The more you know about the airlines pricing structure, the more you’ll save.
Insider Tips for Cheap Airfare
Travel on a Slow Day
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest while Fridays and Sundays are the most expensive. The moral of this story? Avoid Fridays and Sundays.
Book in Advance, but Not Too Early!
54 – 66 days in advance is ideal. Never book more than 6 months out because the airlines don’t have enough data to forecast demand, so the fares are not in your favor. Airlines use very sophisticated software that continually analyzes supply and demand, so the fare you see today may change by tomorrow. Websites like Airfare Watchdog allow you to set-up an alert when a great rate is discovered for your route – don’t worry they won’t alert you every time the fare changes by a few dollars, but they will alert you when they think it’s close to rock-bottom for your dates and route. Bing Travel also lets you enter your route and dates, and they’ll immediately let you know if you should buy or wait.
Stay at least 2 nights or even better…stay over a Saturday night. Why a Saturday night? Business travelers, which make-up the majority of airline passengers, rarely stay over on a Saturday night.
Make a Stop
The cheapest fares are often found when you have to make a stop or two! If you’re looking for the best fare, don’t just consider non-stop flights. This is one instance where the tortoise wins the race!
If there is more than 1 airport in your area, compare rates. We live 5 minutes from Palm Beach International, but often it’s worth a 45 minute drive to Ft. Lauderdale to save $100+.
Don’t Forget About Budget Airlines
Airlines like Allegiant, Spirit, Southwest and Virgin America are not found by using sites like Orbitz or Expedia. Find out which budget airlines fly out of your airport and go directly to their website for fares. Word to the wise…budget airlines often tack on fees for just about everything! I recently booked a flight on Allegiant for $69 from Fort Lauderdale to Asheville. Amazing fare, and it stayed amazing because I wasn’t tempted to pay extra to choose my seat or to board early or to check my bag. Truly a no-frills airline, and that’s perfectly fine with me.
Avoid the Holidays
If possible, avoid holiday travel. High demand = high prices.
Now hopefully, you’re feeling like an airline insider, and you’re ready to take this knowledge and tackle the airfare game.
Go forth and be a frugal flyer!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net