Booking Cheap Flights: What To Keep In Mind

Finding the cheapest deals these days is very important to many people. Especially, if you’re going travelling. I believe that the cheaper you can get to your destination for the more extra cash you’ll have when you arrive, for accommodation, food and drink, excursions and activities and the odd pint.

So, here are a few points everyone should factor in when looking for the cheapest flight deals:

Book in Advance:  Unless you’re looking for a last-minute deal there’s no reason to book your flights at the last second. With most Airlines’ you are able to book flights 330 days before departure. According to Jeff Klee, CheapAir’s CEO, the prime booking window for purchasing your tickets is between 90 to 160 days before the departure date for International flights or 60 days before for Domestic and short-haul flights. So my advice is to book your tickets no later than 3 months in advance. Otherwise you’ll end up missing out on the best prices.

Travel at the right time: Try to avoid flying on a weekend. This is the prime time for people travelling so there is more of a demand for seats meaning Airlines are able to charge more. If you can, catch the first flight on a Wednesday. Fewer people travel midweek and less travel before the dawn breaks so this means these flights won’t always fill up. An Airline will always want to fill the plane as much as possible so they are more likely to lower or discount the price for these flights. It is also considerably cheaper to travel in an off-peak season. Again, there is less demand for flights during this time so the costs will come back down. Bear in mind that each destination will have its own off-peak season.

Try Secondary Airports: Most major cities have more than one airport so don’t always think you have to fly into or out of the main one. Try flying out of or into the smaller airport. A lot of the budget airline carriers will use the smaller airport to keep their own costs down which in effect will keep yours down too. For example, flying from Bangkok’s main airport (BKK) to Hanoi in Vietnam can cost up £100. Where as if you fly from the smaller airport in Bangkok (DME) flights can be found from £27.

Try Alternative Routes:  The route that a search on screen-scanner finds or you might not always be the cheapest route to take. For example, I searched for a one way flight to LA from London this Autumn and the cheapest flight I found was for £416, which had two stop; one in Copenhagen and one in Stockholm. Yet, you can get a single flight from London to Stockholm for £44 and a flight from there to LA for £205. This cuts out having to go to Copenhagen altogether and saves you a massive £167.

Visit Official Airline websites: In some cases Airlines’ keep the best prices for the people who actually visit and book from their site directly. So if you find a good deal on a screen-scanner comparison site, check which Airline the deal is with, go to their official website and make the search again. Sometimes this results in an even better deal.

Use Multiple Airlines: Using one Airline for the whole journey might not be the cheapest way to go. Especially, if you’re having to make transfers anyway. Try using multiple airlines, using a well-known airline for a long leg of the journey and then swapping to a cheaper budget airline for the final smaller leg of the journey. Or, vice versa, so do the small leg first and the long leg last. For example, you can fly from London to Oslo on SAS Airlines from £40 and then fly from Oslo to New York for £160 on Norwegian Airlines. If you were to make the same journey with British Airways it would cost a considerable amount more.

Sign-up to email alerts: If are planning a trip and have plenty of time to do it try signing up to email alerts on screen-scanner websites and Airline websites. They will drop you weekly/monthly newsletters with their latest deals. For example if you make a flight search on Tripadvisor there is an option to sign up to an alert where they will notify you when/if the price drops for that flight search you made. It’s always handy to let them do some of the work for you!

Follow Social Media: Because social media now plays such a big part in PR some Airlines’ now offer discounts and deals through their social media platforms. So, if there is a certain Airline you will be looking to fly on, follow them and see what they’re up to. This is another way to let the deals come to you instead of looking for them yourself.

Uncover how many ‘cheap seats’ are left: When you find a discounted price on a flight, but it says there are only limited seats left available at that price, there is a way to find out how many are which in effect can give you a bit of breathing space. For example, book 8 seats and if all 8 seats are at that discounted price it means you have some breathing space. If only a few of the 8 seats are at the discounted price and the price goes up for the rest, then you know how many seats are left at the discounted price.

Compare Airline charges: The CAA, The Civil Aviation Authority, provides a pdf document which compares airline charges. So make sure to check this out when booking flights to find out which Airlines’ charge for what. Because, it might look like a good deal at the start but this may not include charges for baggage, extra baggage like sports equipment or other charges. Click here to read the CAA’s Comparing Airline Charges document.

 If you found this information helpful, well I am glad to be of service. Please don’t forget to ‘share’ and ‘follow’ my blog for more posts like this.


Sources & Citations:

1. http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Cheap-Flights

2. http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-tips/how-to-find-a-cheap-flight/

3. http://www.businessinsider.com/23-secrets-to-booking-cheap-flights-2012-7?op=1

4. http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-flights

 

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