Tips on Getting The Best Airfares

September 18, 2018

Whether you're flying the whole family to a destination for a vacation, you need to head out of town for a friend's destination wedding or there is some other reason for you to fly, airfare is likely to be a substantial portion of your travel budget. While there are no hard and fast rules that guarantee that you can save money on your next flight, there are some tips you can try.

Book early

As soon as you know the dates of your vacation or your event, start looking at flights. Airlines set the prices of their seats based on a complex algorithm that comprises numerous factors such as the popularity of the route, the number of days left until the flight, the number of seats actually remaining. 

For example, as the date for your flight nears, it’s price will increase. If the flight has only a few seats left, expect the price to increase even if the date is still several weeks out.  The ideal time to book a flight tends to be about six to eight weeks prior to the date of departure. Though not an absolute, about three weeks before your flight, you can expect to see ticket prices increasing. 

Be flexible

Sometimes you have no flexibility because you are locked into a date and/time that you have to fly. If you do have some flexibility, though, it's possible to save money on your flight. Because many people who fly do so due to business reasons, Mondays and Fridays tend to be more expensive days. Historically, Tuesdays and Thursdays often have better prices though this might not be true for every flight. 

When it comes to departure and arrival times, flexibility pays off here, too. Early morning flights tend to be less expensive when compared to those leaving during the latter part of the day. 

Research, research, research

As you search the information for your departure and arrival airports, you'll likely be bombarded with ads for sites that promise you the lowest rates. But don't forget to visit the airlines' websites... sometimes they offer better prices than discount websites. 

Contact airline

There's a reason why airfares are often bundled with hotels and rental cars. Not only do many travelers require two, or even all three, amenities, the companies often work with one another to deliver the best deals possible to their customers. Once you have identified your flight check with your airline for cheaper hotel and car rental. Keep in mind that the lowest costs are often found on the airline’s website.

Direct flights

Everyone wants non-stop, but there is not always a direct flight between two locations.  Where a direct flight is listed it may be at a specially discounted because an airline has identified specific routes.  Be aware that “non-stop” does not mean the same as “direct”.  “Direct” could mean that the aircraft lands at an intermit airport to collect passengers.  “Non-stop” means non-stop.  

By doing your homework and starting early, you can find cheap airline tickets. Flying to the Tampa Bay area? Then FLY PIE -- ST. PETE-CLEARWATER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT