Best Kept Secrets to Land the Cheapest Airfare
Vacations are fun, but booking one is often another story. How do you know you are getting the lowest price on airfare? As a result of relatively recent US. Department of Transportation rules concerning tax-included airfare advertising, tried and true flexible search engines where one can see an entire month's matrix of options have become quite limited. Similarly, with the plethora of search engines available and weekly specials flooding your email inbox with “Today Only!” specials, the piece of mind knowing you are locking in the best deal possible when booking is becoming a feeling of the past. Below are some tips on how to land the cheapest airfare possible.
1) For Trips of Two or More, Buy Tickets Individually
Airlines need to more than one airfare ticket within the same itinerary for the same price. Suppose one or more of the tickets in your purchase push the price up to the next bracket, all will be set at that higher price. To avoid this, book tickets individually. Sure, you'll have to split your ticket purchase into two (or more) transactions, but these few extra steps can save you hundreds.
2) Sign Up For Airfare Alerts By Email
If you have the luxury of time and can take a few weeks or months to shop around before purchasing tickets, be sure to take advantage of travel websites email alerts. You can select specific routes you'd like to be alerted when the price drops and all the hard work is done for you. Sit back and wait for the emails. (Fun Fact: airfarewatchdog.com is the only email alert to include Southwest and Allegiant Airlines.)
3) Fly On Wednesday
According to a study done by FareCompare.com, Wednesday, followed by Saturday and Tuesday are the cheapest days to fly due to lower demand and the desire by the airline companies to at least fill seats. If your departure days aren't that flexible to include Wednesdays, searching this schedule is at least a good way to see what the base fare you could get is.
4) Sign Up For Yapta and Avoid Over-Paying
Have you ever bought an airline ticket only to see the next day it has dropped by $50 or worse, even more? Many travelers don't realize many of the large airlines actually offer refunds for the price difference. Better yet, you can sign up for Yapta, which is a website that tracks price changes of airfare. If the price drops on an airline ticket you've already purchased, Yapta will send you a refund alert.
5) Consider Purchasing One Way Tickets
Airfare search engines usually bundle round-trip ticket schedules within the same airline company. (i.e. a Delta departure ticket with a Delta return ticket.) Often, in an attempt for airlines to fill remaining seats on particular flights, buying one-way tickets from different airline companies may be cheaper than purchasing a single round-trip ticket. The schedule may offer a few more options as well.
These simple tips that require little additional time will give back back that piece of mind feeling and perhaps make the planning portion of your trip as fun as the actual trip! (Well, almost.)