Finding cheaper air fares is a bit like looking for the Holy Grail – pretty much impossible, because the reality is that the cheapest air fare ticket doesn’t actually exist, per se. What do I mean by this? There are so many permutations to getting cheap domestic flights or cheap international flights – such as the route, different airlines, travel class, seating, travel dates and times, etc, – especially on international flights – that no travel agency or airline could actually guarantee that you are getting the absolute cheapest air fares.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be searching for the cheapest air fares but rather cheaper air fares that meet your own travel requirements in terms of time, convenience, comfort, etc. In other words, once you are fairly satisfied with a flight ticket, it’s best to book and pay for it immediately rather than wasting time searching for something that might only save you a few dollars extra – bearing in mind that if you can’t find it cheaper, your original deal might now have been snapped up by someone else.
Ideally, if you regularly use a trusted travel agent for booking your travel and vacations you can give them details of what you want and trust them to show you the lowest air fare currently available for the flight criteria you specify. If you don’t benefit from access to a trusted and reliable travel agent here are my Easy Ideas To Get Cheaper Air Fares:
Purchase your ticket as soon as possible – Fares often start increasing 21 days before the flight. The earlier you reserve your flight, the better chance you have of finding a cheaper air fare. Try booking on a Tuesday or Wednesday to benefit from increased pricing competition.
Buy a round-trip ticket, and travel using one airline – Round-trip tickets are usually cheaper than one-way tickets, and it is often cheaper to reserve all legs of your trip on a single airline, rather than a combination of several airlines.
Stay over a Saturday night – Itineraries that include a Saturday-night stay are sometimes much cheaper than mid-week trips. If you plan to return on a Saturday, think about delaying your return to the Sunday and see if the fare comes down.
Choose an inconvenient flight time – Try different times of the night or day on different dates for the flight. Mid-morning and late-afternoon flights are often crowded, so try specifying flights leaving very early in the morning or very late at night to see if cheaper air fares are available. Flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday can sometimes be cheaper because these are less-popular days to fly on some routes.
Avoid traveling on or during holiday periods – It’s sad but it’s true that during holiday periods it’s difficult to find cheaper airfares. Try to schedule flights on less-popular days, E.g avoid travel over Christmas or Thanksgiving by considering traveling on the days preceding or following these dates.
Use an alternative airport – Try using alternative airports near your intended destination to see if cheaper fares are available for another airport. E.g In the UK fares into London Stanstead are often cheaper than flying into London Heathrow or Gatwick.
Make use of promotions and sales – Get in immediately when promotions are announced online because the cheapest flights will sell quickly. Sign up for airline newsletters and travel alerts or join organisations that offer discounts on certain air lines.
Top Tip In Australia, some of the best last minute flight deals can be found on cheap domestic flights where Jetstar have a weekly “Fare Frenzy” 4pm to 8pm every Friday and Virgin Blue have their daily “Happy Hour” at noon. Whilst not an exhaustive list of tips to snare you 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 fare rules, and so these guidelines may not apply to every itinerary but try one or more of the tips above and see if you can locate a better fare. Don’t give yourself a coronary by spending hours looking for the absolute cheapest air fare bar none – it’s not out there. It’s far better to have an idea of your budget and travel requirements and then book the cheaper air fare that comes closest to meeting them.