Summertime – travel time! And time to share some tricks to save on your flight tickets.
- Start to search for tickets in advance. It sounds obvious, but not many people know when this “in advance” time is. Flight tickets become available 330 days before the flight. According to travel agencies, the best time to buy tickets is 45-60 days before the flight date. Outside this 60 days time-frame, airline reservation systems use flight occupancy data from the previous year. In case, if your planned destination was very popular last year and you decide to buy a ticket too early, there is a possibility to overpay for it.
Remember! Always check cancellation policy, some tickets are non-refundable.
- Choose the right day for your flight. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the “cheapest” days in some airline companies. Friday to Sunday tickets usually more expensive, same for the holiday period.
Remember! This rule doesn’t work for popular business destinations, business people flying on weekdays.
- Search for tickets in a right time. Many people looking for the flight during work and reservation systems react to demand and raise the price. Avoid it by searching early morning or late evening.
- Play with the dates. If you don’t have a specific date required for your trip, move the date around, 2-3 days might save you couple hundred dollars.
- Consider seasonality. If you don’t have a dream destination, and vacation is at a particular time of the year, keep in mind that it is always going to be off-season somewhere in the world.
- Buy round trip tickets. In some cases, round trip ticket might cost less than one-way ticket. Especially it works for flights to Europe.
- Sign up for e-mail alerts. Signing up to airline companies mailing lists is an easy way to be notified of special deals and sales as they come up.
Remember! Sales tickets usually non-refundable and might have some restrictions, like luggage limitations.
- Become a loyalty program member. Airline loyalty programs (like Aeroplan) are free of charge and gives you the ability to collect points or miles for future flights, upgrades or extra services. Airline companies have alliances (e.g. Star Alliance or SkyTeam), which allow loyal customers to spend miles on partner companies flights.
- Use search engines. Websites like Skyscanner enables people to find comparisons for flights. When you found the cheapest price for the desired route, you will be transferred to the airline or travel supplier website to make the booking.
- Become a little IT-hacker. Enable private browsing when searching or booking your flights online. Travel websites often track visits and will increase your price based on search history. You can also clear your cache.
- Use low-cost airline companies. Guaranteed way to save money on a ticket, BUT. Low-cost airlines offer low prices due to low range of services during the flight. Food, luggage, insurance, even headphones… all these essentials will cost you extra money.
Other things to consider:
- Low-cost airline companies usually have one type of aircraft to lower expenses on maintenance. For the same reason, the average plane age is 5-6 years, which is much lower than regular airlines fleet age.
- Service class type is usually the same (all economy class). Also, companies modify planes in order to increase the number of seats (it affects the leg room between seats).
- Flying short direct routes (no more than 4 hours).
- Airlines are based in secondary airports (trip from the airport might be long and expensive).
- Offered flight schedule might be unhandy.
- Fly on charter flights. Charter is a non-regular flight usually organized by travel agency by renting the entire aircraft. Most likely they fly to popular tourist destinations and offer tour package (flight, accommodation, transfer, insurance etc.). So it’s hard to buy flight ticket without tour package, but not impossible. Especially if you call travel agency few days before the flight date.
I hope these recommendations will help you to travel this world.
Just don’t forget your passport!