Here's a video about
finding cheap airfares from cute CNETnews reporter Kara Tsuboi.
Here are the best travel
CNN Travel - http://www.cnn.com/travel/
BBC Travel News - http://www.bbc.co.uk/travelnews
Today - http://www.usatoday.com/travel/
New York Times - http://www.travel.nytimes.com
International Herald Tribune - http://www.iht.com/pages/travel/index.php
The Times - http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/
Guardian - http://travel.guardian.co.uk/
Michael Bluejay suggests:
Fly mid-week if you can.
Weekend flights are usually more expensive because that's when
most people fly. Flying midweek usually means a cheaper fare.
Sample fares we just checked:
- $412 - Leave Sunday, return next Sunday
- $337 - Leave Monday, return next Monday
- $337 - Leave Friday, return next Friday
- $314 - Leave Tue/Wed/or Thu,
return next Tue/Wed/Thu
Using neighboring airports sometimes gets you cheaper airfares.
Several times we've saved a lot of money by flying into the
Newark, NJ airport instead of into a New York airport, even
though each was about the same distance from our destination in New
York City. Once we saved $200 by flying into Philadelphia instead of
Atlantic City, then took a $6 train ride (1.5 hours) to Atlantic City.
can automatically search neighboring airports for you.
Kayak is nice by
assuming you want to search nearby airports, and giving you
a nice list of the prices for each airport it finds (rather than dumping
all the results together). It's kind of slow, but not only is the nearby-searching
feature nice, it also found our sample fare for $12 cheaper than Orbitz.
Book multi-city trips using the special search
If you're traveling to City A, then to City B, then returning
to your original city, use the special multi-city search provided by
instead of searching for three different one-way fares.
For U.S. to Europe, fly to London first
Kelly Fine of Alternative
Wedding Ceremonies writes: "We found that it was much cheaper
to fly to London on one airline and fly from London to the Continent
on another airline. This seemed to be true no matter what city in Europe
we wanted to go to. And it was impossible to find a cheap flight from
anywhere to Bratislava, so we found a flight to Vienna, which is only
a little over an hour by bus from Bratislava. Flying into central and
eastern Europe is much more expensive than flying to western Europe."
Use the proper website to search for airfare
To get the best fare you need to use the airfare search sites
tailored to your situation, as listed below. You should
also check at least two of the sites listed because no one site consistently
gives the best fare.
For U.S. fares here's what I usually do:
- Check Sidestep
if I need specific dates (otherwise skip this step).
- Check Travelocity.
- Check Orbitz.
- See if Southwest
or Jet Blue
can beat any of the above.
- If not, then go directly to the airline's website for the cheapest
fare that Sidestep, Travelocity, or Orbitz found, and see if the airline
will give a better price directly.
- Go with whichever of the above is cheapest.
Bluejay has a great post comparing travel search engines for cheap airfares.
has great tips for cheap airfares (domestic U.S.):
Fare watchers constantly monitor the lowest
airfares to a particular city (or to a bunch of cities) so you always
know what the best deal is at any given time. We prefer Yahoo,
which shows you this information on your My Yahoo page (which we check
every day anyway for news, weather, and stock prices). Once you've chosen
your cities, the lowest prices are listed there for you every time you
go to My Yahoo, with no extra clicking required. This is a good way to
stay on top of cheap airfares to given cities. One catch, sometimes My
Yahoo doesn't always show the lowest fare right away. (Once, My Yahoo
showed the cheapest flight to Vegas was $260, but when I clicked it to
find actual flight times, it found a $198 flight. The $198 flight didn't
show up in My Yahoo until three days later.)
Sign up at an airline's website and they'll
send you an email every week listing what space-available flights they
have for the upcoming weekend. It's certainly more convenient to use Travelzoo
if you've decided to travel on a particular weekend, rather than looking
through various weekly emails from the various airlines. But if you want
details on great airfares to come to your mailbox every week so you don't
have to go surfing for it, then this is what you want.
has these tips for securing cheap airfares:
Usually online booking only, so no "person-contact".
