HOW TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS - FLIGHT BOOKING SECRETS & BEST BOOKING SITES - HOW TO FLY CHEAP LIFEHACK
How to Get Cheap Flights
Airline ticket prices vary considerably day to day, from airline to airline. Ticket prices sometimes vary so much that some people claim no two seats on the flight cost the same amount unless they are purchased together. Rather than leaving the price of your tickets up to chance and poor planning, use these strategic tips to get the upper hand on your flight purchase. With a few helpful tidbits, you could save hundreds or thousands on your travel around the world.
Searching the Right Way
Compare prices online using accurate and fair search engines.Finding the cheapest flights requires a rigorous search involving multiple search engines and airlines. However, many airfare search engines are actually owned or operated by major airlines, meaning unbiased searches are off the menu. Rather than sticking to search engines you see advertised on television, look for search engines that hunt down the cheapest fares among large airlines and small ones alike.
- Try out matrix.itasoftware.com. This website was developed by MIT in the 90’s and works by searching other airfare search engines. Flight inception? Maybe. But definitely one of the best means of finding cheap flights.
- Use skyscanner.net. This neat website searches all airlines, big and small, and allows you to look for the cheapest rates out of your local, rather than getting bogged down with specifics. Meaning, if you know you want to go on vacation but aren’t too picky about where, this website will provide the cheapest flights to everywhere in the world from the nearest airports to you.
- Momondo.com is a great option for searching airlines for cheap international flights. Rather than getting stuck paying high prices for large international carriers, this site will provide even the smallest international carriers in its search options.
Search flights from nearby airports.This is a very simple and effective trick to find cheap flights. Sometimes flights from local airport to your destination can be quite expensive while, on the contrary, flights from nearby airports can be really cheap. For example, international flights from Seattle are quite cheap when compared to international flights from Vancouver and the distance between the two cities is only 234 km (about a two and half hour drive). So driving or taking a bus to the nearby airport is sometimes a good way to get to your destination cheaply.
Visit individual airlines’ websites.Although airfare search engines are great, what they don’t tell you is that some airlines reserve their best deals for people who visit their sites specifically. Search for a list of large and local carriers in your area, and then search each of their sites specifically for the best deals. When coupons, discounts, or sales are offered, they will typically only be advertised on each specific carrier’s site and will run for only 1-3 days.
Get travel alerts.Spamming your email or message inbox on your phone doesn’t seem like the most organized way to get a deal, but travel alerts often offer amazing prices you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of. If your favorite airlines or airfare search engine offers travel alerts sent to your phone or email, sign yourself up! You won’t regret the few seconds it takes to delete those extra unwanted messages when you get the ones worth several hundred dollars worth of savings.
- Airfarewatchdog.com is a website run by people (not a computer) who search for the best deals and send them to your email. You can add specific search criteria via their site as well, allowing only deals pertaining to certain locations or times to be sent to your inbox.
- Flightfox.com is run by travel agents who individually search and hand-pick the best deals to be sent to you. This service requires a startup fee, but the site claims it will be fully refunded if you aren’t pleased with your results.
Follow airlines on social media sites.You may feel silly adding an airline to your “liked” pages on Facebook or following them on Twitter, but the benefit of doing so is the special offers you’ll receive. Airlines want to reward regular customers and encourage them to continue flying with them, so they will often advertise special low rates and discounts via social media sites only. Follow as many airlines as you can for the best chances of getting a sweet deal.
Search at the right time.Turns out, there is a best time to search for flights. After several studies of domestic (to the US) air carriers, it has been determined that the best time to search for flights is around 3:00pm Eastern time on a Tuesday. Why? Around this time is when airlines release their discounted flight options, and look to fill up last-minute flights for the upcoming weekend. Therefore, save your flight searching for a mid-afternoon break on the nearest upcoming Tuesday.
Search in the right time frame.Ok, 3:00pm on a Tuesday afternoon, got it. That’s not all though; searching a specific number of days from your flight is also necessary for getting the lowest price. Search at the earliest 3 months before your flight, and at the latest 18 days before your flight. It has been determined that the best deals are posted for flights about 6 weeks prior to their takeoff, so aim for about a month and a half before your trip to search for plane tickets.
Fly on multiple airlines.Looking for flights on single airlines may be the easiest, but you may have better results if you look into flying on multiple airlines. Try taking one airline to your destination, and a separate one from. Or, include a layover with another airline mid-flight. Breaking up your trip and splitting it between carriers is likely to save you money, which is worth the extra time and hassle it will cost you.
Book multiple items at once.You need your flight, a hotel, and a shuttle to and from each? Rather than spending time organizing each item separately, save money and time by booking them together. Although it may seem like a good way to spend more money, studies show that you actually save money by booking multiple travel items at once in a package deal.
Use your miles.If you’re a frequent flier, chances are you’ve gathered quite a load of frequent flier miles. These miles are redeemable for, as they suggest, free miles on an airplane to a destination of your choice. Sign up for a frequent flier card via your favorite carrier, or keep track of your miles with an air miles program. With enough saved up, you may even get a free flight!
