It might seem a little strange focusing on one airlines sales, but within Australia, Jetstar seem to have the cheapest and most frequent sale fares. If you have ever tried to book one of Jetstar’s sale fares, you will know what I mean when I say if you are not quick enough, these flights will get booked out from underneath you, just as you click the purchase button. That’s if you can even get the Jetstar website to load, it seems at times half of Australia tries to access these sales.
I recently booked return flights from Adelaide to the Gold Coast for only $29 each way, when there were only 100 seats at this price up for grabs! I have been asked a fair few times since how I manage to get these bargain prices, so I have put together a few tips to help you have a better chance at finding a sale fare. These tips can apply to any airline, especially the budget airlines that seem to discount more aggressively.
Sign up for email sale notifications
To be in with a chance at grabbing these cheap flights, you need to know they are on sale, before the sale actually starts. Jetstar email out their Friday Fare Frenzy prices each Friday before the sale starts, which is how I found out about the $29 Gold Coast flights. Just be aware that some email providers hold your mail for several hours before they release them to you, so some people may not receive these emails until after the sale has started, not so helpful!
Be flexible with dates
When it comes to these limited number sale fares, you really do need to be flexible with dates, so they aren’t suited to people who need to travel on a set date. The sale will usually be restricted to a limited travel period, but even if you have a date in mind withing this period, you may need to be flexible enough that you can quickly grab any of the sale fares. In the recent Gold Coast sale, I had Saturday to Saturday return flights in mind, but the only days that showed up as on sale were Wednesday, so I had to book these without a second thought, or I most likely would have missed out. In the time it takes you to search through the dates to find one that suits, all the sale fares will likely have been snapped up.
It’s easier traveling with less people
This is something you really can’t help, but it’s useful to know that airlines offer seats in fare buckets, meaning there are only a certain number of seats available on a flight in each price category. The airline may only have 2 seats on sale on a particular flight, so if you try to book the flight with 3 people in your booking, the sale fares are not going to show. Therefore, the less people you are traveling with, the more chance you have of scoring a sale fare.
Be ready to book as soon as the sale begins
You need to be on the airlines website before the sale begins. Jetstar’s Friday sales begin at 4pm EST, so be sure to be on the website before the clock ticks over to 4pm. You can then refresh the page as soon as the sale is live.
Log in before the sale starts
Jetstar gives you the option to create an account on their site, and you can then save the personal information of others you regularly travel with. This is a major time saver once the sale has began, as the booking page will then display a drop down menu contain the names of all of your pre-saved traveling companions. You then just select the names of each traveler, and their information will automatically show, avoiding the need to type in each persons name etc.
Pay using direct bank deposit
The time you take entering your credit card details at the end of your booking is often the time the flights will be sold to someone else from under you. To pay by bank deposit you simply tick a box, and you then don’t need to waste time typing in payment details. Jetstar will then email you their account details with instructions on how to pay once the booking has been processed. This option is not only a time saver, but it also saves you paying any ‘booking charges’ that you would otherwise pay when booking with a credit card.
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Stock image credit – Dollar Photo Club