I booked flight tickets for an international travel last week and it was the best deal I ever got. I travel to that route often and this was the best I have seen in 4yrs. My parents and friends often make me handle the ticket booking because somehow they feel that being in IT I am a computer geek and hence will know how to clinch the best online deals quickly.
Well, to be honest, I dint let them down. Booking a flight can be quiet a cumbersome job. We all want the best deal. With the ticket prices skyrocketing forever, it is very important for us to think of ways that can make us get tickets at a cheaper price.
Ticket prices fluctuate a lot and most of the times there is a trend. The prices are moderate in the beginning and then go down about 7-8 weeks before the scheduled travel date. Statistically this is the period when the prices are the lowest. After that the price increases and most times don’t come down, unless the flight is empty, in that case you see a lot of last minute deals.
Forecasting air fare price could be tricky. There is no single one shot formula. Every flight has its own life cycle. However following some basic techniques can help you avoid paying a higher price for the ticket. I did a lot of research on this and I am listing a few of them below here for you. Not everything makes sense, the points below are solely what I believe will help you reduce the travelling expense, it might not always work.
– If possible try to avoid travelling in weekend: It is a known fact that most people tend to travel over the weekends, so avoid travelling on Friday evening and Sunday night/Monday morning. If possible travel on Friday and Tuesday morning.
– Try to travel in the morning or afternoon: Even if you need to travel over the weekend, try to start early. Morning and afternoon flights are generally lower priced.
– Buy it when you see the prize is low; don’t wait for it to come down more: If you have been monitoring airfare for a particular place and you noticed the prize going down, then book it immediately. Do not wait too long.
– Never check the prize back once you booked: Once the ticket is booked, do not go back to your airline website to check if the price goes down further. This is a bad practice; it causes distress in case the price goes down.
– Book on Tuesday or Wednesday: There is a lot of buzz that air fares are generally lower on Tuesdays and Wednesday around the noon time. I first did not believe it but did experience it more than 2 times. So this is partially true.
– Compare the prize in 2-3 sites: Always use websites that give you a comparison of prices from multiple sites for the prices. Also proceed with the booking until the checkout screen in all these website to determine the full price including the taxes. Some websites show lower prices without including the taxes, beware of them.
– Use the option for nearby airports if possible: If your city is close to multiple airports then always look for flights to nearby airports as well.
– Enroll for rewards program if you are a frequent flier: This has lots of benefits; you get price alerts, special treatment, access to VIP lounge and also reduction in air fare based on your miles. Almost all rewards program do not require a membership fee.
– Check discount airlines: Most of the time, the discount airlines are not listed in major travel website, hence it’s a good idea to check their individual website and check for prices.
– Book from a site where you get a refund if prices go down: Most airlines have this offer but do not state it explicitly. Read through the terms and check if it is applicable, otherwise there are various websites like orbitz that do that.
Hope these tips help you getting a good deal for flight tickets. Happy journey!!!