How to Get Cheap Airline Tickets
You don’t need to spend so much money on plane tickets. There are many ways to go about and get the best deal for you. It’s not all about just looking for discounts, though. It’s about the correct timing, a little bit more research, and additional diligence.
While it may seem a simple work around on your usual habit, the amount of cash you can save just on cutting down the airline fare is totally significant. Now, if you’re looking for the secrets on how to lower down your airplane tickets, you’ve come to the right place.
Try flying on the actual holiday.
Changing your departure or return date by one day can save major amount of cash. The biggest savings typically come with flying on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. The exception is if you’re traveling over a three-day weekend around Labor Day or Memorial Day. By then, everyone is looking to fly on the actual holiday, so that’s the perfect time to try and extend your vacation by a day.
Search for tickets one at a time.
One of the things that people don’t usually know is how much they can potentially save if they search for tickets one at a time, even when flying with a group. Airlines often sell multiple fare classes at different prices, with a couple seats in each class. Also, there may be times when airlines sell tickets for multiple seats at higher prices.
If there’s only one seat left in the lowest fare class, and you search for four seats, most automated systems would show you the highest fare class for all four tickets. One thing you can do is try searching one at a time, just in case there are limited seats on sale. Doing this allows you to at least get some, if not all, of your tickets at the lowest possible price. If you lock in on the cheap fare and have the option to select seats, pick one next to an empty seat; then, immediately book the second ticket and select the seat next to the first one. It takes a little time and effort, but it can really pay off.
Search for flights during the midweek.
Airlines tend to launch their sales on Tuesdays and end them on Thursdays, so don’t limit your searches to the weekends. Advertised fare sales generally target the next two or three months of travel and have 14- to 21-day advance purchase requirements.
Search for two one-way fares, even on different airlines.
This tip is something that not most people would consider doing, especially because it would take a lot more work. However, it could prove to save you significant amount of cash. While some airlines charge extra for a one-way fare, it can pay to compare. Just make sure to triple-check the dates, times and cities so you don’t book two tickets that may end up not bring you to your target destination.
Look to book a package.
As a general rule for buying any kind of tickets – be it through flight tickets, concert tickets, or game tickets – package deals always give you the value that you may or might not need. As such, it’s best if you look for one, then evaluate if you’re actually saving money. Just like what how you check the most expensive sports tickets, it would pay off if you go out of your way and calculate the package deals that you get and whether or not their worth the big cash.
When considering flight tickets and the packages that airlines usually give as a promo, the same rules apply. For example, if you need a hotel in addition to your flight (especially in those trips that you definitely would need them anyway), it may be cheaper to buy a flight-and-hotel package than to book each separately. Many hotels take this opportunity to hide a very aggressive discount within a packaged price versus discounting the hotel alone. This is a great opportunity to find deals at big brands that are hesitant to have a low price next to their name.
Don’t fall in love at first sight with just one airline.
Just because you can see a quite cheap deal doesn’t mean it’s the cheapest. More so, just because a package deal is shown in advertisements, it does not mean that you can get the most value out of it.
Don’t fall in love at first sight with just one airline; always consider other options and be diligent in choosing the best airline ticket that you can avail. Most airlines now sell one-way flights at reasonable prices, meaning one might be cheaper for the outbound flight while the other works better for the return. You could even fly to one airport and depart from another.
Try out if you can take more than one flight that could be cheaper.
For example, JetBlue mainly flies to Long Beach instead of Los Angeles Airport — so if you can fly into Long Beach Airport, you might save as much as $50-$100 on the flight. Consider the same for Chicago, New York, the Bay Area, Dallas, Houston, South Florida and Washington, D.C.
Try checking Fly.com for your next flight as they could automatically notify you of a lower fare from a nearby airport — just make sure the difference in transportation cost to the airport is fair enough to make the trip to an alternative airport worth it.
Be on track with Twitter, Facebook and other Newsflash Emails.
Follow your favorite airlines on social media, because more often than not, they announce if they have a promo (and if you’re really into travelling, you should always keep watch because they would most likely only have limited slots). Also, there may be times when airlines cut down the prices of their tickets, especially when they can’t fill planes for an upcoming weekend trip. On any given Tuesday, they email offers for the coming weekend or following one to fliers who signed up for alerts. Travelers can leave Friday night or anytime Saturday, and then return on a Monday or a Tuesday.
You can also follow other websites that provide information on the latest travel deals and other travelling tips such as TravelZoo or Kiplinger. This way, you have access to deals that airlines can’t advertise directly. Since airlines only have a certain number of seats they can advertise at a discounted rate, as mentioned before, you having followed or being subscribed to these websites could give you a good heads up whenever a hot deal arises.
Another cheapskate rule: know when to be loyal and when to compare.
Keep a loyal rewards membership with favorite airlines to rack up points when it makes sense. Sometimes, it’s worth it to book a slightly more expensive ticket when it earns you points. Many airline credit cards offer generous sign-up bonuses that are enough for a free flight, not to mention perks like priority boarding, free checked luggage and more. However, to make an informed decision, it pays to compare all available fares before booking.
How about trying off-peak or shoulder-season travel?
During months when destinations see a lower volume of visitors, they respond by lowering flight and hotel prices. For example: Don’t rule out Europe in winter. Flights are a bargain (think $400+ less than what you’d pay in peak months). In addition to fewer crowds, you can check out picturesque Christmas markets and escape feeling guilty for spending all your time indoors wandering museums, palaces and cathedrals.