How to Find Cheap Flights
Let’s start with the two most important things every airfare shopper should do.
- Rule 1 – Always Compare Airfares
- Rule 2 – Use Meta Price Search to crawl the flight fares. Like here
It’s real simple: Always compare airfares. No airline always has the best prices. Airline fares are like in the stock market and go up and down.
- Cheapest days: The cheapest days to fly are usually Tuesdays, Wednesday, Saturdays.
- Expensive days: The most expensive days to fly are Fridays and Sundays.
- Cheapest times: Fly when most people don’t want to fly. Most are overnight flights and flights around the lunch and dinner hour cheaper.
The Best Time and Day to Buy Airline Tickets
When to begin shopping and when to wrap up your purchase. The day of the week you buy also is a factor in determining price on an airline ticket. In previous reports,
- Best day to buy a ticket: FareCompare’s data shows that best time to book a flight in the U.S. is Tuesday at 3 p.m. eastern time.
Expedia and ARC have suggested also Tuesday is the best day to buy, by a small margin.
Many airlines release weekly sales late Monday or early Tuesday and by mid-afternoon, the competing airlines have matched the lower prices (so they don’t end up on page 30 of a shopper’s search query). In other words, this is usually the time when you’ll have the most deals to choose from.
- Rule 2: Book 4 to 7 weeks in advance
Finding a great flight deal used to be all about booking at the last minute, as airlines were desperate to get rid of their empty seats. Today there are so many budget airlines and business travellers willing to pay big bucks at the last minute that it’s no longer the case
Cheaper Flights with a Little Inconvenience
If you can be flexible with your travel plans, a little inconvenience can save you a lot of money.
- Connecting flights: Non-stops are more convenient but you can often find better deals on connecting flights. Adding a stop (or two) can sometimes save as much as 50%.
- Bigger airports: Bigger airports (particularly hubs) often have cheaper airfares. Compare prices from your hometown airport as well a larger airport and you may find a longer drive is worth it in savings.
Tips: Sign up for email alerts from your favourite airlines
Although last minute flight deals are hard to find, they do exist if you know where to look. Take the leg work out of finding cheap flights by visiting a few of your favourite airlines and signing up for their newsletters. Your inbox will soon be filling up with news of flash sales, new routes with special introductory rates, and most importantly, low fares on last minute flights
Choose your credit card wisely
If you have a good credit score, another way to cut flight costs is to apply for an airline credit card which rewards you with Avios points (air miles) which can be redeemed against set flight routes. These cards are great for cutting the cost of expensive long haul flights.
Shop one ticket at a time
When booking travel for two or more people, book just one ticket to start. Do this because of a quirk in airline reservation systems that requires multiple tickets sold in a single transaction all be the same price.