The price of flights can vary so much between airlines, holiday periods, the day of the week and even time of day you choose to travel. There is no need to pay top dollar for flights though, there are some great deals out there is you know where to look. Follow these top 7 secrets to find cheap flights next time you are planing a holiday and enjoy the savings.
Travel at the right time
Avoid school holidays, public holidays as well as Christmas and Easter if possible, more people traveling during these times pushes the prices up. Try to travel mid week, since Friday to Sunday are the peak travel times.
2. Use aggregate websites to find the best deal
Websites like Webjet allow you to view all available flights and prices from multiple airlines. Use this to find any great deals and quickly work out the cheapest option, but check fee before booking. It may be cheaper to then book directly on the airline website.
3. Don’t book too early, or too late
Booking early often means you will be paying more, it’s better to wait until around 3 months out from your travel date to book flights, or even better wait for a sale. At the same time, don’t leave it too late to book. Booking last minute fares often means the cheaper fares will have been snapped up and you will be left paying a premium for the same seat.
4. Check the price of booking each passenger individually
Airlines only offer a certain number of seats in each fare bucket, and so if you need 4 seats but there are only 3 left in the cheaper fare bucket you will be shown a quote in the more expensive fare bucket for all 4 seats. If you have checked that there are still enough seats left on the plane for all travelers in your group, search again for only 1 passenger and compare the price. If it’s cheaper, book the tickets seperately so that you can at least snap up the first one or two seats at the cheaper price.
For example, there might be 3 seats available at $100 but you need 4. Your are shown a fare of $150 per passenger, so you book the first 3 seats as a group, getting each seat at $100, then go through the booking process again and book the 4th seat at $150. You have then saved $150.
5. Use a private/incognito browser window
It is said that airlines track the number of times you have visited their site, and will show you a higher price as they think you may be serious about booking. Open up a private or incognito browser window and search using the same criteria. The airlines site then will then not know that you are the same potential customer that has previously visited their site and may just offer you a lower fare.
6. Watch for hidden fees
Airlines have become experts at offering a low airfare up front, then trying to get you to purchase every add on possible, from seat selection to priority boarding and a baggage allowance. When going through the booking process, watch for pre-ticked options that will add an extra cost to your flight.
7. Avoid booking fees and credit card surcharges
Even though airlines call them ‘booking and service charges’, they are really just disguised credit card surcharges. Under Australian law businesses must offer a free booking alternative to avoid these surcharges having to be included in the fare price. Most airlines will offer Poli or direct bank deposit as a fee free payment option so take advantage of this!