Smart ways to hunt for cheap tickets
Short practical tips that you must know...
Most airline tickets are overpriced. But, over 3 quarters of buyers are unaware of it and don't look deep enough to find more affordable ones. They buy those tickets that are lower priced and published, intensively advertised.
Plane ticket prices can be reduced, on average with 25-40 %, sometimes even with 75 %. It lies in the techniques, the tricks you use to book. Be smart and you will spend less!
In order to obtain cheap airline tickets, you must first understand what factors influence the airfare levels.
Here are the top 11 factors:
Date & time of flight
Date & time of booking
Modality of booking (online or offline)
Number of intermediate stops
Relationship between the different airlines if you need to change a flight
Airline ticket seller (travel agency or airline company)
Period of the year (end season tickets are usually cheaper)
How long the flight has been operated on that specific route
All these contribute to the level of prices.
For example: the more intermediate stops you have, the higher the prices are. Or, the later you book, the lower the prices tend to be.
Be on the lookout for the following opportunities to obtain cheap tickets:
Check all advertised airline ticket discounts
Check the last minute airfare deals (plane tickets sold just prior to flight often cost less)
Be flexible on dates, check different dates & times adjust your trip to the when the tickets cost less, not the tickets to the trip!
Check the offers of the low cost airlines and those of the conventional carriers as well
Make comparisons of airline ticket prices of different travel agents and airlines
Student airfares (student travel-specialized agencies especially offer discounts for student flyers)
Senior airfares (airlines like SouthWest and Midwest and many travel agents offer discounts for )
Buy round-trip tickets over one way ones
Book online instead of offline (internet booking is cheaper)
If you fly in group, take advantage of discounts for groups, in case your agent or airline offers such reductions
Avoid holiday rush periods, because airfares increase, look for end season deals (for instance: end of summer, early autumn)
Most importantly, after evaluating your options, make a choice that you're sure is the best one for you and book in advance!
Last minute flights might cost less, but these deals don't always exist, so don't count on booking late. Buy in advance after finding a good price!
Smart techniques for booking airline tickets, in details
Take our advices presented below and you will certainly minimize your expenses!
Airfare comparison shopping
More and more online travel agents introduce airfare comparison engines that display you the prices of tickets sold by different agents. You can directly buy the best-priced tickets from them or, if there are no such agents in your country/region, you can make comparisons yourself.
Sounds as easy as a clap of hands, but that's exactly why this is overlooked: you should check the deals of multiple carriers that fly on the same route, competitors and should also take account of the aircraft used (flights on certain planes cost less).
Hunt for occasional discount airfares
But, not just "hunt like a blind hound", but keep in mind when these price-cuts are offered. Because, discounts vary in dimensions from one period and situation to another.
In order to find substantial discounts...:
Look for published discounts on airline ticket prices (often appear in newspapers, travel magazines, various advertisements)
Look for last minute discounts (either at specialized travel agents or simply)
Check our the offers at the ends of important holiday seasons (in early autumn, for example, ticket prices are lower)
Detect possible promotions (rare discounts)
When a new airline launches itself on a market it often offers a promotional discount on airfares for the first several weeks, months.
Especially with low cost airlines, this technique is widely used. Sometimes free airline tickets are offered when the route is freshly launched.
Try online booking instead of buying from an office
Online sales implicate less operational costs to the agents and the airlines. This reflects in the prices of tickets as well.
Since travel services are sold over the internet, prices of airline tickets have dropped significantly.
Minimize intermediate stopovers or eliminate them!
The more airports you stop over, the more you pay. Because, most often airlines are charged fees by the airports where they land. This fee will be included in your ticket's price.
It gets even worse if you have to change carriers.
In case of stopovers, most of the time fees vary between 50 - 100 $. And, most often you will not be told about these charges, they will simply be "melted into" your ticket's price.
Only accept intermediate stops if you have studied the offers well and there is no way to eliminate them.
When accepting to fly with intermediate stops, it's good to continue your flight with the same airline (if possible) or if not, then choose an airline that is partners with the first carrier.
Airlines that are part of the same airline alliance favor each other and they often charge you less if you switch from one of them to the other in order to continue your route.
Buy round-trip tickets
Almost all of us know that this is cheaper than buying 2 separate one way tickets.
But, interestingly, on long haul flights, quite often, a round-trip ticket costs less than 1 single direction ticket! This most often happens on very long distance flights, such as Tokyo - Toronto or Hong Kong - Los Angeles. In this case, even if you don't want to return, you'd better buy a round-trip ticket, because it's cheaper. Of course, you will only use half of it!
Make a good schedules in order to avoid possible necessity for rebooking
Some people need to change their return departure date, because they have changed their mind about the returning date. Sometimes a vacation is just so good, you'd want to stay just a couple more days.
Rebooking means that you will be given a new ticket or a mention that the flight date has changed. Applied either for departure and return or just one of them, this usually costs! Fees are called "rebooking fee" and vary between 50 and 150 $ with most airlines. Most major carriers charge such fees.
Plan your flight well in advance, so that you don't have to modify the flight dates.
Take part in frequent flyer programs
Most major carriers have such loyalty programs. Even some low cost carriers have introduced frequent flyer programs.
This helps the carriers obtain a basis of loyal clients who usually travel with them in exchange for discounts or free bonus flights.
If you fly often, you must take advantage of the frequent flyer programs! This is a tremendous opportunity to obtain cheap tickets, even for business class flights!