Airline Flights - How to Find the Best Deal
Tracking down cheap flights can be a daunting task. Rules and prices for airline tickets are changing all the time. They can become the biggest expense when traveling abroad. The best way to find lower prices is to go on the internet. Locate a few trusted travel sites and compare prices.
Here are my travel tips on buying cheap airline tickets. There are many easy ways to reduce prices right away.
- Always read the Airline sections in your guidebook. I usually buy two guidebooks from different publishers. This way I get the information I need from at least two sources. It's better that way.
- ALWAYS USE A CREDIT CARD to purchase airline tickets. It's the best protection against fraud.
- Buy tickets using the web. See below for my favorite travel websites. Use a credit card!
- Remember to Erase Cookies on your computer before and even while connected to a website. (Cookies are how ticket sellers track their customer habits when using websites and use them to raise prices after they detect some weakness.)
- Find a good travel agent that can give you excellent advice. Ask your friends who they use.
- For destinations like South America or Africa locate a good travel agent that specializes in these areas. They are easy to find on line (Google: Airline tickets to Chili or whatever your destination is.) Check for Travel Tour Ads in the Sunday Newspaper Travel section (next item.)
- Check the Travel Tour Ads in the Sunday Newspaper Travel section for any major city, such as NY, Chicago, LA, Denver, and San Francisco. They are the tiny ads in the back. These travel bureaus not only offer great deals on tours to special places, but also have access to cheap airline tickets to the same areas. Call them and see what they have to offer. Use a credit card even if you have to pay 5% more!
- Travel in the shoulder or low season, if possible. For Europe, summer is expensive, crowded, super hot, noisy, and hard. Spring and fall is inexpensive, uncrowded, mild weather, quiet, and easy. Winter is by definition cold, busy only in the ski areas and at the holidays.
- Use Frequent Flier Miles. Keep them up to date. Use them as soon as possible.
- Use Airline Partnerships: OneWorld.com, StarAlliance.com, and SkyTeam.com. For instance, you can fly on Thai Airline and get your miles sent to your account at Star Alliance (United Airlines.) More airlines, more miles accumulate in one account.
- Remember rates start low months before the flight, go higher as the departure date approaches, than drops low again, if unsold. Flexibility can get the best rates.
- Purchase tickets at least 30 days in advance. Confirm your ticket three days before you leave. Check with airlines for details.
- Call the airline itself. Ask "Are there any special deals for flights to, say, England?" Ask if there are any other deals.
- Fly into smaller airports. Big cities have more than one. Land in London's Stansted or Luton airports instead of crowded Heathrow.
- Sign up for a least four (4) key flight newsletters: - Smartertravel.com has info on sale flights from many airports.
- Travelocity.com has Fare Watcher Alert for desired flights.
- Your Frequent Flier - Special Deals Newsletter - Try United.
- Try a second airline - Special Deals Newsletter - Such as American Airline or better yet Southwest Airlines.
- Limited-time offer newsletters from TravelZoo.com, ShermansTravel.com, or BudgetTravel.com
- Try country specific airlines, such as BOAC or Air France. Again, check ads in the Sunday Newspaper for any major city. Sign up for flight newsletters (above.)
- Use smaller international carriers, such as EVA, Lan Chile, Malaysia Air, South Africa Airways, Tiger Air, Oasis Hong Kong, Nok Air, or AirAsia. There are lots of them. Check my airline links for more info.
- Buy a Round the World (RTW) Ticket. It's a great deal if you have the time. It's a once in a lifetime trip.
- Check seating sizes and leg room for any airline using SeatGuru.com. Try it. It is amazing.
My best travel websites - Airline Ticket Deals + Hotel + Car
Travel specials websites - Airline Ticket Deals + Hotel + Car
Great Airline websites
Last minute deals and auctions:
Airline Information sites:
- OAG.com - The Official Airline Flight Schedules.
- SeatGuru.com - Check seating sizes and leg room for any airline.
Here are a list of important transportation topics:
Go to the Page on Airline Flights
International Traffic Signs