Prices on travel have skyrocketed, making it even more difficult to find airline tickets at a reasonable price. While there’s little that can be done about checked bag fees, security fees, and the ever rising cost of fuel, there are ways to outsmart the price gouging; you just have to put in some effort to find the best price.
If you are flexible on your travel dates, start by visiting a major airline ticketing website to search among a large span of dates for the cheapest time to travel. The best way to do so is on Orbitz.com. Start by clicking on “Flexible dates” (under the “Find Flights” button).
Choose the third option, “Flexible Stays”, and type in a span of up to 30 days that you would like to travel within. Then carefully look over the list that is presented and make note of the cheapest days to travel. You can do this several times over, changing the dates of the search in order to maximize your options.
Once you have determined the cheapest time to travel, click on your preferred travel dates to see the available tickets. Take notice of which airlines are offering the cheapest tickets. Then go to the airline’s direct website where you will often find the same flight, but for less money.
Sometimes the difference is as little as $5, but other times the savings can be $50 or more. Another advantage of doing this is that customer service through a direct airline booking is usually superior to that through a major ticketing website (who often outsource their customer service).
Should you find the ticket prices on the major ticketing website to be more affordable, double check that it’s the very cheapest by using an airline ticket price comparison website such as Kayak.com.
There you can search a vast array of airline tickets, from ticketing websites to websites of the direct airlines, all in one place. This will verify who really has the cheapest tickets for the time you want to travel. This is also specifically useful when booking within set travel dates, as you will be sure to get the best price despite the time limitations.
Taking advantage of promotions and coupons can save you a substantial amount of money. Often websites like Expedia.com have promotional offers for a discount if traveling to certain destinations or if you are also booking a hotel with your flight.
While it can take a significant amount of research to check the various ticketing websites, it is often well worth it in the long run. Better yet, you can sign up for newsletter e-mails from the airline ticketing websites that alert you to the latest promotions and coupons.
If you want to make your money stretch even further, use a cash back website like Ebates.com to get money back on airline ticket purchases. Only some ticketing sales websites are eligible (most of the major names of course).
It’s very easy to enroll and then all you have to do is visit the cash back website, click on the website of the airline ticket broker you’ve chosen to purchase from, and then the cash back website will track the purchase and give you a percentage of that purchase price into your account, which you will later receive via Paypal or check.
It’s completely safe, too. The reason they can do this is that they earn money from the e-commerce websites to encourage visitors to shop there. In order to get the visitors to shop, they offer them a portion of the money they get from the company.
Another really easy way to get more for your money is to use your reward credit card to gain points or cash back. When purchasing airline tickets you will be spending a large sum of money, so those points or cash back percentage will go a lot further than on most purchases.
A word of advice, when booking your plane ticket pay careful attention to the full price, which includes fees and taxes. Every website that sells airline tickets is a little different. Some are
upfront with the full price, others only give you the ticket price and then add on the fees and taxes upon checkout, and others will charge an additional booking fee atop the ticket price, plus fees and taxes. Double check that the price you are expecting to pay is the full price.
If you are unsure, you can always go through the checkout process up to the point where they give you a total. Remember, they can’t charge you anything until you give them a credit card number. As long as you haven’t reached that point in the checkout process, you owe them nothing. So feel free to check for yourself as to the full amount you will be spending.
You’ll enjoy the trip so much more knowing that you got the best price on your airline tickets. Plus, you may be able to get on that vacation sooner now that you know how to easily save hundreds of dollars on your travel expenses.