Booking flights can be a challenge. Fares are not terribly transparent for many airlines, and they can go up or down at a moment’s notice. By accessing cheaper flights, it’s possible to take more trips. Here are some recommendations for scoring cheaper flights.
Look for Consolidator Fares
Travel agents traditionally were the only people who had access to consolidator pricing. Now, through some of the leading travel sites in the industry, ordinary folks can search consolidator fares. This process allows travelers to compare fares on some of the leading airlines for domestic and international flights.
Search on Mondays or Tuesdays
Earlier in the week, airlines tend of offer lower prices for their flights. This involves searches that are made on Mondays and Tuesdays. Additionally, searching for flights that take place in the middle of the week will sometimes be cheaper than flights that take off on the weekend. Part of this is tied to demand in general, but it is a good strategy for avoiding some of the more costly fares that are available. This tip will likely be more helpful for those who have a bit of flexibility as to when they actually travel.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Booking flights a month or more out will likely lead to lower prices. Airlines know that many last-minute purchases are made by business travelers who are not as limited by the prices they pay. Therefore, people who book a flight that’s scheduled to take off within the next week will likely pay much more than those who booked the same flight a couple of months earlier.
Check Airline Sites Directly
While it may be tempting to book a flight on Orbitz or Expedia, it’s important to remember that these sites do not show flights from every commercial carrier. Southwest flights are only available on the company’s website. Sometimes, a carrier’s website will actually give a lower price than some of the consolidator sites.
Take Bags into Account
The cost of flights that are available through an online search will typically not indicate the entire price. Most airlines will charge for checked bags. Some will charge for seat assignments. It’s important to take these additional costs into consideration before clicking on the link to purchase a flight. Sometimes, a flight that looks more expensive will wind up costing less for those who need to sit with family or check a suitcase.