Thursday, June 28, 2007
Cheap Airline Tickets
I've been working in the airline industry for a little over 2 and a half years now and, although I'm not a seasoned professional, I'm constantly asked by people outside my job where to find the cheapest airfares. I decided to do a little research and following what I've learned in the industry and what I've been able to comb across different blogs I put a list together. Here are some tips that you should know before booking a ticket.
TIP 1: When flying, try to fly between Tuesday through Thursday as these days are the days with the least amount of passengers. You can find yourself a cheaper ticket this way.
TIP 2: After you find a flight, try going to the airline site itself and book the same flight and see if you get it cheaper. Services such as Orbitz and Priceline have to make a cut some how. If you book on the actual airline site, you might be able to save yourself a booking fee that these other sites charge. This also helps promote the site's online booking engine (what you use to book your flight) which reduces costs at the airport, saves the company money and guarantees you a cheaper airfare.
Keep in mind that the key to a cheap airfare depends on the date you are flying, when you are booking your ticket, what airline you fly and several other factors.
Step one: Try any of these fare services: Farecast, Farechase, and Sidestep.
Step two: Try any of these fare aggregators in order: Cheaptickets, Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline, and Travelocity.
Step three: After you know the route, go to the airlines site that you've seen a recommended ticket for in one of the previous sites. Remember that you can divide your trip into 2 airlines in order to save, for example, to fly from Miami to Dublin I'd probably book with British Airways (legacy international carrier) to get to London/Heathrow then take RyanAir (low cost carrier) to Dublin.
Step four: Consider joining a mileage program like United's Mileage Plus Program or Spirit Air's Free Spirit. If you have a chance to get a free ticket using one of these programs, use it. Also, join their mileage program and try to get it through a credit card like Mastercard or Visa in order to ensure that your miles don't expire.
Good luck, godspeed and happy trails!
For a full listing of different sites for different types of flights, international, domestic, student discount, etc, refer to: Airport Explorer.