Wondering how to get the best airline deals? In order to find cheap flights, you must be flexible, book early or at the very last minute, and do your homework. Here are 7 tips that will help you find the best bargains on airfare.
1. Flight prices are based on supply and demand. When the demand is high, airfares are expensive. You can find good deals if you travel when the demand isn’t high. Take red-eye flights, fly in the middle of the day, and fly mid-week. Business travelers typically travel on Monday mornings and Friday evenings so avoid those times. Also avoid traveling during holidays if possible and stick with the off seasons.
2. Call the airline you want to fly on. Some airlines will give you a lower price than what you find on airfare deals websites when you book directly with them. Since they have to pay a fee each time someone books one of their flights on a third party site, airlines are willing to pass along the savings to you if you book directly with them. In fact, you can save as much as 5 to 15 percent on the fares posted on airfare deals websites if you contact the airlines directly.
3. Accept flights with multiple layovers. Business travelers and others who travel frequently typically prefer to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. You can save a lot of money by taking flights with low-demand, available seats. Just make sure to bring plenty of magazines and snacks to keep yourself entertained!
4. Check the airfares from other airports in reasonable driving distance from your home. Sometimes flying out of a smaller, less popular airport can save you a lot of money. For example, flying to and from the Newark Airport is cheaper than flying to and from any airport in New York.
5. Check the airfares of discount airlines. An increasing number of discount airlines are popping up these days, and not all of them have fares listed on the big airfare aggregator websites that list airfares for multiple airlines. In the US, discount airlines include Southwest Air, Jet Blue, and Spirit. Spirit sometimes offers fares as low as $9 each way.
6. Book your flights early. More than 2 million flights are bought every minute. During peak seasons, more than 50,000 flights are bought per second. So if you find a good deal, don’t delay in purchasing it. You could end up losing the deal and paying more in the long run. When you’re traveling domestically, book at least one month in advance, and if you’re traveling internationally, book at least three to six months in advance.
7. Experiment with different travel dates. Shifting your travel dates by a few days or even a week can lead to significant savings. The best deals are usually for flights that depart on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday.