Want to travel the world but broke AF? I have booked several cheap flights in my life, and some of them were expensive but for a lot, I paid peanuts. Here’s what I have learnt!
Remarketing (from social media ads)
Remarketing is a technique to bring back the visitors who are dropped from the website without completing an intended goal. The image given below explains the remarketing process.
I browsed through my Facebook after a couple of minutes. Without any surprise, I got an offer of 10% discount using remarketing technique on Facebook,
It may sound very fascinating for you, as I was able to save over 14.4% from my initial price. So effectively, I saved around INR 22,400. It is a fairly decent saving for someone living in India. By not doing this process, I would have purchased a ticket at the original price
Social media official pages for flight promotions-
Scan Facebook & Twitter pages of airlines. Many airlines have been experimenting with social media to engage customers with amazing deals. If you’re quick enough, you will be able to grab a ticket at throwaway prices.
Mix match of flights and routes from different websites
Another way to book a cheap flight while comparing from different sites is to mix matching your routes and the flights. Same flights sometimes might not provide you a cheaper fare as it becomes international in some specific country so you can break your travel into different flights region wise.There’s a list of best airlines that you should opt for to travel cheap in a specific region later in this article.
Try different search engines
While comparing airfares from different travel websites try changing locations while browsing because some promotions for are region specific and you can only find them while youre searching from that loactaion.
Set Up Instant Email Notifications
It may not always be friendly to your uncluttered inbox, but a good source of
deals comes straight from the companies themselves, and sometimes the best deals can be found here. Using a good organizational system like personalized filters in Gmail or a separate email inbox will keep emails from cluttering up your inbox. Link it to a good email notification tool like previously mentioned Scott’s Gmail Alert, and you’ll get instant notification of promotions and price changes. It’s also worth signing up for sites that offer fare alerts, such as Kayak and Travelocity.
Enroll into frequent flier programmes
No one can offer you the promotions and discounts the way an airline can by itself.
Try to commit yourself with an airlines and enroll into their frequent flier programmes which by which you can get access to even the most premium lounges on the airports worldwide and dont forget to redeem your flier points to make it into discounts.
Booking on a wed
If you are thinking of booking your next overseas holiday today, think again.
Friday is the most expensive day of the week to buy a plane ticket, according to new research, with flights on average 13 per cent dearer than if booked on a Sunday.
Customers have previously been advised to book plane tickets on a Tuesday because they were most likely to find a bargain. Airline executives were said to come into work on a Monday, look at the weekend sales and try to offload the remaining seats on Tuesday.
But according to Greg Schulze, senior vice president of global tour and transport with Expedia, things have now changed.
Airlines Reporting Corporation, the online travel agency which processes tickets booked through travel agencies, studied hundreds of millions of tickets bought in the last 12 months around the world to see the new trends.
“I personally would shop at the weekend and the beginning of the week and avoid Friday.”Greg Schulze,
There have been numerous studies into when the best time to book a flight is, with thoughts ranging from as early as possible, to two weeks before, but Rick Seaney, chief executive of price comparison site Fare Compare, said booking too early can be costly.
“Airlines don’t start actively managing the price of seat on a particular flight until about three months before departure for domestic flights and five or six for international trips,” he said. “That’s when price cutting typically begins.”
Best time to book the flight
Book either 6-8 weeks before or 3 months before your dates of travelling You can get analysis reports from airfarewatchdog.com
Know who flies where
Most of your research is likely to be based around fares, but if you want a comprehensive overview of which airlines fly to and from the airports you are interested in, try flightmapping.com.
Head to the source
Most price-comparison sites will click you through to an airline’s site in any case, so if you start there, you will at least be sure that you are getting live, up-to-date fares.
Or go compare
The very first thing to do if you are booking flight tickets online is to open a tab in incognito mode. This is because you are likely to get a higher price the next time you check out tickets. And if you are on incognito mode, the chances of this happening are very few.
Price-comparison websites are, in theory, the easiest way to find the cheapest fares. But they can also be misleading. First, most do not list fares from every airline operating the route; second, they do not normally quote exact fares. This is because they are not quite up to date, because they can’t replicate the many preferences that an individual might have – to check in baggage,– and because they can’t reflect all the different booking fees that might be charged for using different credit or debit cards. As I found with my spot-check, they can also be subject to technical hitches without the user realising. Even so, they are a useful guide, as long as you bear in mind the limitations and check at least two or three as part of your research.
Watch for hidden extras
Some sites try to tempt you into booking insurance (which you may already have) and other extras (a new cabin bag, for example). Ryanair is the most aggressive at doing this, and you need to be careful to remove from the online booking form any extras you do not want.
Pay by debit card
It is usually cheaper – though you won’t have the automatic financial protection against airline failure that you get if you book a fare of £100 or more with a credit card.
But First… A NOTE ON BOOKING BUDGET AIRLINES. Always read the fine print and do the following:
- Check where the airport locationis (some budget airlines fly to airports further out of town).
