A few decades ago, you would have to call multiple brokers in order to find the best deal on an airline ticket. Today, the process has become much easier thanks to the internet. With ticket comparison websites, you can get a computer algorithm to automatically display the cheapest flight available at the time. But as advanced as ticket search engines have become, there are a few things you have to do yourself in order to score the best deal possible. Here are 5 secrets for getting a cheap air ticket.
1.Book Weeks in Advance
As a general rule of thumb, the further you book your flight in advance, the lower the fare will be. This is why many summer tourists book their flights all the way in January. Many industry experts believe that the ideal time to book a ticket is 8 weeks before the scheduled flight. Do note that while advanced booking will generally cost you less, many airlines might also offer great bargains right before a flight due to sudden cancelations. This brings us to…
2.Sign Up For Alerts
As annoying as it is to see your email inbox flooded with unsolicited alerts, it can also save you a few thousand books to actually sift through them. Signing up for a flight comparison website’s newsletters or alerts can notify you of any flash sale discounts that a website might be offering. If you can’t go through your alerts every day, dedicate a Tuesday afternoon to go through the emails as that’s when airlines generally know whether they’ll be booked for the weekend or not.
3.Pay via Credit Card
A great way of cutting travelling costs is by applying for an airline credit card. An airline credit card can be seen as an extension of the frequent flyer program, but instead of accumulating miles through travelling, you are awarded points based on how much you spend. Use the credit card for your monthly shopping and simply use it to pay for the ticket; the reward points will lower the cost of the flight and even reward you with special perks such as a free upgrade to business class.
4.Buy a One Way Ticket
A common misconception among travelers is that buying a return ticket is universally cheaper than buying individual tickets to and from your destination. While that may be the case in a majority of situations, the flight costs also depend on the departure and arrival airport. To save money, you can book a one way flight and then book the return flight from an adjoining cheaper airport. This will also give you more flexibility to decide when you want to come back.
While a 4:00AM flight may seem unconventional, it can help you save a few hundred dollars. Flights are generally under-booked during unsociable hours so you might be able to score a great bargain by showing some flexibility.