Wondering how to get a cheap airfare? Thanks to the rise of internationalbudget airlines and deal finding websites, it’s gotten a lot easier to flyaround the world on the cheap – if you know where to look!
How to Get Cheap Airfare - Table of content
- Plan but be flexible with your travel dates andtimes.
- Delete cookies.
- Find Airline Pricing Errors
- Be flexible with your destinations
- Fly budget airlines.
- Search tickets for one passenger first.
- Pay in the default currency of the booking website.
- Take advantage of special deals.
- Identify the cheapest day to fly out.
- Hidden city trick.
- Use points to get airfare for free.
- Take Advantage of Student Discount
- How to Get Cheap Airfare in Practice.
1.Plan but be flexible with your travel dates andtimes.
Airline ticket prices vary depending on the day of the week,time of year, and upcoming holidays.
Airlines are not dumb. They know when a holiday, sports event, or school break is coming up — and they raise prices accordingly.
I know that sometimes you are fixed on the dates youcan and can’t go, but you need to keep in mind that if you want to get cheapairfare you need to flexible. Sometimes the difference of one day can meanhundreds of dollars in savings!
Moreover, it’s always cheaper to fly during themiddle of the week than on a weekend, because most people travel on theweekends. Prices are also cheaper if you fly after a major holiday as areearly-morning or late-night flights
2. Delete cookies.
Cookies is a virtual footprint you leave when you visit each
website. Cookies stores information like your location, age, shopping history
etc. Every websites track and use those cookies. A good example of this would
be when you abandon a shopping cart and after a whole you see an ads with
product from your cart.
Airlines also use a cookies. They can see if you have
searched for that flight before, when and how many times and the prices you may
have been given. That information can and does significantly influence the
prices they may show you! So if you want the get cheap airfare you must regularly
How to delete cookies?
There are two common ways. First after each search delete all history in you browser. It is very simple, just press Ctrl-Shift-Delete and click Clear now.
Second option is to go incognito or using private browsing – most web browsers have that option.
In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”. This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search. Note: if you’re using an older version of OS X, open Safari then click “Safari” in the menu bar, and select “Private Browsing”
3.Find Airline Pricing Errors
Sometimes airlines make mistakes in their pricing which makes a certain airfare extremely cheaper than it would normally be.
One of the website that tracks these mistakes and lets you take advantage of them is Secret Flying.
For example, recently I was able to find a flight from France to Portugal for 3 euros!
However, it is good If you have no set destination in mind.https://www.secretflying.com/
4.Be flexible with your destinations
When you are locked into one place at one time, you are stuck with whatever price shows up.
Airline search engines have made it really easy to search the entire world to find the cheapest ticket — you no longer have to search manually.
A good examples are Kayak and Google Flights which allows you to put in your home airport and see a map of the world with all the flights on it.
Below is an example of how to get cheap airfare using Google Flights.
Go to Google Flights and put in your dates and home airport and enjoy all your options.
5.Fly budget airlines.
Flying the budget airlines is a good alternative to flying “the majors” whenever possible. Budget airlines now service many long-haul routes, making it possible to fly around the world for very little money. For example, WOW air has cheap flights to Iceland and Europe from the United States for as little as $99.
Just be sure to watch out for fees. That’s how they make money! Budget airlines sometimes charge fees for checked bags, carry-ons anything else they can get away with. Be sure to add up the cost of the ticket and the fees to make sure that the price is lower than a larger carrier.
Here is a list of the biggest budget airlines in the world:
6.Search tickets for one passenger first
Airlines have multiple airfare classes, even within the same cabin class and seat category. It’s all quite complicated, but the main thing you need to know is that it’s possible the airline only has one seat left at the lowest price point. If you’re booking for a few passengers, they may bump all of you up to a pricier airfare class.
For example, if you are a family of four and searching for four seats, the airline will find four seats together and show your fare based on the highest ticket price.
Therefore, always search for tickets as a single person. Afterwards, in the checkout process, you can pick your seats so you and your family are sitting together.
