Tip Sheet
Big airlines make like discounters. How you can cash in
By Donna Rosato

(MONEY Magazine) – CHANGES IN THE AIR In January, Delta cut domestic fares more than 50%. Other big carriers followed. Fantabulous, right? Well, it depends.

YOU WIN IF... You're a business traveler. Delta capped one-way coach fares at $499 and one-way first-class at $599 and dumped its Saturday-night-stay rule. Now you can fly whenever you want or buy at the last minute and not get gouged. It's cheaper to change your mind too: Delta halved its ticket-change fee to $50.

YOU LOSE IF... You like to buy tickets from a human. Delta and others have added a $5 fee to make a phone reservation and $10 to buy in person. Solution: Book online—it's free.

YOU BREAK EVEN IF... Discounters already serve your area or you're a jet-setter. Fares on low-cost rivals are still often lower. And the changes don't apply to overseas flights; book 30 days ahead for the best deals. —DONNA ROSATO