June 19, 2024

How to Snag the Cheap Flights

Flight prices have gone up a lot in the last year. You can still find cheap (ish) flights. This tip only works if your destination is 1. Not carved in stone OR 2. Happens to show up in the search listed below.

Normally, we search for flights by 1. Destination – 2. Dates – 3. Search

Instead, search for flights from your home airport(s). Of the cheap ones:

  • Pick a destination that interest you
  • Find the dates that work
  • Check for Last-minute flight deals

Most people assume that last minute flights are expensive, but they tend to be cheaper because they want to fill up the plane. You don’t want to book too early.  You can typically book flights up to 12 months in advance, but those aren’t the best fares. This is because they have plenty of open seats and plenty of time to fill them. This method only works for those who can take the chance there will be a seat available.

The Best Time to Book

There are windows that are better than others for booking your flights. These are the ideal time for you to find cheaper flights.

Domestic flights

  • Peak: Three to six months in advance
  • Off-peak: One to three months in advance

International flights

  • Peak: Four to 10 months in advance
  • Off-peak: Two to eight months in advance

Note the timing of sales on other items, like furniture and clothing.  Example: When Thermal clothing is on sale in late spring and early summer, so are winter flights. It is best to book holiday flights in June or July.

Fly and Stay Cheap

Cheapest Day to Buy a Ticket

Any day. The rule of booking on a specific day of the week is no longer true.

Fees change by the day and sometimes by the hour! The price is determined by a complex algorithm.

Cheapest Day to Fly

For the most part the cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Business travelers usually fill up the planes on Sunday, Monday and Fridays. For me, when I traveled for work, I always came back on a Thursday and the planes were never empty on my route.

Cheap Flights

There are many to pick from and it will depend on a few variables. One will be if you are comfortable booking outside the airlines such as buying an AA flight on CheapFlights.com. There is no place where fares are consistently cheapest. I always start with Google Flights. You can search for up to seven airports. My second choice is Skyscanner.  If you want to watch a flight then go with Airfare Watch Dog.

I’m not brave enough to book outside of the airline given how so many things can go wrong and the airline won’t be able to help you if you booked with a discount seller. That includes everything you enquire about regarding changes, refunds, etc. It’s not that they won’t help you, they can’t. If you book with the airline, you have a 24-hour period where you can change your mind.

Here is a list of things to summarize:

  • Ignore the Myths.
  • Be Flexible with Your Dates and Times.
  • Be Flexible with Your Destinations.
  • Watch for Special Deals.
  • Fly Budget Carriers.
  • Don’t Always Fly Direct.
  • Remember Not All Search Engines are Equal.
Fly and Stay Cheap

Airline Cards

Airline credit cards can help you save money on flights by accruing points and miles on purchases. The best travel credit cards come with added perks such as free checked luggage, airport lounge access, complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi and more. You can also earn miles through select airline rewards programs.

I use my airline card as much as I can with all my purchases so I can rack up the miles.  There are many out there to pick from and I recommend you research and determine which features work best for you. I enjoy a good lounge, so I go with a card that gets me into most lounges.

Happy Traveling!

Kelly

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