Finding cheap airfare can be a pain, but it definitely is possible if you have the time and patience. Airplane tickets mostly change every second, and so many factors go into the price of the ticket. For example, aircraft type, mileage of trip, popularity of destination, and the obvious, time of the year. Here are some tips when trying to score that super cheap airfare to your dream vacation.
Use These 8 Tips To Score Great Airfare Deals
1. Be flexible with your dates
A lot of airline websites allow the option to be flexible +/- 3 days to allow the customer to choose a cheaper date to fly. Never plan your vacation until your airplane ticket is purchased, because there is (some) room for flexibility. For example, it's always more expensive to fly on the weekend, so try planning your vacation from a Thursday to a Thursday. There are also really busy travel times like, spring break, summer, and the winter holidays, so make sure you’re putting that into consideration. You really won’t find any good deals during those times of the year.
2. The more layovers, the less you spend
A direct flight is always going to be the most expensive, well because, you’re paying for convenience. If you’re really trying to pinch your pennies, allow your search generator for multiple stops. This will decrease the price in the ticket, but it still gets you to your destination. For example a ticket from Philly to Miami will be way more expensive compared to Philly to Charlotte to Miami.
3. Delete your cookies
Trying to find the right ticket for the right price is going to take time. Research suggests that you always delete your cookies after you search so your computer doesn't “remember” the data. This way you’re giving your search a fresh new start, at the most updated prices. Research also suggest that you should always have your browsers in private mode to always see the lowest prices.
4. Don’t be afraid to fly low-cost carriers
Not to bash other airlines, but they call themselves low-cost carriers for a reason. If you truly want to go somewhere for really cheap, and don’t mind giving up all your comfort, book on a low-cost carrier, like Spirit. You’ll have less leg room, old aircrafts, and nothing is ever included like your beverages or luggage. Some low-cost carriers even make you pay to carry on your purse. Obviously all airlines have to meet FAA regulations, so don’t be worried about safety. You might just be very cramped for a few hours.
5. Use Skyscanner
Skyscanner lets you customize your search so you can save the most money on your flights. It also lets you look at a whole month and see what days are the cheapest to fly on. Sometimes it even shows what airlines are offering the best deals on that specific day. Really play around with the site and give the system some flexibility. You’ll be surprised what you might find.
6. Book longhaul flights separately
If you plan on flying longhaul, for example from Australia to Honolulu, then Honolulu to LA, and then LA to Boston, it is cheaper if you book the tickets all separately, and even on different airlines. You have to make connections anyways, so you could save a lot of money by putting in more work and booking everything by itself. Plus you get to experience different airlines and their culture, and you could even spend more time in your layover cities if you desire. Don’t limit yourself to exactly what the airlines suggests you do. Make your trip work for your budget.
7. Look into airline credit cards
Airline credit cards are a great perk for traveling. Usually every dollar spent is one mile earned. You can often earn double miles when purchasing tickets and items on board. You also get miles for your round trip airfare and extra miles when you first sign up for the card. For example, right now American Airlines is offering a special onboard promotion where you will get 40,500 miles just for signing up! That is literally two free round trip tickets.
8. Become a flight attendant (or marry one)
It's hard to get selected to become a flight attendant, but if you are so lucky to secure a position, you can travel all over. If you're dating a flight attendant or married to one, those special perks will extend to you. So next time you're in the airport, get the nerve up to ask a flight attendant out for a beer. You never know what could happen!
This article was written by Kevin Burrows.