploration of options to stay in the country according to one’s budgetary reach. 

It might be worth looking beyond standard hotels, however, as a lot of them are believed to already be fully booked due to the mass influx of block-buyers looking to secure their place at the World Cup well ahead of schedule.

The official FIFA World Cup website, Qatar Airways, and Trivago website may be some of the strongest resources available for consumers to inquire about potential stays in Qatar that cater to their needs. 

MORE: Who are the oldest players in World Cup history?

Car rental in Qatar 

Car rental in Qatar will vary from company to company, though SIXT offers some deals to help visitors get on the road. 

Usually, these tend to start at around $175 per day, but will rates per day often decrease based on the length of the rental. For example, with SIXT, picking up a vehicle for the first week of the tournament would cost around $132 per day. 

In terms of the whole tournament, you are looking at around $127 per day to get yourself a rental car. Nevertheless, this will vary from dealership to dealership. 

Here are some other notable car lenders in Qatar that would be worth checking out for local rates: 

  • Europcar Qatar
  • Al Taif Rent a Car Co
  • United Car Rentals Qatar
  • Oasis Rent a Car
  • Auto Z Car Rental
  • Total Rent a Car
  • Al Saad Rent a Car Co Wll

Popular questions about travel to Qatar

Clothing – what should I wear?

Qatar is an Islamic country, with a very traditional outlook on life. Despite there being no mandatory dress code in the country, modest and conservative clothing items are advised. For men, this means the wearing of shorts may be frowned upon, whereas for women, they should try to avoid the use of tank tops or mini skirts in particular.

Sleeveless shirts are also not permitted, along with strapless or see-through clothing. There could be legal punishment if you do not adhere to these rules, so it is probably best to be careful if you are planning on going to the finals. 

What will the weather be like? 

The weather will be warm, with average temperatures in November and December reaching 82 and 75 Fahrenheit respectively. 

Prepare accordingly for potential fluctuation in weather which could mean a steep increase in temperature across these months. It is unlikely to rain during this timeframe, and having barely any breeze in the country will leave you feeling sweaty, so don’t forget your deodorant and sunscreen!

What side of the road do they drive on in Qatar?

In Qatar, they drive on the right side of the road, similar to the United States and Canada which will come as a relief. Most cars are automatic, though you should be warned that driving through Qatar might take a little while to get used to due to its unique landscape. 

Will I be able to drink alcohol in Qatar?

Technically yes, but it may be more complicated than that depending on your situation arriving in Qatar. Alcohol is not illegal in the country, though it is prohibited to be consumed in public, and being drunk is illegal. 

You need to be of 21 years of age and have a permit to buy alcohol currently, though it is not yet confirmed whether these rules will be in place during the duration of the World Cup. Alcohol is in very short supply, only being able to be obtained from authorized distributors (mostly found in Doha), licensed restaurants and luxury hotels. 

Alcohol will be available to buy in stadiums during the World Cup only for those who hold hospitality packages. It will cost around $13 for a pint of beer in Qatar, due to the country imposing sin taxes on alcohol as it is not a cultural norm. 

What is the emergency number in Qatar?

The emergency number in Qatar is 999 for those needing to get a hold of emergency services. 

What currency do they use in Qatar?

Qatar uses the Qatari Rial as its form of currency. $1 USD would be the equivalent to 3.64 Qatari Rials in current currency exchange rates.

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