Everyone wants to travel cheap, but not many are aware of the tricks involved in bagging a good deal.
Airline industry, and in particular Ticket Reservation and issuing aspect of this trade, is of very complex and volatile nature. Before even knowing “How to find Cheap Airline Tickets” it is wise to understand how the airlines set their prices. Most airlines feed their availability to one or more Central Reservation Systems (CRS) also known as Global Distribution System (GDS) these are Apollo, Sabre, WorldSpan and Galileo . There are exceptions to this, some airlines for example South West , do not feed their availability into any GDS.
Airlines continuously change their prices based on demand. If a certain flight is selling well, the price will increase. If another flight is not doing so well, the fare will drop until the flight has more demand. As a result, fares and availability are ever changing.
Internet based travel Agents/ portals use CRS to retrieve availability, all the CRS synchronies periodically during different times of the day. So every time someone searches he may see different results with different fares.
Since most people travel on the weekends for their holidays, there is more demand for the weekends hence they are more costly, the weekdays are less preferred and hence cheaper. In case of a Monday this is generally preferred by businessmen making business trips, so it also makes sense to avoid Mondays.
Airlines generally offer discounted fares to lure customers, and this is only on limited seats. If you are not quick these seats will be taken on a fly.
Here are some tips and tricks to get cheap tickets
- Advance purchase: If you are not in a hurry it is always a good idea to book your tickets in advance. At least 21 days in advance. Airlines generally give out cheap tickets if you book your ticket in advance.
- Compare prices: There is a lot of competition in air travel, and most service providers who deal with flight tickets have their shops online. Which makes searching for fare on the internet a critical step towards cheap tickets. Your search should include websites of the major carriers and consolidators. When comparing the prices one should be aware of taxes and Fees applicable on the fare.
- Best days to travel: Try being flexible when scheduling your travel. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday are normally the cheapest days to travel. Also you should avoid festive seasons such as Christmas Eve and New Year.
- Late night or early morning flights: Try opting for odd time for travel usually late night or early morning flight which fewer people prefer. This way there isn’t much competition and hence Cheap Airline Tickets end to be cheaper.
- Flexible Departure Airport: Search ticket prices at surrounding airports. It can be less expensive to arrive or depart from a surrounding airport or city. Crunch numbers to see if you save or spend more money with this option.
- Round trips Vs one way: A roundtrip happens to be cheaper than two one way trips, if you plan to return to our originating airport. It is always better to book a roundtrip.
- Airline Deals: Find the lowest prices through other sources but before you buy, check out the airline’s website directly. Often the airlines offer additional discounts on tickets purchased online. Plus, you will save more money by not having to pay a booking fee for the tickets.
- Consolidated Deals: It is a good idea to book your flight tickets through consolidators who buy in bulk and sell them on discounted rates.
10. Special category Discounts: If you are a student, senior Citizen, a sports person or you fall under other special categories, ask the airline if they can provide special discounts for you.
11. National carriers for International Flights: If you are travelling abroad, try choosing national airlines of the destination country, there are generally less taxes involved on national airlines. However this may not be always true.
12. Nonstop Vs 1 stop and 2 stop Flights: When travelling inside US, try choosing nonstop flights, the more stops you will have the more tax you would be paying, so your tickets would get expensive. However, on international flights if you choose 1 or 2 stop flights and if the layover time is more than 4 hours the flight tickets tend to be cheaper. This may not be true always.
13. Frequent flier programs: Research frequent flier programs available through the airlines that allow you to earn free tickets for each time you travel.