Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tricks for Getting Cheap Flights

In today’s economy, everybody is looking for a bargain. Cheap flights are one area that fluctuates a lot, but there are big savings to be had. Here are some tips for getting the best deal on your flight.


Research has found that the cheapest day to find a flight is Tuesday in the afternoon. This is when the most sale seats are available. Also, while this can vary due to last minute and early bird specials, in general, the best time to purchase your tickets is three months before departure for domestic flights, and five months for international. Prices go up drastically about 2 weeks before lift off.

Credit Cards

If you are a frequent flyer, you might consider an airline affiliated credit card. These cards might not be worth it for the occasional travel, as they typically come with membership fees. However, miles can add up quickly and they often include extra benefits such as no baggage fees or priority boarding.

Fare Watchers

Many websites such as Bing Travel and Airfarewatchdog.com will allow you to set a fare alert which will email you when they find the lowest price on airfare. This process can take awhile, so it probably isn’t for last minute shoppers, but if you plan in advance you can find some good deals. Some sites also have a price match guarantee, which will refund the difference if your fare goes down.

Schedule Flexibility

If possible, consider being flexible with your travel dates. Some websites automatically check multiple dates for you, others you will just have to experiment. Traveling on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday, or choosing flights with one or more stops, is usually cheaper, so if you can adjust your trip accordingly you might save some money.

Packaged Deals

Usually hotel/airfare combinations are cheaper than if you were to buy individually. Expedia.com and Travelocity.com can help you find packaged deals, but many hotels will set one up for you as well. Not every flight and hotel qualifies, but you can potentially save $500 or more.

Hidden Charges

Taxes and fees are required to be advertised in your fare, but there are extra expenses you might not consider. Checked baggage and seat selection are two that people often don’t think about. Outside of airline credit cards and promotions, there isn’t a lot you can do to get rid of these fees, so include them in your budget.