How to find cheap domestic and international flight tickets
Most of us, travelers, always want to know how to find cheap domestic or discount international airline travel tickets and how to make sure that we get the best travel deal. The reality is – some things remain the same, while others change constantly, and the only way you can stay on the top of that is travel a lot (experience is gold) and gather the latest information before you travel.
Here are a few airline travel tips that are currently hot and that will help you find the best deals out there.
Be FLEXIBLE on travel dates and/or cities. You will have more flight availability options and a possibility to search more airlines and travel dates. Also, if you can, avoid Friday, Saturday and Sunday flights. Airlines charge more, usually about $20/per one way if you fly on a weekend day; this particularly applies to international/ transatlantic flights. If you live in a large metropolitan area, check flight prices from smaller cities that are close to you. Depending on the area and season, airlines tend to offer better airfares from smaller cities.
Buy airline tickets on Tuesdays. Based on experience and airfare trends, it seems that airline offer cheaper flights on Tuesdays, especially if you are looking for cheap international airline tickets. The theory is that airlines launch their flight sales on Monday nights and by the time all search engine systems are updated, you should be able to find great domestic and international airline travel deals on Tuesdays.
Fly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Yes, again Tuesday! The reasoning behind all this is that airline flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturday tend to be less full, and airlines are more inclined to offer special airfare deals or flight sales if you travel on these days. So, if you can, avoid Monday, Friday and Sunday flights as these are known as business traveler days. This way you will not only save money, but you will also have less crowded airports.
Big & well known travel agency vs Small travel agency. Based on research and experience, most travelers tend to buy their plane tickets from big and well known travel agencies. But did you know that 90% of the time you can find lower airfares with smaller specialized travel agencies and even better airfares on these agencies’ websites? This is true! For the sake of this discussion, I just compared prices on the US domestic flight from Atlanta to Boston on Travelocity, Orbitz and Faretex.com. Guess what… the flight price was lower by $25 each way on Faretex website. The fact is that the same flight tickets rules apply to everyone, whether buy flight tickets from big or smaller specialized travel agencies.
Low or Off Season airfares. If you can choose what time of year to fly, travel in a low or off season. Usually this is late fall, winter and early spring. Note, that depending on a country you fly to, summer might be the lowest season, so make sure you check on this. For instance, if you travel from the US to Europe, you’d want to fly during winter or late fall/early spring months. The weather in Europe might not be the warmest, but you will definitely get the best international airline travel deals.
Waitlist airline flights. If you usually work with an agent, you might have a possibility to buy cheaper airline tickets if your agent knows how to waitlist (if ticket rules permit) a lower flight service class. In many cases your agent can reserve you a more expensive flight and waitlist a lower airfare in your travel record (PNR). So if the airline rules permit and a flight is not full, you have a chance to get a cheaper airline ticket.
Availability & Expensive airline tickets. Travelers often do not realize that it is not always about “expensive” routes or airlines when it comes to booking discount international airline travel or even finding cheap domestic flights. Here is why… There are maybe 10 different coach or economy service classes on each flight. The difference between them is price, rules, and restrictions. When an airline offers a sale, a very limited number of seats are released for the lowest flight price or a so called flight sale. Once the lowest price seats are gone, the next higher airfare will show as the lowest available flight price (i.e. higher service class tickets). Therefore, when you search for flights and airfares, you do not find the advertised sale prices and what is available is more expensive. The lowest price airline tickets are usually gone first and then you need to pay more for a flight ticket. It is your choice to buy a more expensive ticket or choose a different date when lowest flight price is available. So remember that plane ticket price always depends on availability and the time when you purchase your ticket.
So if you’re looking for the lowest airfares, again, to be flexible, and check different dates or flights, and know where to book and buy cheap international airline travel tickets.