The art of getting cheap tickets is a closely guarded secret. After all, if everyone got tickets cheaply the airlines would go out of business. Furthermore, if everyone found out these secrets, people who’re getting cheap tickets today probably won’t be able to get cheap tickets anymore. That’s why methods of finding cheap tickets are generally so well hidden.
Until now. Here, we’ll reveal the 5 top secrets for finding a cheap ticket, compiled from individuals who work in the airline industry as well as highly experienced “in the know” travelers.
Tip #1: Buy on a Tuesday
Tuesdays are the best time to buy tickets. Why?
Because airlines will frequently discount their airfare to attract more customers. It might be a one-off discount to fill a particular flight, or they might be taking a slight loss to gain market share in a particular geographic area. Whatever their reason for discounting the flight, other airlines know they need to match that price or get priced out of the market.
Sales are generally launched Monday evening. Other airlines who see a ticket on sale will try to beat that sale by going even lower. Generally, those competitive prices will be up and online by mid day Tuesday. You’ll have plenty of different flight times and cheap prices to choose from.
Buy your tickets quickly, as those prices can go right back up pretty quickly. If you’re buying more than 3 weeks in advance and you don’t notice a price drop on a Tuesday, try waiting another Tuesday.
Tip #2: Use the “Fly Everywhere” Option
Let’s say you’re trying to get from Egypt to London for as little as possible. Flying directly from Egypt to London is going to cost you $400. Instead of buying this ticket, you hop on an airline search engine and hit the “everywhere” button. [Note: Not all airline search engines have this.]
The “everywhere” function will show you all the flights leaving from Egypt, sorted by price. You look through the list and see that you can fly to Spain for $45. The flight from Spain to London is a mere $50. You just saved yourself $300.
Searching country by country through all the nearby countries for connecting flights is simply unrealistic. But the “Everywhere” feature makes this not only doable, but quick and simple.
Tip #3: Fly on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
The most common days for flying are Friday through Monday. People travel to see family on the weekends, take mini-vacations or go to weekend conventions. The amount of people who fly mid week is far fewer than the amount of people who fly on the weekends.
The best day to fly is Wednesday. If you can’t fly on a Wednesday, Tuesday or Thursday works as well.
Tip #4: Travel With Just a Carry On
There are many carry on bags you can buy today that are designed to fit the carry on requirements exactly. You can easily carry all you need for a short trip in these bags, including your laptop, 5 shirts, a change of pants, 5 pairs of underwear and toiletries.
One of the ways airlines today charge customers more money is by taking the price of the checked bag out of their price quotes. This is especially common among discount airlines. If you’re traveling for two weeks or less, save yourself $10 to $20 each way by not checking in a bag.
Tip #5: Use AirfareWatchDog.com
There are several websites out there that’ll alert you when a flight’s price drops. However, most of those sites do it in a rather haphazard way. If a $1,000 flight drops by $5, they’ll send you an email. Soon your email gets inundated with supposed “deals” and you just don’t check them anymore. Then when a real deal comes around, you miss it.
AirfareWatchDog works differently. Instead of having computers look for deals and send emails, they only use computers to flag potential deals. Before anything is sent out, they have a human being look over it to make sure it’s really a good deal. So you only receive notifications on flights that are truly on discount.
These are five underground “industry secrets” to getting cheap tickets. Are you ready to save hundreds?