Today’s daily travel tip is all about flights. Anyone who is going to travel outside their country is going to have to at some point get on a plane to fly to their destination. In today’s society, most people are accustomed to this and for some it can be a weekly or monthly affair. However, flights can be expensive and can run into the thousands of dollars even for economy tickets. So here are some tips to getting a cheaper flight and making the experience just that much more enjoyable.
Since there are so many variables at play in deciding which flight to get such as weather, cost of gas, specific airlines, availability, specials, times of day, time of day data is fed to the site, booking date, travel date, arrival airport, departure airport, connecting flight availability, etc. so you have to run searches at a number of sites. So how do you get the best airfare?
Well there are basically three types of airfare websites and using these correctly is your first step in finding the cheapest flight.
1) Aggregators (ex: Yahoo Travel)
Aggregator sites check airfares for multiple airlines. These guys are your best bet and additionally charge no fee so their service is free to use.
2) Booking Engines (ex: Hotwire)
These sites check multiple websites and take a small fee usually under $10 in addition to the price of the flight. They process the sale on behalf of the airline and keep the fee.
3) Airline Company Websites (ex. JetBlue)
If you find a flight on booking engines, check the airline’s own site to see if you can get it for the same price minus the booking fee. Sites must be checked individually because sometimes airlines don’t offer their fares up to aggregators (ex: Southwest).
Also, flights are usually cheaper at certain dates, days, or times of day. For example, on the 13th of the month (due to superstition), in the mornings as oppose to afternoons or nights, etc. Saturdays and Wednesday mornings are often good times to check airfare prices as well. The airlines tend to release new fares around these times. Saturday mornings are also good times to find “error flights” which are errors by the airline data bases which sometimes can result in really cheap airfare. However, keep your pants on because this rarely happens. Also, since booking is often busier right after payday, it might be better to book after the 7th of the month.
Try and use one way flights also if possible. This is a money saving technique not many people think to use or opt to use. Some sites list separate prices for each leg of the flight (ex. Jetblue). If you find one of the legs less expensive than the other, check the more expensive route via flight booking engines as a one way fare. This way you can book two separate flights using two separate sites and get the best deal on each one way flight.
If you do book this way, make sure that each was booked around the same time and that each one is not expired before the other. You don’t want to take the chance that one reservation expires before you get a chance to book them both.
So keep these tips in mind when booking a flight and it will give you the best chance of getting that cheap flight!