There are numerous strategies for getting cheaper airline flights. Things are getting tougher, what with fuel prices going crazy, and some smaller airlines still reeling from stiff competition. That’s not to say you can’t find really cheap airline flights, it just means it’s going to take a bit more work and tenacity on your part.
Here’s a few suggestions though, that could help get you started:
Skip the travel sites, and always check the airlines websites first. The airlines themselves are competing against the travel sites, and will often offer discounts that are only available from their websites. It’s cheaper for the airlines, if they can sell tickets directly to you the customer, and quite often they pass on the savings. Be sure to check all the airlines that fly out of your airport. If your not sure who all the airlines, then check the airports website, or give them a call if you can’t find the site.
The other trick to consider, is to check all airports in your general area. Meaning, take a look at airports that are within an hour or two drive from where you live. You could save a bunch of money simply by driving an hour or so to a smaller airport. Airlines may be trying to encourage travellers to use less congested flights by offering lower prices. Not to mention, the more airports you have to consider, the more airlines you’ll be able to price shop with.
Another type of site to check out is oag.com. They don’t try to sell you tickets, so they tend to be very nuetral in the information they give out. You know, they aren’t offering flight tickets simply because they make a commission of each sale. The really good thing though, is they will tell you what airlines fly out of what airports, and when they fly. They even maintain database information specific to airports worldwide. Informatin like when airports open or close, and what time the first and last flights depart or arrive.
Be sure to check on the extras charges. There could be extra charges you incur on your travel day, that could negate what seemed like a really cheap price for an airline ticket. Things like extra baggage charges. Some airlines charge for extra baggage, or oversized baggage. Especially with fuel prices lately. Airlines figure they can justify charging for the extra weight because of their fuel expenses. Speaking of gas prices, the other thing to check for is fuel surcharges. An additional surcharge to check for, is airport improvement taxes. Often you get dinged with these just before walking through security.
With a little extra work, you can be sure to get the really cheap airline tickets you deserve.
Whether you travel for fun or for business or for necessity, there’s no point in spending more money then you have to. Many businesses these days have cut back on travel expenses, so just taking the first flight available is not always an option, unless you luck out, and get dirt cheap airfare on your first try. Traveling for fun is also a wonderful idea, even if it is just to get away for a few days. Given that fuel prices have been driving airline prices sky high, it’s good to know there are still cheap airline tickets out there, if you know where to look.
Traveling out of necessity is another thing altogether. Emergencies do come up from time to time, and is all a part of life. Sickness, death, and personal disasters may force us to fly at a time not of our choosing. In these cases, your first best bet, is to check with the airline. Even these days airlines will often allow for deeply discounted, or even free flights on compassionate grounds. If the first airline clerk you call doesn’t have what your looking for, to be afraid to ask for their supervisor, or another department that might help. If that fails, then move on to the next airline. There’s plenty carriers around today, and they all have their own policies requiring these kinds of things.
If you know your way around the internet, and I’m assuming you know if your reading this, then your one of the lucky few. The internet has been a huge asset in the search for reasonably priced airfare. Sites like Travelocity have been a big help for the web savvy consumer to get the best deals available. One could argue, that the internet has been a motivating force in driving down the price of travel. Either for business or travel
You do need to learn how the system works though. Look at around at a few travel sites. Try several different booking options. Start looking early. Sometimes, it’s better to book early, and sometimes it’s better to book at the last minute. The sooner you start checking prices, the more options you will have to try. Be on the lookout for promotions and discounts when shopping. Don’t be afraid to ask about these. Travel forums are a great source of information about these things.
Speaking of travel forums, they’re good places to hang around, and listen to discussion about traveling tips from other like minded folks. These are the best places to get some honest answers. These forums are full of travelers just like yourself looking for the same deals you are. They don’t make a commission or a percentage of how much you spend. Don’t just read the existing discussions, be sure to ask some questions. And give back, if you can. If your a little forthcoming with your experiences and travel deals, your more likely to find others who will do the same.
A little extra time spend, can save you a lot of dough. Dirt cheap airfare tickets are easy to find, you just need to know where to look.
I assuming, that your reading this article for one reason, and one reason only. You want to get really cheap airline tickets. Your the kind of traveler, that believes the only reason to go somewhere, is the destination. Airports, airlines, luggage checking, airport security, and all the rest of it are just indignities that have to be endured to get to where you want to be. I’m with you. If you spend $100 for a ticket or a $1000 for a ticket, you basically have to put up with the same inconveniences. And let’s face it, travel in this day in age can be a real challenge.
With all that in mind, you may as well pay as little as possible for your airline flights. Cheap, really cheap tickets. Cheaper than dirt basically. It’s not hard to do, but we do need to set some expectations. Firstly remember our basically philosophy about flying. Which is, it’s an indignity to endure, and the final destination is our main concern. With that in mind, lets remove any expectations of first class seating, premier movies, free drinks, free food, and personable stewards and stewardesses. If you happen to luck out and get any of those items, then it’s a bonus.
Basically, what were looking for here, is a safe ride with competent pilots. As long as the plane takes off safely, lands safely, and gets us to our destination reasonably on time, then he we’re cool with that.
OK, now that we’ve got our el cheapo mindset primed, lets do a little planning. Airlines love to get passengers calling at the last minute, desperate for a seat that will get them where they need to be. The airlines are happy, because they’ll be charging those passengers top dollars for their tickets. You don’t want to be one of those passengers. The bottom line here, is if you want to get dirt cheap airline tickets, you need to plan ahead.
Planning your trip at least 4 months ahead is advisable with this strategy. Depending on when and where your going, 4 months may not be long enough. If your planning on a very popular tourist destination during prime tourist season the I’d book at least 6 months or more ahead. I’m taking, like Daytona, Florida during March. Most airlines start booking seats a year ahead.
Of course, if your totally flexible about when and where you go, then the opposite strategy may work well. You can get some pretty inexpensive tickets, at the very last second for somewhere warm during the winter months. Say you just want to head down to the little latitudes, but don’t really care which island or beach you land on. Calling an agent a few days ahead, could get you some pretty sweet vacation deals. The airlines are happier to fill a flight with some bodies in seats at a really cheap price, instead of flying with an empty seat for zero dollars.