7.Pay in the default currency of the booking website
By paying in the website’s default currency, you’d prevent the website from making any currency conversion for you. As a general rule, your credit card issuer usually gives you better currency conversion rates than website operator. But before you pay in a foreign currency, check if your credit card charges any currency conversion fee — this fee could wipe out your savings.
8.Take advantage of special deals
Keep your eyes peeled for travel deals, discounts, sales, and coupon codes. The best way to keep track special deals is to sign up for mailing lists from airlines and search engines. This is one of the best ways to ensure you find a cheap flight. Why? Because they do all the work for you! Many times, the cheap flights are only available for 24 hours, and if you aren’t always checking the web for them, you will miss out on many of the super cheap deals.
An additional solution is special websites that constantly monitor the best flight offers:
9.Identify the cheapest day to fly out
Step 2. Enter your departure & arrival cities
Step 3. Select “one-way” (even if flying round trip – you’re just determining the cheapest days to fly out first)
Step 4. On a computer: click “Depart” but instead of entering a date, select “Whole Month”, and then “Cheapest Month” so you can browse all dates to see which is cheapest. Hit “Search flights” to easily see which date is cheapest.
In the mobile app: Tap the departure date, then change the view to “Chart”. You can easily swipe left and right to find the cheapest date, and tap on one of the bars to see the price.
10.Hidden city trick
There is a trick known 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.
For instance, a flight from New York City to Los Angeles costing $200 may stop midway in Chicago, whereas tickets from New York City to Chicago run $400. Hidden city ticketing in this case would mean booking the flight from New York City to Los Angeles and just disembarking during its stop in Chicago, saving you $200.
While finding cheap tickets may be appealing to you, there are several drawbacks for travelers that you may want to keep in mind:
If your luggage is checked, it may go on to the final destination. For this reason, with hidden city ticketing it’s best to have carry-on luggage only
You may not be allowed off the plane (if the same plane is continuing onward to its final destination).
11.Use points to get airfare for free.
The cheapest airfare you can get is for free and the easiest way to do that is with points. If you don’t have any, don’t fret – signing up for just one travel rewards credit card and hitting the minimum spend can land you a major points bonus, often enough for a free flight.
You can sign up for an airline rewards card that earns points with a particular airline, or a more general travel rewards card that lets you redeem points across a variety of airlines.
12.Take Advantage of Student Discount
If you are a student, there are many, many discounts available to you. Check out STA Travel for student tickets. You can ﬁnd ﬂexible student tickets on their website and at agency stores. There are many student codes out there, and many of the tourist agencies in backpacker areas can help ﬁnd you a cheap ticket.
How to Get Cheap Airfare in Practice
So now I want to show you how to get cheap airfare in practice and walk you through how I book my tickets.
I’m going to look for a ﬂight from NYC to Hong Kong in February for 8–10 days.
First, I’ll look at deal websites like Holiday Pirates or The Flight Deal to see if there are any fare sales going on. Sometimes there are; most of the times there aren’t.
After that, I start with the ITA Matrix. This is a tool that allows for complex searching and that every ﬂight junkie. While it only searches major airlines (no budget carriers here), it has a calendar option so you can see prices over the course of the month and get a solid baseline on prices.
As you can see the cheapest airfare is $455 USD.
Next, I check Skyscanner prices and see if any budget carriers ﬂy the route I need.
As you can see the cheapest airfare is $317 USD. It is $138 USD less than cheaper offer in ITA Matrix! That’s another reason to check multiple booking sites. You might find a cheaper price for the same destination.
Next, I visit Google Flights to search regional fares. Looking to cheap airfare the cheapest one is $444 USD with one stop by China Airlines. It is not so cheap as the flight found in Skyscanner, but it is more convenient (one stop less).
After booking the ﬂight, I make a note to check back in 23 hours, as you have 24 hours to cancel a ﬂight without penalty, so right before that time is up, I’ll clear out my browser’s cookies and do a quick search to see if the price dropped. I’ll either rebook or keep my ﬂight based on what I ﬁnd.