cheap plane tickets: tips on finding cheap plane tickets
Tips on finding cheap plane tickets!
How can you find cheap plane tickets?
First: be well informed about all the opportunities that exist and use the ones that suit your situation. Most travelers have little ideas about what they can do to fly cheaper.
There are several basic things that you should know in order to reduce your expenses. Most travelers know these well, but it won't hurt if you do a little recapitulation:
Get round trip plane tickets (usually much cheaper than one way tickets)
Check out the offers of travel agencies and low cost airlines (they sell cheaper plane tickets)
Late night departure tickets are often cheaper (this might spare you some money also)
Check out the last minute flights (unsold seats are sold for much less prior to the take off)
Check out the frequent flyer programs (frequent flyers often get bonus flights or even free flights)
Before flying, one most put together a good trip plan. Don't just look for the cheapest tickets, also be aware of several risks, like later modifying your flight schedule (leaving or returning dates). This can cost you some extra cash in the case of most airlines. It is better to stick to a predetermined flight plan, modifications can cost a lot, therefore:
Find out how much it'll cost if you later modify your flight schedule (this is called re-booking fee)
Risks related to re-booking, modifying your departure time or your return time after you've already made a reservation or bought the ticket, can materialize in uncomfortable expenses. These fees (also called re-booking fees) vary from company to company, some airlines take no cash at all, but most ask for around 50-150 $ for any later modification of the passenger's flight schedule. Flag carriers usually ask more and some low cost airlines don't take re-booking fees, modification is for free.
Before buying your plane ticket, make sure that you have all the necessary documents that you need to travel to your destination (passport, visa, etc.).
Consulting the different offers of different airline companies, travel agencies is important in finding cheap plane tickets. Prices aren't as symmetrical as one might believe, they vary quite a lot, depending on several factors. What you should do is make a little comparison between the characteristics of the flights (intermediate stops, comfort level, etc.) and the price.
You'll have to be well informed to make the right choice. Search, compare and choose, these are the keywords that you must remember.
And now, let's get in deeper in finding the cheapest plane tickets!
Booking in advance might not spare you money as many believe... However, by booking 1-2 months before the departure date, you won't worry that you might miss the flight.
Have you ever heard of the last minute travel deals? Well, these offers are perhaps the best way to fly at low costs! These offers include the last minute flights, which are offers of discount flights that appear after what companies couldn't sell their seats in time and are desperate to sell them later. Later usually is cheaper. But this also poses a risk: you might not find any late tickets or you might miss your flight. Last minute travel deals are most popular in the case of vacation packages. Last minute flights are usually being mass-marketed after holiday seasons. For instance: less people buy plane tickets to Mallorca in winter. But if you have to travel to a destination that usually attracts tourists in a period of the year, try leaving towards the end of the rush-period & there'll be a high possibility of flying cheaper!
Buying the ticket from a travel agency can also be a good idea: such firms often sell discount tickets, charter flight tickets which have lower prices. But they also have numerous other services (hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc.), which can be useful. Of course, such travel agencies usually have ties with other travel companies/agencies. The larger their area of coverage is, the better chances you'll have as a client (more attractive offers, promotions)... However, it's good to keep in mind that most travel agencies and airlines just sell the tickets, they don't make all the necessary arrangements with your documents. This means that if you're travelling to some other country, you might need a visa to enter the respective country and these companies will sell you the ticket even if you don't have the necessary documents to travel to the respective country.
Consolidators offices, also called as "bucket shops" are another place to find cheap plane tickets. These are travel agencies that buy the tickets in bulk from the airlines and later resell them to clients. The prices of these plane tickets is usually lower than those sold directly by the airlines.
Flying as a courier might also spare you some money. Air courier flying is a great way to put your hands on cheap plane tickets, but only if you are working as a courier at a company. An air courier is a person who transports small packages (important documents, high value objects, etc.) on the plane and delivers them directly to the recipient. This type of job is common amongst companies that need to send important packages/documents fast and in safety. The company usually pays the plane ticket for the courier, which flies for free! However, it's less likely for someone to get an air courier job just to fly for less or fly for free.
Low fare flights are the ones that we recommend the most! Comfort is relatively good, plane ticket prices are quite low. Ideal for students, economic travelers willing to fly for less...
Low cost airlines are most popular in Europe and the USA, if you're in the USA or Europe looking for ways to fly cheaper, check the low cost airlines! Sometimes you can get tickets for as little as a pizza's price! But these opportunities are quite rare, the prices of plane tickets vary quite a lot amongst low cost airlines. The schedule also varies and if you're not well informed on all the risks, you might end up paying more than if you were flying with a flag carrier!
There are some essential things that you should know about the low cost airlines, before you travel with them:
Low cost tickets in some cases cost more than ordinary ones!
Airport connection to cities is often poor (poor transportation modalities to the nearby cities)
Airport might be very far from your destination city (in some cases more than 100 kms away)
The facts mentioned above reflect the most common disadvantages of low fare air travel. But usually safety is not an issue to worry about!
Some people make the mistake of not looking at all at the offers of the flag carriers, but only at that of the low fare ones. Big mistake! The latter ones are often more expensive. In general there is no major difference, the prices are quite the same. However, comfort is at a lower level.
If you want to fly for less, if you want to find cheap plane tickets without running around too much, then read carefully below...
The plane ticket's price also depends on the departure time. Whenever you book, try out as many variations of departure times (date/hour) as you can. You'll see that prices jump up and down from one time to another, even if the trip is the same (same route, same class, etc). Choosing the wrong time at a low fare carrier can cost a lot, while choosing an adequate time to fly with a flag carrier can be the right choice. However, nowadays more and more flag carriers adopt ways of functioning that make them similar to the low fare ones. So: whether you're booking online or you're asking questions in an airline's office, ask for prices at different departure times (different days, hours). You'll see that even 15 minutes can make a difference. We recommend you to check late night flights, these are often cheaper.
Low cost flights have the most variating prices. So, don't be surprised to see that the ticket price is an interval. Let's say 35-179 $. This means that sometimes you can get to that destination for 35 $, in other cases you have to pay more, up to 179 $. At some hours it is more economic, but at rush hour it is less affordable. It is so, because such airlines are "puzzling" with the routes, airports. They always want to find the most economic way to get from one point to another. The schedule for a week is usually fixed (unlike in the case of charter), but the hours and sometimes the landing locations differ from one day to another. The schedules, prices change frequently, also because of the fact that low fare airlines usually fly when the traffic & airports are less busy in order to reduce operating expenses. Normally they have to pay taxes/fees to the airports and sometimes these costs are lower. When they are lower, the plane tickets are cheaper, then is the right time to fly cheaper!
Often the airports served by these carriers are "not quite" near the destination city. Sometimes located at large distances, from where it is not easy to get to the final destination, because of the poor road or rail connection. However, this only happens in much less than 50 % of the cases.
However, if you're looking for cheap plane tickets, the low cost airlines are the first place you should check! Most of them have well designed, user-friendly websites, which allow online bookings and reservations.