Traveling has become radically easier for consumers to locate great deals since the rise of the internet, allowing everybody an opportunity to reach out to deals from all airline companies. However, to find a good deal is not easy. I am not sure how airline business works but at one point of time all major websites (Expedia, Orbits, Travelocity etc) gets the price data from the same source because what I’ve experienced, the flights are basically about the same. Major third-party websites are offering almost same price for your destination. However, armed with a few tips can secure that flight and help you to save on your airfare travel.
1. I always search on “aggregator” sites , like, Kayak.com and igougo.com (others are sidestep.com , yahoo farechase , farecompare.com and Mobissimo ) I do ask kayak.com (and igougo.com) to search on Hotwire, Vayama, Priceline, Expedia and Travelocity in parallel by clicking check box for all website under their main search page on Kayak.com. This will do a parallel search on all websites, saves the time and compile the results from various sites on the same page. Also, visit Airfare Watchdog . The staff of this website goes through every airline’s deals and compiles them several times per week
2. Remember that searching Expedia, Cheaptickets, Orbits and Travelocity may not give you results from discount airline, like, jetblue and southwest as do not list their prices on third-party sites or fare “aggregator” sites. So I do search on theses discount low-cost carrier separately.
3. Search frequently on Kayak.com , you might have noticed that airfare changes several time in a day. Its always a moving target for consumers like me and you. (Side note: Spectacular deals don’t last. If you see a fantastic flight deal, book it immediately and then track it . See last point in this article) If you are searching well in advance, I would prefer to observe the fare trend for a day or two. This will give you better idea about price range between your place and destination. A website named farecast.com gives you better idea about current fare and how likely the fare going to up or down in coming days .
4. Search for near-by airport . If you are traveling to Washington, DC then try for Baltimore airport as well. If you live near a smaller city, chances are it’s more expensive to fly out. For example, when my friend lived in Lancaster, PA, it was cheaper to fly into Harrisburg or Philadelphia, rather than Lancaster, as Harrisburg or Philadelphia is bigger airports. If you can find someone who doesn’t mind driving a little more distance to pick you up, it will save you money on your flight.
5. From Kayak.com, you may get airfare comparison from site like Orbitz (and other third-party websites) as well as individual airline sites. I would prefer to book from individual airline sites as they often do not charge separate booking fees . Generally, most third-party sites charge a booking fee between $7 and $10, so it’s cheaper to book directly with the airline.
6. Airline sites can be sneaky ; when you search directly on airline website, be sure to delete your cookies each time you search again. Clearing the cookies for those sites will erase your electronic trail. If you don’t delete cookies, you’ll see a big jump in price only minutes later. To delete your cookies, just go to “tools” and select “options”, and then check off “delete cookies.” (Also read how to delete cookies?)
7. Instead of searching air-fare during weekend or Fridays, try to search on weekdays. Try to find a cheap flight is to search for flights on different days of the week and compare cost. Once I heard a travel consultant on TV saying that searching airfare on Tuesday and Thursday late night gives you cheaper rate compare to search the same flight during Friday or weekends .
8. Fly on the middle of the week instead of weekend or Friday (a very popular travel day for obvious reasons) Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and sometimes Saturday are considered off days unless it’s close to a holiday. If you can fly on non-weekend days, you’ll be more likely to find a cheap airfare deal. Red-eye flights can mean great savings.
9. If you are going to buy one-way ticket, always look into round trip tickets too. Most of the times, round trip airfares are simply cheaper than one-way travel.
10. Once you bought a ticket: Keep the track of fare to see if it drops. Several airline gives best fare guarantee. If the fare drops by midnight on the same ticket (itinerary and class), you can get the difference refunded. Register yourself to www.yapta.com Input your information, which will track fare shifts for you. If the fare drops, Yapta will send you an email stating that fare is lowered and you’re eligible for a voucher or refund. What you have to do is to contact the airline while fare is lower. Recently, Yapta made the process even simpler; when you receive a confirmation email from your airline after booking a ticket, all you have to do is forward that email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Yapta will import the necessary information and begin tracking the price. See various airlines low-fare guarantee rules below after the jump.
Some useful extra reading: articles on how to book a cheap flight
- ProBargainHunter.com: How to buy cheap airline tickets
- PlaneTickets.com: How To Buy Cheap Plane Tickets - Practical Rules to Remember
- The New York Times: How to Fly As a Courier
- Upgrade: Travel Better: Track airfare before and AFTER you buy?
- FareCompare: Same Day Cheapest Airline Ticket Refunds - Hype or Hope?
- GigaOM: Fare-Finder Shootout: Mobissimo Wins
- Dumb Little Man: How to Score Free Airline Vouchers by Reserving Overbooked Flights
Low Fare Gurantees rules:
- American Airlines: Get American’s Lowest Fares At AA.com Fare difference refund plus $50 promo code.
- Continental Airlines: Low Fare Guarantee $100 Electronic Travel Certificate
- United Airlines: Low Fare Guarantee Fare difference refund plus $50 travel certificate
- Northwest Airlines: Best Fare Guarantee Fare difference refund plus $50 voucher toward future flight
- Frontier Airlines: Low Fare Guarantee 2,500 frequent flyer miles
- Travelocity: Low Price Guarantee Fare difference refund plus $50 credit toward future purchase
- Expedia: The Expedia Best Price Guarantee Fare difference refund plus $50 travel coupon
- Priceline price protection: Up to $300 refund
- Orbitz price assurance/protection refund program: Get refund of price difference
- Use FlightCaster.com to see if you flight is going be delayed or not. They have historical data to predict any delay up to 6 hours in advance
Website FlightCaster.com can predict 6 hours in advance whether a flight will be delayed. According to the webiste, FlightCaster takes data from multiple sources and…
“…crunches them in a database with a patent-pending algorithm and process. We use 10 years of flight data along with current and near-term forecasted conditions to establish likely delay factors and assess the impact they will have on your flight.”