Be flexible with your flight times
It's all about supply and demand. Some departure times are more popular – and more expensive – than others. Everyone wants to depart at 7pm on Friday night. Cheap airline tickets are available at peak times, but you generally have to book far in advance. If you need a cheap flight and have some flexibility, try flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday rather than on weekends.
Consider overall value
Finding the absolute lowest airfare for a given flight can be rewarding, but there are other factors to consider, like value – the overall mix of price, quality, and convenience. Before you shop, it makes sense to decide what's most important to you. You might be getting a really cheap ticket, but do you want to stop and change planes several times? Some airlines are more comfortable and provide more in-flight services than others, so we encourage you to take a look and compare airlines.
- Discount airlines, like Southwest and Frontier, have built their reputations on providing very cheap airline tickets with very few perks. Some do provide in-flight services, while others have none at all.
- Traditional airlines are becoming more price competitive, and increasingly offer lower fares than the discount airlines. You can find cheap flights on a traditional carrier with some perks, including assigned seating, in-flight service, and assistance if your flight is cancelled or delayed.
- Compare apples to apples. Did you read the fine print? One price may look great until you uncover the details. Watch out for taxes, surcharges, and fees. Especially when looking into alternative airports, consider the cost of getting to and from the airport. Add it up. Is it still a cheap flight?
Finding cheap airline tickets is simple with Cheapflights.com
It's not hard to find cheap flights when you're well informed and well connected. Be sure to sign up for our Deals Alert and have airfare deals come to you.
Airline pricing is a complex, unpredictable beast driven by three ugly words: competition, demand, and inventory. Airlines call it "yield management," but we doubt if even airline CEOs fully understand it. How could they? How can any rational person explain why a one-way flight is just as expensive as a round-trip ticket? Or why the only seats from Boston to San Francisco every weekend from now until eternity cost $1,000? Well, you found us in the nick of time, because before you even attempt to buy an airline ticket, you must know the forces at work. Only when you know your enemy may you slay him violently. All major airlines feed their available seats and prices into four central reservation systems that are owned by various airlines. The systems are Apollo, Sabre, WorldSpan and Galileo (sound like the names of American Gladiators, don't they?). Airlines then change their prices based on demand. If a certain flight is selling well, the price will increase. If another flight has no takers, the fare will drop until the airline gets some. As a result, fares and inventory are changing every minute.
One other great thing about these Internet sites is that you can often find sweet deals at the last minute. If you want to fly on a whim for the weekend, this is really the best route to go.
Popular sites include:
At www.smarterliving.com, you can do all of the above but also sign up for a weekly email with available for the coming weekend from airports you can access. Its flight search option shows all flights leaving the day you are interested in but when you click on the price, you are bounced over to www.expedia.com. It also advertises the latest travel bargains and ongoing airline sales.