Five Tips To Find Cheaper Flights
There are a plethora of tips and tricks to help you find the best deals. However, these are the five easiest steps you can take to find cheaper flights, no matter where you are going!
1. Search In "Incognito" Mode
Every flight search engine, travel websites, even your social media accounts use ‘cookies’. No, it is not the delicious fresh baked cookies you enjoy for a dessert, a ‘cookie’ is a tracking tool that remembers your search history. Cookies can prevent you from seeing the lowest price unless you book the first time you buy a ticket!
Instead, choose to search for flights in private browsing sessions. This, in some circumstances, can enable you to find lower price. This is due to the fact that websites cannot use their tracking cookies to determine any previous browsing history you might have had on their site, other sites, or even just other searches with similar terms.
2. Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates and Destinations (if you can)
Tickets prices can fluctuate widely based on which day of the week you travel. Hopefully, you can be flexible on your arrival and departure date. Even if you can only be flexible on one end of your trip, you can easily save a few bucks by flying on Wednesday instead of a Friday or the day before a major holiday when more travelers tend to fly. Most airline websites and flight search engines provide a flexible date calendar that makes it easy to quickly compare ticket prices. As a general observation, third-party sites usually do a better job at providing flexible date pricing as they are able to list multiple airline carriers on one page.
Having flexibility with your destination as well can often aid in decreasing the cost. Looking to go to Miami and hit up South Beach? Well often times it is cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale and drive the hour to Miami. Looking to go skiing, but do not have a preference on location? Try going to a less popular city for these winter activities. Have a week of vacation and no preference where to go? We always say explore a new city. You may not have thought you’d enjoy what the city has to offer, but who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with it!
3. Watch for Flash Sales
Flash sales are some of the best for those looking to travel and have flexibility in their schedule. Many airlines will host ‘flash sales’ for flights on routes that are not selling as well or that they are trying to promote. These are usually very cheap, but have limited flexibility on the dates or time of flight (ie. Say a 11:05 flight from Boston to New York isn’t selling well, an airline may have a flash sale for that specific flight on a specific date.)
Flash sales can also mean discounts for carriers. JetBlue, Spirit, Porter, American, Southwest and Alaskan are some of the most common airline carriers that host flash sales. These flash sales usually only last 24-48 hours so it is crucial to keep your eyes peeled for them, with one of the best ways being to sign up for a frequent flier account with each airline as they will often email members anytime there is a sale.
4. Take a Pit Stop
Direct fares can be tempting but often they are the most expensive route. Taking a flight to an airline’s hub often helps decrease the cost of a ticket. For example: Say you want to go to Orlando, FL and hang with Mickey and the crew. Instead of taking a direct flight to Orlando, look for flights that fly through Atlanta.
Yes sometimes layovers and connections do not always make sense. We often go to Atlanta or Detroit to fly backwards to our destination. One flight path wanted us to fly to Texas before flying to Morocco!! While it seems silly, it is often an issue of both economics and logistics with the airline having to return a plane and its crew to where they came from. Often times they are aware of the inconvenience and thus drop fares for these routes. They say time is money, but spending a little extra time getting to a destination can save you money in exchange for a little bit more time!
5. Frequent Flyer Programs
Ah yes, airline miles. To some the concept may seem overly complicated and not worth the trouble, but contrary to that belief it can often be extremely beneficial. Airlines like to reward customers who are regular fliers. Since there are so many third party sites these days, airlines have used frequent flyer programs to boost loyalty. These programs not only offer discounted flights, but can often lead to trip upgrades, free companion tickets and free flights!
Since many airlines are partnered throughout alliance programs, there is no need to sign up for every single one (unless they have a great deal at the time!) and instead focus on the airlines you would most often travel on. For example, if I fly Air France, it’s credited to my Delta rewards account. Similarly, if I book a trip through Hawaiian Airlines, I can receive JetBlue points. If you are smart and savvy with your money, airlines often offer credit cards with sign up bonus points. Since the credit card is not tied to only airline based purchases, you can often use it for online shopping, groceries, gas, and dining out. Who knew buying vegetables would translate into free flights?!
Have a question about any of the information above? Email us!