If you have been bitten by the travel bug but have not much money to spare, then use these easy travel hacks to get cheap flight deals.
1. ITA and Kayak
ITAsoftware.com and Kayak.com are sometimes better than Expedia, Orbitz and other third party websites that offer cheap flight deals by comparing airfares. However, if you Google flights, these sites rarely come up in the search. If you have a known destination and known dates in mind, the ITA website checks actual seat availability and gives you lowest fares for those dates as long as you are not too fussy about the airlines. Once ITA and Kayak sites have identified the cheapest flights, you can directly go to that airline’s website and book your tickets.
2. Use ExpertFlyer
ExpertFlyer also compares different sites and gives you the lowest fare for your route. Simply sign up to their email alerts. This will ensure that you get cheap flights to anywhere in the world.
3. Lookout for airline mistakes fare sites
Consider these scenarios:
Flight from USA to Myanmar-roundtrip-cost only $300!
In 2013, flights from different states in USA to Hawaii cost $7 each!
How did this happen? There are times when human error is involved but there are also computer glitches, though rare. Then there are conversion rate errors. All this translates into cheap flights for you. Here are some ways to get cheap flights last minute using airline mistake fares and glitch fares:
- SecretFlying – This is an expert site for finding cheapest flight deals. Sign up to their social media or simply download their app. They have listed latest Error Fares on the home page. So if you do not have a particular destination in mind, simply avail of the deals therein.
- AirFareWatchDog – Sign up to their alerts and start saving!
4. Use the SkyScanner app
SkyScanner app is free and gives you the best price, direct routes and convenient take off and arrival times as well. The advantage of using SkyScanner is that it searches all airlines, major and low cost ones as well. This is a feature that many third party sites do not have. (Most third party sites omit budget and low cost airlines). With SkyScanner, you can get a chart of cheapest flights from any airport and also cheapest flights across the entire month which is great for people having flexible travel dates. So find the flight for the date you want and save tons of money- it is click-click or tap-tap easy!
5. Use BingTravel and/or FareCompare
If you have a known destination in mind but no particular date, then you can use these options. For example, if you live in Boston and have always wanted to visit Palm Springs sometime in the coming year, then simply add those places and sign up for email alerts on them. Start by opening free accounts on these sites. You can specify an airline if you have a preference but do not specify dates. Next, sign up to email alerts when fares drop. Tuesday to Thursday is a good time to log in directly to these sites since email alerts may not always be reliable. Check where the fares stand on these days as you’d get weekday lower rates. The sites also have data graphs which show fare rates and these can give you an insight when the fares are rising or dropping. BingTravel also include a price predictor which can tell you whether the fare is likely to go up or down over the next few days. Naturally, it may not include all routes.
6. Be flexible about your destination
We are not suggesting you travel to any random place. But this is a great option if you wish to travel the world for less. In such a scenario, you’d have known dates of travel but unknown destination. This way, you can choose from several appealing destinations and travel to them when the rates are lowest. If you are flexible in this, sign up to FareCompare and produce a list of unknown though appealing destinations from your home town airport.
7. Use AirfareWatchdog and/or FlyerTalk
These are forums that keep an eye out for great deals on flight tickets. Sign up to their email alerts and get alerted each time there is a new thread. The people posting there usually find deals randomly but they are incredibly great ones sometimes. Forums like AirFarewatchog also have a huge following on social media like Twitter and Facebook, so make sure you also get alerted to posts on these sites. Another great forum for people looking for cheap flight deals is TravelZoo weekly top 20 list.
8. Seek help from airline employees
This option of getting cheap flight deals usually only works if your travel has already begun. It also helps to be in that particular airline’s loyalty program. Many airline employees may offer you deals in case of bad weather or cancelled flights. Be polite and speak patiently and respectfully while negotiating an upgrade. Here is my article on easy ways to get airline upgrades.
9. Go for elite status exchange
Not many travelers know this but many airlines are willing to offer you an elite status based on your status with other airlines. You can get an overview of how to go about this, using FlyerTalk-Status Match Overview.
10. Avail of airline mergers
Many times, you can get great deals on air travel and cheap flight tickets when one airline merges with another. These mergers happen quite frequently- at least one per year- so take advantage of them to get an elite status with them.
11. Go for RTW or Round The World Tickets
This option is for the serious traveler who is not afraid to head out on a long journey, preferably in one direction and choose many great places to travel to around the world. The conditions here are that you will need to book RTW or round the world tickets valid for entire year, keep relatively high flexibility dates as well as flexibility to travel with multiple airlines. You can get super creative and try combining RTW with award tickets and create a continuous cycle of travel. Even if you do not travel continuously, RTW tickets still provide better value than couple of round trip tickets. The savings are even better if you fly premium class.
12. Use your Frequent Flier Miles
This one is a no-brainer. Avail of the discounts and loyalty programs most flights offer.
13. Use Credit Card Reward Points
Many Credit card companies have tie-ups with flight companies. Call your credit card company or visit their website to avail of many cheap flight deals options.
Use these 13 easy ways to get cheap flights last minute.