How To Find Cheap Flights & Airfare Deals – 14 Tips & Best Kept Secrets
We all want to take a couple of weeks off from our daily schedule and head to a dreamy destination. Be it to the beaches, the mountains or the pretty cities. But let’s face it, travelling is getting more expensive by the hour and airfare makes up for the biggest part of our trip expenses. The good news is, cheap flights ARE out there if you know how to find them. So here I’m, dishing out secrets to get the best deal and save tons of moolah!
- Clear your cookies: Airlines can track your behaviour online, and even track IP addresses. There is a possibility that the prices could go up for flights that are searched frequently.
- Fly on your birthday: Yes, you might get upgraded to first class. Before you check-in, politely mention it’s your birthday. If the airline has empty seats, chances are they’ll bump you to the first class. (Or at the very least, treat you to a glass of champagne!)
- Be spontaneous (Especially on an upcoming weekend): Airlines, eighty percent of the time, cut prices when they can’t fill the flight. Be on a lookout for flights right before the long weekends and national holidays.
- Get on Kayak.com! If you have no particular destination in mind and just a budget, this is for you! This website helps you look for places under your It is most helpful when you’re searching for multiple airline fares at a time.
- Look for coupons and offers: Repeat with me – Google is your best friend. Before you book a ticket, search for offers the airline company or a third party website is providing. Searching for something as simple as “Jet Airways promo code Sepember-2016” before you pay for your tickets can save you big bucks!
- Book refundable tickets: Unless you’re getting non-refundable tickets at a dirt-cheap price, ALWAYS book refundable tickets. The advantage is that, if by any chance your airline fare drops, you can cancel your existing ticket and book a cheaper flight.
- Search for tickets one trip at a time: Airlines make round trips relatively expensive. You can save tons of money by booking your trips on different airlines. Also, booking connecting flights can save a significant amount of money – as much as Rs 5000 on international flights!
- Don’t book too early: You have often heard people say, “book as quickly as you can, otherwise the prices will shoot up.” This is definitely a myth you need to stop believing! If you’re booking too early or too late, chances are that you’re paying a higher price. The ideal time to book your flights is 6-8 weeks before your holiday.
- Don’t fear the layover: If a layover can save you even twenty-five percent of the airfare, go for it! This is definitely one of the lifesavers for a budget traveller.
- Don’t ignore the airlines’ website. The best deals I’ve ever got were not through Yatra or Expedia or Make My Trip, but through private sales on the airlines’ website.
- Miles, miles, miles: Believe it or not, miles CAN help you travel even for FREE! Sign up for a Frequent Flyer Program. I’m signed up for the Etihad Miles Program and the benefits are not too bad. From renting a car to booking a hotel, I pay for these services and receive miles in return. This eventually adds up and these miles can get me an upgrade me to first class or help me get a free one-way international ticket.
- Skyscanner.net and Airfarewatchdog.com are your best mates – These websites will ping you when there is even a slightest drop in prices. It’s best if you subscribe to their notifications.
- Sign up for a credit card that is miles friendly: Every time you shop, eat, or party, you’re receiving miles in your wallet. What more do you want? Citibank PremierMiles Card has some really great offers!
- Psst… Book your flight on a Wednesday at 12.30 am IST. Don’t ask me why, but flights are the cheapest!
What are you waiting for? Leave on a jet plane already!