Finding cheaper plane tickets is a bit like searching for the Holy Grail – almost impossible, because the reality is that the cheapest plane ticket doesn’t really exist on its own. What do I mean by that? There are so many permutations for getting cheap domestic flights or cheap international flights – such as route, different airlines, travel class, seats, travel dates and times, etc., especially on international flights, that no travel agency or an airline can’t really guarantee that you’re getting the cheapest airline tickets.
This does not mean that you should not look for the cheapest airline tickets, but cheaper airline tickets that meet your own travel requirements in terms of time, convenience, comfort and more. In other words, once you’re happy with a flight ticket, it’s best to book and pay for it right away, instead of wasting time looking for something that can save you just a few bucks extra – given that if you can’t find it cheaper, your original deal may have been clicked up by someone else.
Ideally, if you regularly use a trusted travel agent to book your trip and vacations, you can give them details of what you want and trust them to show you the lowest fare currently available for the criteria for the fields you specified. If you do not take advantage of access to a reliable and trustworthy travel agent, here are my easy ideas to get cheaper air tickets:
Buy your ticket as soon as possible – Fares often start to increase 21 days before the flight. The earlier you book your flight, the better chance you have of finding a cheaper plane ticket. Try booking on Tuesday or Wednesday to take advantage of increased price competition.
Buy a return ticket and travel with one airline – round-trip tickets are usually cheaper than one-way tickets and it is often cheaper to book all the legs of your trip with one airline instead of a combination of several airlines.
Stay on a Saturday night – routes that include a Saturday night stay are sometimes much cheaper than mid-week travel. If you plan to return on Saturday, consider postponing your return on Sunday and see if the fare will decrease.
Choose an inconvenient flight time – Try different times of the night or day on different flight dates. Mid-morning and late afternoon flights are often crowded, so try to point out flights that depart very early in the morning or very late at night to see if there are cheaper plane tickets. Flying on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday can sometimes be cheaper because these are less popular days for flights on some routes.
Avoid traveling on or during the holidays – it’s sad, but it’s true that it’s hard to find cheaper plane tickets during the holidays. Try to plan flights on less popular days, e.g. Avoid traveling on Christmas or Thanksgiving, considering traveling in the days before or after those dates.
Use an alternate airport – Try using alternate airports near your planned destination to see if there are cheaper fares for another airport. For example, in the United Kingdom, tickets to London Stansted are often cheaper than flying to London Heathrow or Gatwick.
Use promotions and sales – Sign up as soon as the promotions are announced online, because the cheapest flights will sell quickly. Sign up for airline newsletters and travel alerts, or join organizations that offer discounts on specific airlines.
The best advice In Australia, some of the best last-minute flight deals can be found on cheap domestic flights, where Jetstar has a weekly “Fare Frenzy” from 4pm to 8pm every Friday and Virgin Blue has every day “Happy Hour” at noon. While there is no exhaustive list of tips to catch the cheapest air fare, using the methods above will undoubtedly save you a lot of money on your next flight.
Remember that different airlines follow different ticket rules, so these guidelines may not apply to every route, but try one or more of the tips above and see if you can find a better fare. Don’t give yourself coronary things by spending hours looking for the absolutely cheapest plane ticket – it’s not there. It is much better to have an idea of your budget and travel requirements and then book the cheaper air fare that is closest to their implementation.