Finding the best airfare, involves some research, and planning and some luck!! We’ve included our best tips to help you out, and some great links to book your plane tickets below.
Know Your Prices
Look early, look often. Get to know what prices are “typical” for where and when you want to fly. This is your single best weapon when looking for low fares. Watch the prices for a while, and you will see how often prices go up and down. The dates you want to fly, time of your flights and availability all effect your flight prices. Knowing what the typical price is means you are ready to jump on any deals that may become available.
Have Flexible Flying Times
Sometimes inconvenient flight times mean better prices. But when looking at that 5:30 am flight time make sure you take into consideration that you still need to be at the airport even earlier. It can be a trade off.
Have Flexible Dates
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are typically the days with better prices. This isn’t always the case though. Some specials include the other days of the week. Check the days around your travel dates. You may be able to save some money by leaving a day earlier or coming home a day sooner.
Stay Over a Saturday Night
If you arrange your flight so that you will be staying over a Saturday night, you may have a significant savings.
Avoid Holiday Travel
Or at least make you start your vacation earlier, and end it later than everyone else. Holiday travel is not only expensive, it can be crazy with flight delays, and crowded airports. Consider adding some days onto your holiday vacation-you may save yourself some money and sanity.
Buy at Least 21 Days in Advance
Many special fares require a 21 day advance purchase. This is not a rule, but if you see a special fare-read the fine print usually a 21 or 14 day advance purchase is required.
Check Alternative Airports for Lower Fares
If you are lucky enough to have several airports near your home -check them all to see which one offers the lowest fare. It still amazes me how much money you can save just by taking this one simple step. Don’t forget to check airports near your destination too.
If You Have No Flexibility
Don’t worry you can still find a good fare. We think Orbitz has a great resource for finding a flight on specific days, times and even airlines.
If You are Really Flexible and a Little Daring:
If you are really flexible, and just looking for the best deals you may want to consider trying Priceline or Hotwire we have links below and instructions to help.
From this page you enter your airports, and you can choose to search “nearby airports for lower fares” by checking the appropriate boxes. You then choose either specific dates and/or times or choose flexible dates and times within certain dates. You then enter the number of passengers and the flight class of your choice. Finally you can choose to search all airlines or only the airlines of your choice. When you are done, click “Search now” and you are done. If price is your main concern, be as flexible with times, dates airports and airlines as possible.
Enter your cities or airport code. You can also choose to search airlines within a certain distance from the airport of your choice. Then enter your travel dates and times (choose “anytime” for the lowest fares). For possibly lower fares, check the “Search with bonus days” option. This option searches one day before and one day after requested dates for lower fares. Then enter the cabin class and number of stops you prefer. Finally indicate the number of people travelling, and click “search.” Your search page will return with your choices. Choose a specific flight price or airline for more choices. You may also choose to list the flights by lowest price, departure times, or shortest flights.
Enter your cities or airport codes. Then enter your travel dates and times you wish to depart. If you are flexible, choose “anytime” for possibly cheaper flights. Then enter the number of passengers travelling, and the flight class and airline of your choice. Expedia can also search for non-top flights, and flights with few change penalties, and with no advance purchase restrictions. When the search results return you can choose to list them by departure time, arrival time, lowest price or shortest flight.
You input the your travel destination and dates and the number of travelers, and the amount you want to pay, along with your credit card information. Priceline then searches for an airline willing to sell seats at the price you requested. If Priceline finds tickets at your price, they immediately charge your credit card and purchase those tickets. The tickets purchased through Priceline cannot be changed, transferred or cancelled. Basically, you choose the dates you want to travel, and the airlines will choose flights and times. Priceline says you will travel between 6am and 10pm and arrive by 12:30am the next day (for domestic travel. There is also a chance you will have to make one connection (or more if you choose) to reach your final destination. Tickets issued through priceline.com are not eligible for Frequent Flyer miles, or upgrades
You input you cities and travel dates. You then have several choices and can eliminate red-eye flights and also planes that are not “jets.” Hotwire then returns with a price that is available for flights on those dates. You do not know the carrier, and you do not know the flight times. You have one hour to either purchase those tickets or not. Hotwire does not immediately charge a credit card for the flights. After that hour the search has “expired” and the flights are no longer available for you to purchase. Once a search expires, a search with the same exact search preferences cannot be conducted until 48 hours later. Tickets purchased on Hotwire are not available for upgrades or frequent flyer miles.
You can also book directly with the airlines and save through the airline’s own web only special. Either choose one of the web specials listed or enter your cities or airport codes, your travel dates, when you wish to depart, number of passengers and preferred seating to find the best available price with Delta.
Air Ticket Protection – Let Travel Guard cover the airline ticket fees the next time you must cancel or interrupt your trip. This plan reimburses up to full ticket price as well as covers ticket change fees charged by the airline.