Trying to find airline tickets and cheap flights is definitely a tiresome job. With continually fluctuating prices, the task of economical flight booking is quite overwhelming. The price of airline tickets keeps on increasing as the cost of fuel increases and airline companies merge. To compete with another airline company, the airlines usually offer attractive deals from time to time. The only thing is that you need to know how to find them.
Travel can be very expensive if you don’t know how to book cheap flights. Here are some tips on how to find airline tickets and cheap flights so that you get the best airline deals for your next vacation:
- Use airfare search engines
The best way to find a cheap deal on air tickets quickly and easily is to use airfare meta search engines such as Google Flights, Momondo, Skyscanner and Kayak. Before you book a ticket, check all these four flight search engines to see which site offers you the best price. These sites not only help you find tickets across many different airlines, they also offer helpful tools like email fare alerts, price prediction, and price maps based on destinations.
- Set up fare alerts
Signing up for fare alerts is another way to find good deals on air tickets. Just enter details about your travel destination and dates in which you intend to travel. When the prices drop, the websites will alert you, via email. Signing up for dedicated airfare websites such as HolidayPirates.com, AirfareWatchdog.com, TheFlightDeal.com and SecretFlying.com also helps you get the best deals.
- Airline Newsletters
The websites of airlines often offer the best air ticket deals in the form of special offers and promo codes. You may even be lucky to get discounts as big as 50% off the published fares. Subscribing to the airline’s newsletter is therefore a great way to get access to these deals.
- Book tickets in January & February
Airlines usually offer some of the best flight ticket deals during the month of January & February. This may be because they’re trying to increase their demand as there is a significant decrease in ticket booking soon after the holidays. You don’t have to travel in January or February, but you can book your summer vacation flights during these months.
- Book six weeks in advance
According to a study conducted by the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), if flight tickets are bought six weeks before the flight, passengers can get them at the lowest price, almost 6 percent below the average fare. Millions of airline ticket transactions from every U.S. travel agency since 2008 were checked and Airlines Reporting Corp. found that tickets were mostly at their low charges when they are booked six weeks in advance of a flight. According to Chuck Thackston, managing director of data and analytics at ARC, flights start to have lower-priced seats sold at about 100 days out. At this time airlines start offering deals to increase demand. However, as these deals start to expire the prices tend to decrease around 42 days before that flight.
- Look for morning deals
Only a limited number of seats are posted by the airlines at a reduced fare at night. Most of these deals will be available during the early morning. However, there are a few airlines that release tickets at discounted rates throughout the day.
- Best time to buy cheap airline tickets: Tuesdays at 3 PM Eastern
If you are not able to find the airline ticket discounts in the early morning, then try buying then on Tuesday at 3 PM Eastern. As per a study by Farecompare.com, this is the best time for buying airline tickets as well as shopping for travel. Most people prefer to fly on Fridays and Sundays, which is why the airlines charge more for these days. So they reserve the cheapest tickets for the least popular like Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. However, AirfareWatchdog.com suggests that you can’t count on a specific time or day of the week to get the best deals as they continue to vary frequently.
- Wednesday: Cheapest day to fly
As mentioned earlier, the day you choose to fly may make a great difference in the air fare. Generally Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are considered the low-cost days to fly. A study by Farecompare.com found that the cheapest day to fly for domestic travel is Wednesday. According to the website, most seats are likely to have better supply on Wednesday and so in order to fill the plane, they have to release more empty seats at their cheapest prices. Friday and Sunday happens to be the most expensive days to travel.
- Catch the early flight
Early morning flights or the first flight of the morning is typically the cheapest flight. The next cheapest flight can be purchased during or after lunch or at the dinner hour. However, very early and very late departures are the absolute cheapest time to fly.
- Check low-cost airline separately
You may be checking comparison sites like kayak.com to find the cheapest rates. Certain low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair in Europe and Southwest in the United States do not let their ticket prices to be published on these websites. Just so you don’t miss these low fares, make sure to check the airline websites separately. Also make sure that the low cost airlines don’t charge extra fees that increases the overall cost of the tickets.
- Build a relationship with the airline
The more you are familiar to the airline, the more it adjusts its charges for you. Elite members of the airline’s frequent-flyer program or those who have a credit card tied to the airline, automatically have an advantage over other travelers. If your credit card is tied to the airlines, you are likely to get many perks such as priority boarding, free checked bags, and seat selection.