Flying is one of the most popular means of transportation in big cities around the world. It is fast, convenient, safe and it will get anyone where they want to go on time. But it can be quite expensive.
Most airlines around the world have consolidated, there are now fewer of them. Fewer airlines mean less competition and less competition mean relative monopoly and a relatively unregulated method pricing system that tends to be on the high side. The price of fuel for planes has increased significantly in the last couple of years and because airlines are unable to handle the costs on their own, a lot of it is shifted to the customer in flight tickets. Since September 11, security measures have been amplified all over the world incurring high-cost in payment for security outfits. Airline taxes have also shot up tremendously. All of these increments in bills are shared with customers when they purchase flight tickets. Seeking cheaper flights is the cry of most travelers. Some get lucky and stumble upon such provisions but without requisite knowledge of how the airline works, it is hard and almost impossible to keep track and take advantage of every opportunity to fly for cheap.
How to find cheap flights
1. Use the best flight search engines
Most search flight engines will provide standard flight costs, but some offer budget airline flight costs and a chance to make comparisons so you can find a cheap airline. Sites like Justfly, which has over 440 airline partners, help customers find cheap flights with discounts.
2. Search using incognito or private browsing mode (Beware of cookies)
3. Choose the cheapest dates and times to fly and avoid peak seasons
The price of airline tickets varies depending on the time of day, day of the week and season of the year. Fewer people travel very early in the morning or late at night so flights at these times are often cheaper. Mondays to Thursdays are the cheapest days of the week to fly because most people are stationed in a place working. Weekends however are a terrible time to seek cheap flights. People migrate in mass for the weekend and flight ticket prices are astronomically high at these peak days. The holidays are also expensive times to fly with everyone scurrying to get to their holiday destinations. It is best to fly after a major holiday because fewer people travel during these times.
4. Fly free Using flyer miles
Flyer miles are loyalty or reward programs offered by airlines to their customers who through patronage accumulate points that they can redeem for flights or other rewards. Signing up for the program with the preferred airline of choice or a travel rewards credit card affiliated with the airline and gaining points through continued patronage can generate enough to get one a free or heavily discounted flight among other benefits. Frequent flyer miles not only afford a traveler a free ticket but an upgrade from the originally booked class to a higher one all paid for in points.
5. Book early and don’t wait if unnecessary
Contrary to the myth of last minute deals, ticket prices go up the closer it is to the date of the flight. The price of tickets is typically low on the outset but the more they sell out, the higher the prices of the ones that are left. Last minute travelers will pay more for a last minute decision to fly somewhere. Writing for sales is a very unwise move when flying. The cost never goes down especially if it is during peak periods like weekends or holidays. The trick is to book early but not too early. 6 to 8 weeks before the trip is usually the best time to book flights in advance. From that moment till the date of departure, the fare will continue to increase.
6. Use error and sales fares to advantage
Airlines are known to occasionally make mistakes when posting their fares online. This can be because of human error, technical problems or incorrect conversion of currency. To rectify their mistakes, they discount the flights cost. Travelers who are aware of this can take advantage of this situation and bag themselves some very cheap flights they would otherwise have paid an arm and a leg for. There are sites that travelers looking for the cheapest flights use to find these mistakes. It is always wise to have credit cards ready to pay soon after finding one of these as they do not stay available for long.
7. Fly two different airlines
Flying two different airlines is another way of bagging cheap flights. Most airlines offer one-way flights at reasonable prices so it will be cheaper taking one airline for departure and another for return. It allows one to get the best deals by mixing flights that offer affordable prices for each trip as opposed to round trips.
8. Check for cheaper rates in foreign currencies
Sometimes flight rates are cheaper in other currencies. A proper search using a reliable flight search engine like JustFly can help to find these cheap flights. Airlines will often insist that payment be made in the currency of the country the flight is taking off from. But using a credit card that is free of foreign transaction fees, going incognito, turning off the location and using a VPN can enable one to purchase a flight ticket for so much less in a different currency.
Traveling by air doesn’t have to cost a fortune and one doesn’t need to pay full price for services that can be available for a fraction of the original cost. There are so many ways to find cheap flights to any part of the world. All it takes is information, the right search engine, a little patience and action once desired results are found.