- Ensure you’ve booked & paid for your luggage allowance.Adhere to restrictions on weight, height, and # of bags allowed. Some airlines (e.g. Ryanair) will charge hefty fee if you’re over. Remember, paying only for the exact luggage space/weight you need is how budget airlines keep their prices lower than traditional airlines!
- Read the fine print. The best example is that Ryanair WILL CHARGE A FEE if you do not print your own ticket or adhere to their strict luggage weight and dimensions. A warning of this fee is clearlystated in all capital letters in the first sentence of your e-confirmation. In a nutshell, always read and follow instructions!
Remember, if you want to book the cheapest flight possible (not service-of-the-year-award-winner), be adaptable, do your research, and know the budget airline’s requirements & restrictions.
Best flights to fly between places
- Air Asia
- Tiger Air
- Jeju Air
- Hong Kong Express
- Peach Air
- Dragon Air
- Spice Jet
- Spring Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- Nok Air
- T’Way Airlines
- Vanilla Air
- Norwegian Air(great rates for flying between Europe/North America)
- Aer Lingus
- Wizz Air
- Aigle Azur
- Wow Air
If you’re heading to any of these parts of the globe, start stalking these airlines. Use Twitter, Facebook or regularly check budget airline webpages to keep you in touch with specials before they sell out. Air Asia, Jetstar, Tiger Air and Ryanair are especially good at having regular deals.
On a side note, Wikipedia has a more detailed, comprehensive listing of low-cost airlines down to specific countries https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_low-cost_airlines, though I don’t find all of them to be actual discount airlines. If you’re going to a specific country, it’s worth checking so you know all your options.
Book long-haul flights yourself for less
If you’re flying somewhere that involves a transfer, say from Canada to Australia which typically involves Canada to LA, then LA to Australia, consider that it may be cheaper to book these two legs separately on your own by adding another destination to your trip. It should go without saying that in doing this, you should not book tight layovers. I repeat: do not book layovers that are hours apart! This approach is for those who want to create an additional destination of a few days or more, before catching their next flight.
First, do your research: are there budget airlines unique to the country you’re flying out of and where you’re headed to? Booking with a budget Australian airline from Sydney to Honolulu, then an American one from Honolulu to Montreal saved us over $400 each when flying back from Australia to Canada earlier this year. This allowed us to create a thrifty five-day stopover in Hawaii on our way back, which was less exhausting and a lot cheaper!
It should be said that a travel agent can be used to do the legwork of booking long-haul flights with strategic multi-day layovers. We have not done this ourselves but it’s certainly worked for others. If you can show an agent a cheaper price online, they may match it, plus include a few days’ stopover in a desired spot if that is what you’re seeking.
Check if it’s cheaper to pay in other currencies
Before booking a flight, consider if the rate is cheaper if paid in another currency. Often budget airlines will make you pay in the currency of the country you’re departing from, but this isn’t always the case. An important note when doing this: make sure you’re using a credit card that is free of foreign-transaction fees, otherwise your attempts to save money doing this will be lost!
Consider hidden city ticketing
Travellers long ago discovered a trick known now as “hidden city” flights. In a nutshell, sometimes a flight that connects in a city you want to go to is cheaper than flying directly to it. So instead, you book that cheap flight which connects in your desired city and hop off there, not taking the ongoing connection.
It should go without saying this is risky for many reasons. If the flight you’re on happens to be the same one continuing to the final destination, you could possibly not be allowed to disembark the plane as one reader described from their own experience. If your plane ticket only has the final destination printed on it, you may also run into troubles. If you have luggage checked to your final destination, that could be problematic. Additionally, if some airlines detect you’ve not taken your connection, you may not be allowed to fly with them in the future (I’m unaware how this is enforced/tracked, but one reader specifically noted that this is a policy of Spirit Airlines).
There is now a web search engine which finds hidden city tickets for you. It’s called Skiplagged and is currently being sued by United Airlines who is angry about this debatable hack. We have never used the hidden city approach, but I know several who have, and they’ve scored some thrifty savings. Use at your own risk!
Don’t Pay Too Much for Change Fees
If there’s a chance that you’ll need to change your flight, book directly with the airline. Orbitz and Travelocity (but not Expedia) charge a $30 fee to change a flight, which is on top of the $100 change fee the airlines assess. Low-cost airlines have much lower change fees. JetBlue charges $20 ($25 on the phone) plus the fare difference, Song charges $25 plus the fare difference, and Southwest has never had a fee—it charges only the difference in fare. But there’s some good news from the major airlines: in January, Delta decreased its change fee to $50 from $100. And though the other major airlines hadn’t followed suit when this went to press, we expect they will.
According to the Air Transport Association, a $200 domestic round-trip ticket could include as much as $50 in fees and taxes. This amount comprises the government’s 7.5 percent passenger-ticket tax, a segment fee of $3.20 for each leg of a flight (from the Federal Aviation Administration), a $4.50 passenger facility charge at each stop, and a security service fee capped at $10 per round-trip (from the Transportation Security Administration).