Everybody wants cheap flights right? Well unless your specifically looking to bump up to first class. Over the past fifteen years, the price of flying has dropped considerably with the dominance of the likes of Ryanair and other similar budget airlines. However, due to the world wide recession the past number of years, the price of flying has now increased a little compared to what it once was. There are still plenty of cheap flights to be found though, and all it takes is some research and a little insight into how airlines work regarding ticket sales.
One of the biggest mistakes we make when booking a flight is leaving it until the last minute! Bad idea. Airlines typically release their “best” deals about 7-8 weeks prior to the scheduled departure date. But now with the recession and oil prices on the rise, then best thing to do is to book as soon as you can. With this in mind I was able to secure a return flight from Dublin to Vegas back in 2009 for €340 per person!! That was a ridiculously cheap price when you consider the distance. Also keep in mind that weekend flights are going to be more expensive across the board. Statistically the cheapest day of the week to fly is on a Wednesday as most people are working so airlines reduce their price to ensure the flight is as full as possible.
As soon as you know the date you want to fly, then the only option in my view is to immediately start looking online and keeping your finger on the pulse. Remember that airfares seldom decrease in price over time, but they certain will increase. So don’t keep thinking to yourself that the price might drop if you leave it for another week or two!
Online travel sites
There are so many options when it comes to finding a flight online. But many people just stick to one site and use that. The best option is to use a comparison website like Skyscanner, Kayak, memondo or ebookers to do the work for you. These will filter through a load of different channels and find the cheapest fair based on the input requirements that you gave them. Remember to change the currency option as well so that you don’t have to start looking up conversion prices when you get a quote.
Trailfinders are another option especially if you’re looking for a RTW ticket. Pop into one of their shops or ring them up and tell them your dates/plans and they’ll do the rest for you. A typical RTW ticket with them will cost in the region of €1,000 which when you put it in context is amazing value.
One obvious tip, yet one that not many people do is to sign up for “email alerts” from the flight websites. This enables you to get specific details straight to you email inbox about any change in prices and/or offers pertaining to your travel inquiries for a specific date. This alone is well worth doing. Your inbox may be a lot of email from all the sites combined, but once you find a flight your happy with you can just un-subscribe to them.
Another tip regarding email is that if you find a quote you’re not sure of, then you can get the quote emailed to you which will allow you usually two of three days in which to book the flight for that price you got quoted by email. Its kind of like an insurance policy on your behalf, as you can take an extra day or two depending, and continue to look for a better price. And you’ll have the safeguard that if you don’t then you can always go back to your email and book the one that you got quoted. I’ve used this method before and its a great way to navigate the whole process.
Use local airlines
This is common sense for whatever country you live in. For example, we know to always use Ryanair when looking to travel to Europe. But when in another country we sometimes forget to use their domestic airlines. For example, while travelling around S.E Asia last summer we used AirAsia on five different flying occasions as well as using them to fly from Bangkok to Australia! They’re the Asian equivalent of Ryanair except they provide a way better service in all respects in my view. We got flights from as little as €50(checked bag included) to various parts of S.E Asia. I highly recommend them if your ever out that direction.
Use local travel agencies
This can be a great way to compare prices from the internet as sometimes, the local agencies can provide a significant decrease in airfares. I’ve only tried this once while in Thailand but the price was somewhat hefty for the trip I was looking for. A mate of mine from Ohio who owns a Cleveland Limo Service told me about this tip. He said that it saved him not only time, but also a lot of money over the course of a few searches for flights.
Check the Airline’s website
Nowadays with all the different search tools available, we forget to check with the airline directly. I’ve yet to see a better price directly on the airlines own website though as they normally sell off bulk ticket deals to the likes of ebookers and other search sites and let them do the work for them. However, from time to time I’ve heard of people getting a significant reduction in their airfare due to a special promotion on the airlines website. So its something to keep in mind as you search for that flight.
At the end of it all, there are plenty of cheap flights to be found. If you are prepared to put in a little bit of button clicking and time then you’ll quickly adapt to the process of airfare hunting. When going travelling or on holidays, your flight can be the most single expensive par of the trip so it makes sense to try to get the best value for you money.