Check for student discounts.That’s right, student discounts go beyond the movie theater and football games these days. Sites like statravel.com focus on finding flights at a discounted rate for students only. Don’t let the high prices of textbooks and tuition prevent you from travelling any longer; keep up with student discounted flights and head off on your adventures whenever you’d like.
Adjusting Your Travel Preferences
Fly out on the right day.Sure, leaving on a Friday promptly after work or heading on vacation on a Sunday after a relaxing weekend might be ideal, but it turns out these are the absolute worst times to fly. High air traffic on these days means that airlines jack up the prices. Plan your flights so that you depart on a Wednesday if possible, followed by a Tuesday or a Saturday. Mid week departures are the slowest, so carriers know they will have to accept lower costs in order to fill their seats.
Fly out at the right time.As with most of these search related parameters, turns out what we want the least is what makes the cheapest flight. The earlier your leave on a flight, the cheaper it will be. Red eye flights (in the middle of the night) are by far the cheapest, followed directly by early morning flights. Although you might luck out on a rare evening steal, typically the later in the day you depart, the more expensive your ticket will be.
Stick to economy.Possibly the most obvious way to save money on a ticket is to simply sacrifice the desire for creature comforts. You can save hundreds of dollars by flying in 4th or 5th class, rather than opting for 1st or 2nd with any airline. Although leg room and the dinner menu might be lacking, your wallet will thank you for the hefty amount of money you will have saved.
Keep your dates flexible.Many airlines have specific requirements for a minimum and maximum total number of days to be spent in a location in order to get the best deal. For the cheapest flights, stay for a minimum of 2 nights and a maximum of 30. Try to stay at your destination over a weekend, as flights that bookend a Saturday night are cheaper than those that lack a Saturday stay.
Indirect flights are the way to go.Although layovers can be a hassle - especially if you have several of them - flying indirectly to your location decreases the total cost of your flight. Direct flights are in high demand, and are therefore made more expensive by airlines. Keep at least one layover open as an option, and prepare to save more money by considering multiple layovers for a single flight.
Look into neighboring airports.The nearest major airport is a mere 20 minutes from your house, but several smaller airports are located within an hour’s drive. Rather than relying on the nearest or largest airport only, look into neighboring airports as well. These smaller airports aren’t controlled as heavily by large airline carriers, and have more ability to adjust their tickets and offer lower prices. Spend a few extra dollars to drive to an airport further away, and you may save several hundred on your flight bill.
Don’t be afraid of the little guy.It’s easy, and sometimes perceived as safer, to rely on large airlines as the sole means of air transportation. Instead of only considering large airlines, consider using small budget carriers. These small, area-specific airlines may offer lower prices as an incentive to choose them over the big guys. Do a search of budget carriers in your area or destination and see if they also offer lower prices.
Look into alternative routes.Slightly different than flying indirectly with layovers, if you aren’t in a time crunch consider taking alternative routes to your destination. If you can get a cheaper flight flying from Seattle to Boston, and then from Boston to London, then book two separate flights. Breaking up your travel will lengthen the amount of time you have to spend journeying to your destination, but it could be one of the best ways to manage saving money.
QuestionAre there hardship discount flights for flying last minute?Top AnswererMany airlines offer bereavement or compassion discounts.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I intentionally break up my trip and have a 48hr layover?Community AnswerYou can do this by filtering extended layover length, making a multi-city booking, or calling the airline when booking.Thanks!
QuestionIs there a discount available for mentally handicapped people?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is not likely, but there may be one depending on the particular airline. You should consult their websites directly, to see what type of discounts they may offer.Thanks!
QuestionDo any airlines offer discounts to senior citizens?Community AnswerSome do. Make sure to use the Advanced Search to utilize the Senior function to see if you can save any money.Thanks!
Is there a savings for a handicap person with a small service dog?
If you want to buy the cheapest flights, look for flights on search engines like Google Flights or momondo.com so you can compare flight prices across all airlines. For best results, search for flights on Tuesday afternoons, and make sure you're using a private browser, which can reduce the prices you see! Being flexible with your travel dates or booking at least 18 days before your flight can also help you find cheaper deals. For the cheapest deals possible, split your trip into multiple airlines or try booking indirect flights.
- Avoid travelling during 'tourist' and peak travel seasons to popular destinations. Tickets are typically most expensive in the summer and around major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
- Although most flights no longer offer it, "bereavement" discounts are sometimes offered on emergency flights booked day-of. Call your carrier and ask for the discount.
- Always factor in the cost of getting to the airport and to your destination sites from the airport. Suddenly a cheap fare becomes very expensive when a very long taxi or train fare is added in some places!
- If you have to be at your destination by a particular time, be careful about waiting too close to your departure time before purchasing your ticket. If you do not have your seat reserved a week before you need to be there you run the risk of not being able to get a flight. This is especially true of flights to popular destinations and during peak travel season.
- Be careful of midnight tick-overs when booking. If you wait too long to book your flight, prices can change as soon as midnight in your region or in the airline's region ticks over. Bear this in mind when hesitating; nasty surprises in price increases are not unusual when delaying making a decision!
Video: How to Find Cheap Flights (2018)
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