How to find cheap flights?
Flight tickets constitute the biggest part of trip costs, so it’s very important to understand which tools and techniques to use in order to book a cheap flight.
Before mentioning any particular flight search service, I would like to introduce you with some important flight tickets pricing rules. Knowing those rules not only will save you money, allowing you to understand how to book the cheapest flight ticket but will also save you tons of time.
Principles of flight tickets pricing
- Travel dates determine price
Flight tickets prices vary depending on the day of the week, season (low season or high season), upcoming holidays, big sport events etc.
Flight tickets prices are usually lower:
- during the middle of the week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays are off-peak days, and there are usually less passengers, which means lower flight price)
- after holidays period (after New Year, Easter, etc)
- early morning and late evening flights are cheaper as less people prefer flying in more convenient time
Flight tickets almost with no exclusions cost a higher price:
- if travel dates are at peak season and holiday weekends (due to high demand for flights)
- booked later than 14 days prior to departure
In some occasions flights tickets will cost you less if you:
- book Round Trip fare. Even if you need just One-Way ticket, check what is the price for Round Trip. Some traditional airlines are engaging passengers buying round trip fares, so they price Round Trip cheaper than One-Way. Such rule is coming from the past century, when the competition was less and people used to fly only with one particular airline.
- book a connecting flight. Connecting flight as less comfortable and may cost less.
- book flight with a Stopover. Some flights require overnight or day stop in the intermediate airport. Such flight tickets may also be much cheaper than direct flights. Use the opportunity to explore another city almost at no extra cost.
Some airlines and booking sites now offer so called “lowest price guarantee” or free cancellation within 24 hours after your booking. Monitor your flight for 24 hours after your booking, and if you find a better offer, contact the airline/booking site, and try either to get a fare difference for the overpaid amount, or to cancel your current booking and book a cheaper fare.
2. Be flexible with Destinations/Airports
- Consider other destination. The place you would like to visit might cost the earth. Don’t stick to one particular place. Instead – observe all good offers available from your place and select one good destination out of them. In the next section, I will tell you more about best websites for finding cheap flight tickets.
- Consider other airport. Brainstorm, if there are any other airports located near your place. Check prices to all nearby airport. It might be, that flying to an altern
ate airport can save you hundreds of dollars.
3. Be ready to act
Know the price you are comfortable to pay for flights tickets, and when the price drop down to the level you are willing to pay, buy your tickets. You might be willing to wait a few days more, may be the price will drop down further, but price can also increase and you will have a lot of frustrations.
Flight searching game is very entertaining, and you might become involved in everyday low price search, but never actually buy a ticket to your dream destination.
On many flight search websites (like Airfare Watchdog) you can sign up for email alerts of a price you’re willing to pay.
Where to search for cheap flight tickets?
ITA Matrix is an online flight comparison system owned by Google. It doesn’t allow you to book flight, but it’s good since it’s showing the pure airlines prices without any markups that actually some other booking sites add.
There are several good websites that specialise in finding super cheap flight, hotel and package holiday prices. The people behind these sites are fanatic about finding low cost fares, and they do a great job.
Some of the most popular Deals sites are:
- US: Holiday Pirates, The Flight Deal
- Canada: YYZ Deals
- EUROPE: Fly4free
FLIGHT PRICE AGGREGATORS
Flights aggregators search for prices from multiple airlines websites, so you can actually save both money (by finding the best price) and your time (why need to go to five airline pages for the price if you can do it on one page?).
Other good thing of such websites, is that you can search for the flights not only for a specific dates, but also for whole month of even year.
Some of my favourite flight aggregators:
That’s basically all information I know and I am using to search for cheap flights. And how do you search for cheap flights? Share your experience in comments. Thanks!