Spending a life of a travel editor needs to travel most of the time. Even air travel. By years of experience, I know the airlines way better. Moreover, I improved my skills in finding the cheapest flights. And I am giving you this article on “How to Find the Cheapest Flights Online”. Before moving to the core of the article, let me give a brief introduction to how airline pricing works. ReadMore: How To Protect Yourself Against Cybercrime?
Here’s a great piece of advice. “Think of each plane seat as a perishable good. When the plane takes off, an empty seat is worthless”. Sometimes you will find great deals within 24 hours of takeoff. Before that “fire sale” window, airlines used various advanced algorithms of supply and demand to sell each seat at a possible higher price. So the most important thing is time. You need to identify the low-demand flights and book them at the right time. Another thing is you can use your credit card points, companion passes, and apps to find the best deals. Now let’s have a look at the tips and tricks.
HOW TO FIND THE CHEAPEST FLIGHTS ONLINE
Browse for flights in incognito mode
Have you ever noticed the prices of flights go up within hours you searched? That is because the airlines use advanced algorithms that consider the number of page views from the same user. They are smarter than you think. Therefore switching the search tab to incognito mode will help you to keep your quotes low.
Search flights using sites like Momondo and Skyscanner
Momondo and Skyscanner are the first sites I am going to when I am planning a big international trip. Both of these sites let you sort all available flights according to price, duration, or the ‘best’ category. The best category divides the average mph by total cost to show you the best value using mathematics.
Sign up for alerts with Google Flights
Eventhough Google Flights doesn’t have sorting features like Skyscanner and Momondo, still it is a good search tool. It can track prices on specific flights and send you email updates when the price drops. And this is a great option if you have a longer lead time for fixed travel dates.
Avoid flying out on Fridays
Usually, departure flights are pretty high on Fridays. So better to start your trip on a different day of the week. According to my experience, Thursday-Sunday long weekend trips are great.
Book flights either 2-3 months out, or at the VERY last minute
According to the studies, 2-3 months in advance is the ideal purchasing time for domestic flights. So, that is the optimum window to book flights for pre-planned occasions. Additionally, sometimes there will be major deals within 24 hours of takeoff. That is because the airlines are eager to fill the empty seats. So the spontaneous travelers get the best deals.
Use the Get the Flight Out app
Searching for a flight for a spontaneous trip? GTFO Get the Flight Out is all you need. This particular app is very efficient in finding cheap flights within 48 hours of takeoff.
Get the Southwest Companion Pass
This is one of the best deals for frequent travelers who are on a budget. What happens are you designate a companion and that particular person flies for free with you on every Southwest flight for the rest of the year. Two for one deal!
I must say that it’s a great option for couples and friends. Splitting the price between you two both of you will get 50% off! But the companion pass is not easy to get. You need 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. Fortunately from February 11th, you can earn a pass by opening a new credit card with Southwest and spending $4000 during the first three months. Read more about companion pass from here.
Use a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Technically, I love this card! It’s one of the most travel-friendly cards on the market with a great point system. Similarly, you can use the Chase website to book flights easily. And you can double your earning points every time you travel and spend. Even every Friday night dinner, street parking free and even every uber ride! Sounds great, isn’t it?