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
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.
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.
Travel agents have an edge over Internet travel sites, because they
are trained to work the system. Travel agents know how to use the central
reservation systems better and faster to unearth information. They may
have access to all airline booking systems, although sometimes they
are under contract with only one central reservation system. They also
can check fares on lesser-known airlines not in the four systems. Typically,
airlines outside the systems are the smaller, discount airlines. Obviously,
you don't want to leave them out of your search! Another travel agent
benefit is the access to a wide range of services beyond the flight.
A travel agent can provide information about vacation package deals
and finalize accommodations and car rentals in one fell swoop. These
packages can be amazing, because even if the flight itself isn't such
a deal, you might get tremendous savings on hotel prices. Internet travel
sites also provide these services, but like the airline searches, they
require an affinity for entering dates and specifying choices. Agents
also have in-depth knowledge about your destination and can provide
the personal touch, helping you with restaurant recommendations and
reservations, for example. When selecting an agent, ask friends and
family to recommend someone they trust who has come through for them
in the past.