No matter your destination and reason for travelling (be it spring break or summer vacation), it is never, ever too early to start planning said trip. In fact, experts say the earlier the better. Planning for your trip includes checking periodically for the best prices the airlines are offering. For some people, this means getting up at night and refreshing continuously or installing the auto refresh plug in. Some might need toothpicks to actually keep their eyelids open, but never mind that.
There really are a ton of theories about when to get the best prices. You have probably heard Tuesday at 3 p.m. is the best day. However, according to new studies, you are more likely to get those cheap deals on a Saturday or a Sunday. Which one is it? Well, we have done the research, so you don’t have to!
The Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets Online Very Cheap
1. Firstly, you need to decide the DAY to buy. Now, a lot of folks think Tuesday is the best day to get those deals on airline tickets because on Monday evenings airlines typically announce their deals. By noon the next day, other airlines are trying hard to get a part of the cake and are lowering their prices as well. Folks also hint that Wednesday at 1am might be the best time to get those deals that didn’t get taken on Monday evening and Tuesday. You could get these for even cheaper by calling and talking to a ticket agent.
However, as stated above, a new study by the Texas A&M University shows that the weekend is the best time to call as airlines reduce their fares to attract the leisure travellers. The study showed tickets as being at least five percent cheaper than those purchased during the week.
The study also showed this as only true for places with mixed settings (leisure and business). Places like Las Vegas with a purely entertainment seeking crowd did not see much change throughout the week. Thank you A&M for crunching those beautiful numbers. Five percent can be a lot, at the very least, some splurging awaits, eh?
2. So, what to do? If you find that an airline announces a deal on Monday, plan to buy your ticket the next day. If it doesn’t seem like they are any good deals, wait till the weekend. That’s not all though. The day you fly can also make a really big difference in and how much you have to shell out for your ticket.
Studies have also shown that Tuesdays also remain the best day to fly at a reduced cost. Why is that? People do not travel much on Tuesdays. This equals reduced demand and a good deal for you. People do not travel much Tuesdays mostly because they are busy working, so if you own your own business and thus your time, you could plan to travel Tuesdays and save some money on. Studies show that the most expensive days to travel are Fridays and Sundays. Why? People travel to places on Fridays and back on Sundays to begin work on Monday.
3. The TIME you book your ticket for is also quite important. If you really want to travel cheap, book the early morning flights, No one travels at 4:30am so taking that flight can really save you a healthy amount of cash. Also, lunch time flights, first flights, dinner time flights and red-eye flights are cheaper than other times. We did say the earlier the better but just how early are we talking in terms of buying your ticket?
Everyone knows buying tickets earlier are way cheaper than buying later. A rule of thumb to note is that domestic flights are always cheaper six to eight weeks before departure date. If you know you are supposed to be taking a trip with a flexible date, start your ticket hunting early and grab a deal that works for you as soon as you see it.
So while “hunting” be ready with your card, so it only takes a minute or less to secure the deal. Don’t think you are the only one who likes a good deal; someone might just be waiting like you and scrambling for their wallet same time as you. After the sixth week, airline ticket prices begin to slowly climb and get to their peak few days before departure.
After all is said and done, remember vacations are about cooling off and taking a break from “hustle bustle” mode. It is important to remember not to get so caught up with trying to save money that you stress yourself out and end up not enjoying your holiday. So, simply start planning early and adopt the strategies listed above. Enjoy your bonus or send us some (wink).
How to Find the Best Last Minute Airfare Deals at Cheap Price
The days of cheap air travel are fast passing by, and ticket fares have gone up due to rising oil costs, increased personnel costs, and material costs. Bankruptcy is another reason why many airline operators have increased their prices; of course, they are under huge pressure to make a profit, so they cannot reduce their fares—and limited competition has given them less incentive to do so.
Although airfares have gone considerably higher, they still do come at cheap prices at times. However, getting these cheap airfare deals is very difficult because airfares change literally by the second. In fact, ticket prices sometimes vary so much that some people claim no two seats on the same flight cost the same amount unless they are purchased together. Yes, it’s that serious!
And with many other travelers desperately hunting for the cheap deals, finding a cheap ticket has become a constant battle. But don’t lose hope. With the following five tips, you can always be among the lucky ones who get flight tickets for cheap prices all the time.
1. Sign up for free airline alerts
Trying to hunt down a low airfare yourself will only burn you out. And there’s no point doing all that when someone else can do it for free. Many airfare search and listing sites offer emailed airfare alerts, especially when prices go down. Examples of such websites include Travelocity.com, Farecompare.com, Bing.com/travel, Airfarewatchdog.com, and Hotwire.com.
You can do a Google search for “airfare alerts” to get more of these websites. These airfare alert services vary slightly in how they work. Some will let you specify which airlines and flight types you want to receive alerts about. Others just let you know when a flight on a route you specify has gone down in price, regardless of the airline, type of flight, or time of flight.
Another smart way to get cheap airfare deals is to visit the websites of airline operators and sign up for email alerts on airfare prices, especially promo offers. Do this for as many airlines as you need. You might be wondering why this is necessary, especially since you have registered with airfare alert websites.
But the truth is that airlines are trying to woo customers to book directly with them by offering special deals when you sign up for their newsletters and email lists. And one of their common strategies is to offer “promo code” deals that are redeemable only on their websites. These deals could offer you specific price or percentage discounts.
2. Be flexible with your travel dates and destinations
Flight ticket prices vary depending on the day of the week, time of year, and upcoming holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve. Usually, airline tickets go up in August because many Europeans go on vacation during that month.
It’s usually cheaper to fly during the middle of the week than on a weekend because most people travel on the weekends and airfares go up then. Also, prices are a bit cheaper if you fly after a major holiday. Late night or early morning flights are also cheaper because fewer people want to travel at those times.
So, if you really want to get cheap flights, you need to schedule your flights for the “off-peak” periods, when airfares generally tend to be cheap. If you are not flexible with your flight schedule, you will end up choosing to fly when most other people choose to fly, too. And you won’t be able to get a cheap flight that way.
Similarly, being flexible with your destinations can help you save up to hundreds of dollars on flight costs. Instead of going to a place with an expensive flight, go where it is the cheapest. Online resources, such as Skyscanner.com and Google Flights have tools that allow you to enter your airport and see what routes have the cheapest airfares.
3. Fly to secondary airports with budget carriers
Most major cities have secondary, smaller airports, which most cheap budget airlines fly into because this helps them keeps costs down. Airports charge landing fees, and these smaller airports charge smaller fees, which helps the airlines keep their airfares for flights into such airports down. So, find out more about which airlines fly into these budget airports.
4. Always define what you want to pay for a flight
Many people always want to get the lowest price possible, and this makes them wait too long, and then pay too much. We all know that airline prices fluctuate, yet in a bid to wait for lower prices, we end up missing the lowest price. Why? Because when we see the lowest price, we overlook it, expecting that another lower offer could be available.
By waiting too long for the perfect or lowest price, you will end up paying a price you are not comfortable with. So, rather than wait for the perfect price, set your price for a flight, and book your flight once you get a deal that goes for that price. When setting your price, be realistic. Don’t put your budget at $800 for a flight whose average cost is around $1,500. The cost won’t come that low.
5. Try alternative routes
Aside being flexible with your flight schedule, being flexible with the routes you take can also help you save huge costs on airfares. For someone flying from New York to Amsterdam, it’s sometimes cheaper to fly to London and then take a budget flight to Amsterdam than taking a direct flight to Amsterdam. Although this could mean more flying time, but the money you will end up saving would be worth it. This trick alone could help you save up to $500.
How to Book your Airline Tickets Online
Before now, the only way to get a flight ticket is to visit the office of the airline you want to fly with, usually inside or close to an airport. However, with the Internet presenting a near-perfect platform for quick business transactions, travelers can now book their flights by buying their tickets online. This means you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to book a flight ticket.
To pay for your flight ticket online, you have to visit the official website or payment portal of your chosen airline and provide your flight and payment details. Here are some flight information that most airlines request for:
- Airports of departure and designation
- Type of trip (one-way or round-way)
- Date of your flight
- Class of service (economy or business class)
- Whether you would like to purchase an electronic ticket online (if it is available)
However, you must bear in mind that most airlines allow you to book flight tickets online not later than 48 hours before the departure date. Also, in one single booking, you are allowed to book and purchase tickets for up to 9 passengers.
After processing your request based on the flight information provided, the system will display a list of available flights that meet your request as well as the fares for each. Both departure airport and destination airport local times are displayed as well. From the list of flights displayed select a desirable flight and fare and proceed to the next step.
In the next step, you will be required to provide the following personal information.
- Your title: Mr., Mrs., etc.
- First and last name: Enter your first name and last name in block letters. If you are booking a ticket for an international flight, write your name exactly as it appears on your international passport.
- Contact telephone number: Enter your most active phone number in this format: country code, city code, and phone number, as in +7 (8182) 88-56-43. You need to provide your most active phone number, so the airline can easily reach you and notify you in case there are any changes in the flight timetable.
- Email address: Enter your valid email address. After completing the booking and ticket purchasing, you will have your confirmation message containing your booking number sent to the email address you provided. The booking number is all you need to tender to get your ticket from the ticket office.
- Nationality: Select your country of origin
- Number of identification document: Enter the ID number on your international passport. For children, enter their birth certificate number.
After filling these details, proceed to the next step.
On the next page, you will be required to specify how you want to pay for your ticket. Most airlines allow you to pay with a credit card or debit card, in which case you don’t need to go to a ticket office to claim your ticket. Rather, an electronic ticket will be sent to your email, which you can print out and present at the check-in point. Alternatively, you can get your e-ticket at any of the airline’s offices free of charge. After entering your payment details, proceed to the confirmation page.
On the confirmation page, the system will display the details of your selected flight, and your personal details. You must crosscheck these details thoroughly to see if there are no errors. Once you go ahead to confirm your ticket purchase, you can only change it via a ticket refund procedure. Some airlines won’t even issue a refund. Below your details, most airlines will display the fare rules and conditions of carriage. Confirm that you are aware of and agree with the fare rules by proceeding to the purchase page.
The last step is where you will be required to provide your payment details. In the appropriate columns, enter the following:
- Your credit/debit card number (the 16-digit number clearly inscribed on the front side of your card)
- Your CVV code (the 3-digit number on the reverse side of your card)
- The name and surname of the cardholder (as written on the front side of the card)
- The expiry date of the cards (also written on the front side of the card)
After entering these details, click the purchase button, and the specified amount of money will be deducted from your card.
After successfully completing your payment for the flight ticket, the system will display full information on your booking, including your itinerary, flight number, date and time of departure, and list of passengers in your booking (if you booked for other passengers). You will also get an email containing your e-ticket, which will contain a confirmation number and/or a record locator number along with other details of your flight.
A boarding pass and ID is all you need to clear security and board the plane. Depending on the airline, you can print your boarding pass from the airline’s website.
However, many airlines now offer electronic boarding passes that you can download to your smartphone if you have one. If you are unable to download or print your boarding pass before you get to the airport, you can print the e-ticket included in the confirmation email and present it to check-in at your airline’s counter in the airport. You will be given your boarding pass on that spot.