Cheaper airline flights, they are on every body’s wish list but how do we find them? In this podcast I will share ideas that you can use.
As a veteran of many years in the tour industry I have travelled with individuals who prefer to arrange their own flights when booking a tour and others who would rather have the flight included as part of the tour package.
There are two schools of thought of which way are better and I have found it boils down to a personal choice and based on your own circumstances.
The benefit to having your flight is included in the tour package is that it is one-stop shopping. For one fee, everything is taken care of for you, including in many packages, airport transportation to and from your hotels. In most cases this can work quite well but at times there can be a downside. There are situations in which you do not have a choice of your flight itinerary, causing your routing to be skewed with crazy departure and arrival hours. These situations are quite often next to impossible to change.
The alternative is to book your flight, you do have to spend time doing your own research or go through a travel agent but this in most cases ensures you get the routing you desire set to your own schedule and at times a more favourable price. You may also have the opportunity to use points from airline reward programs.
With the inconsistency of airline schedules the last year couple of years the second option seems to becoming more popular.
How do you find the deals when booking flights?
I’m going to share with you some techniques I’ve used over the years to find more desirable flights and prices.
Over the last year or two I’ve done my fair share of flying and have refined my methods of making sure that I always get the best flight for my needs available. I wish I could tell you “there was only one service you need use,” but in reality it doesn’t work that way. Since there are so many variables at play, for best results you have to research a number of sites. So how do you get the best airfare?
If you have the trusted travel agent it might be worth it to check with them first. Travel agents make their living by finding good deals for customers and while there is great information available on the Internet, the agents have not all gone out of business and can still provide value.
If you wish to find your own flight you have to be willing to put in little time; research is the key and being comfortable with the Internet will be most beneficial.
A great way to increase your overall knowledge of travel research would be to start by signing up for one or more of the available online newsletters, provided by travel agencies and airlines. As well as increasing your general travel knowledge it could make you aware of special deals before such information is on general release.
Know What You Want.
When you want to arrive at your destination, and when you’d like to depart. If possible prepare to be flexible and don’t limit your options.
If you are planning a long haul, or international travel, it could well be a good idea to consider splitting the trip into separate flights. You will have to factor in longer travel time and will possibly fly further, but it really could make significant savings. Ensure your stopover does not involve an overnight stay as any savings from your flight might be eaten up from staying in a hotel.
Before you start your research it is best to search the Internet and familiarize with the different types of booking sites and companies that fall under each category.
These are historically the best bets. They check airfares for many different airlines and do not charge a fee.
- Yahoo Travel
- Bing Travel Booking Engines:
They check multiple websites and take a small fee in addition to the price of the flight. Examples include:
Most airlines have websites with their own booking options.
- American Airlines
- Continental Frontier
- Jet Blue Northwest
- Sun Country
- United Airlines
Most Other Airlines International Travel:
Budget airlines such as Irelands Ryanair, commonly have “Promotional Flight Sales” or free ‘flights sales’ (technically $1 or $2 or£1) to build up a customer base. Of course taxes and other charges are extra but the deals can still be sweet.
It is worth checking charter airlines and travel agents, and just asking them for top last-minute charter deals.
Charter flights are pre booked flights provided by package holiday companies to ferry their passengers. If you’re headed to a traditional package holiday destination, you may be able to find one super-cheap.
As the operator books the whole plane, there’s occasionally spare capacity, which they can offer very cheaply to flight-only customers (it’ll only go to waste if unsold).
Do remember that the absolute cheapest flight may well be like the Holy Grail, and not actually available. Once you have found a flight, which is acceptable in terms of cost, you could be well advised to book it, because the volatile nature of flight costing could mean that if you delay too long, you lose the deal.
I hope this has given you ideas on how to start research and that you will enjoy the satisfaction of finding your own flight treasures.
If you have any stories, questions or events about cheaper flights and would like to share or for that matter any travel related themes you would like discussed; send them off to us. We will read the all and post our favorites.
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Until then, have a wonderful day and safe travels!