You will want a web site which offers excellent security and privacy.
You will also want a web site that is user-friendly. For example
one that gives pricing information before you need to make a selection
from a series of flight choices. Or, one that saves your searches
and allows easy changes of itinerary. Economy
has a user-friendly interface.
Do you prefer electronic tickets, known as "e-tickets"
or traditional paper tickets? Tickets are often only issued electronically.
A way to see if paper tickets are offered is to check for home-delivery
if that is your preference. There are pros and cons with both
- Paper tickets.
Need to be treated like cash. Losing a paper ticket can be costly.
They might attract a fee if you want to pick the ticket up at the
Not as readily available and convenient as e-tickets.
Their main drawback is that the computer system in which they reside
cannot always be flexible enough to deal with changing circumstances
in the "real" world. For example when a passenger
cancels an e-ticket, it can disappear altogether before the passenger
Another problem is the computer systems used by the various airlines
can't "talk" to each other, although the airlines are working
to resolve this. In the meantime passengers can have difficulty
moving between airlines, for example in the case of delayed or cancelled
flights, or even connecting flights.
They still do not offer access to the full range of carriers and itineraries.
Check whether there is a limited time frame between booking, paying
for and using the ticket. This is often the case with airlines
posting last minute bargains. For example, specials are often
posted on the Wednesday before the weekend they are good for.
There might be certain required days of the week for departures and
returns. Make sure all these suit you.
Check whether quoted prices include additional mandatory costs.
- tax charges such as US$2 on each flight
- other airport taxes
- passenger facility charges (PFCs)
of up to US$12
- ticket processing charges
- fuel surcharges
Changing your mind
Check whether the ticket is refundable. Online "specials"
often are not. How long will you have to wait for your money if
you do get a refund? If you can cancel a ticket, check whether
there are penalties for doing so. In the case of consolidators,
this could be up to half of the ticket price. You can sometimes change
flight schedules for an administrative fee; usually US$75.
If you put several web specials together will they be ticketed separately?
Frequent flyer programs
Will the purchase go towards your frequent flyer account? Sometimes
bonus miles for booking online apply. If using an airline's own
web site, can you enroll in its frequent flyer program online?
Can you access your account online?
some tips for cheap airfares:
How does $169 one-way to
Europe sound? You can get ridiculously cheap airfares like this
when you agree to carry a package as a courier. In fact, couriers sometimes
fly for free. This requires a flexible travel schedule, but if that's
you then you can score an incredible deal this way. Courier flights are
usually only available for international travel.
Offers fantastic rates to Europe, Mexico, and Hawaii.
They charge a membership fee but offer more services than AirTech.
Unfortunately they sold our test email address to spammers.
There's a third site, AirHitch.org,
but it's so incredibly user-hostile I wouldn't wish it on anyone. If
you have a lot of patience you might be able to figure out
how to get a good deal there, but when you have other alternatives I
see no reason to bother.
U.S. to Bermuda,
offers service between select U.S. cities and Bermuda, Cancun,
La Romana, Puerto Plata, and Punta Cana. In Sept. 2004 we checked and
found a roundtrip fare between Baltimore and Bermuda for $160 (!), while
the best Orbitz could find was closer to $400.
Other sites we found which have
good international fares are:
- U.S. to/from Canada:
- Canada to everywhere: Sears
- Australia to Australia:
- Europe to Europe:
- Momondo's flexible dates feature
is awesome. It gives you a GRAPH showing the price for every single
day in any month you choose. Sweet!
Tip for flying into
Kelly Fine writes: "We found that
it was much cheaper to fly to London on one airline and fly from London
to the Continent on another airline. This seemed to be true no matter
what city in Europe we wanted to go to. And it was impossible to find
a cheap flight from anywhere to Bratislava, so we found a flight to
Vienna, which is only a little over an hour by bus from Bratislava.
Flying into central and eastern Europe is much more expensive than flying
to western Europe."
Here are tips from about.com: