Stick to economy. Possibly the most obvious way to save money on a ticket is to simply sacrifice the desire for creature comforts. You can save hundreds of dollars by flying in 4th or 5th class, rather than opting for 1st or 2nd with any airline. Although leg room and the dinner menu might be lacking, your wallet will thank you for the hefty amount of money you will have saved.
Use your miles. If you’re a frequent flier, chances are you’ve gathered quite a load of frequent flier miles. These miles are redeemable for, as they suggest, free miles on an airplane to a destination of your choice. Sign up for a frequent flier card via your favorite carrier, or keep track of your miles with an air miles program. With enough saved up, you may even get a free flight!
Depending on your departure point and destination, flights to the USA will vary in duration. If you’re flying from London Heathrow to Chicago-O’Hare, expect your flight to last around eight hours. Flights from Rome, Italy to New York are around 9.5 hours, and flights to Los Angeles from Sydney, Australia, are 14 hours in length nonstop. If your final destination is Miami and your departure point is Tokyo, Japan, plan on your flight taking anywhere between 17 and 24 hours with a stop or two along the way.
Look into alternative routes. Slightly different than flying indirectly with layovers, if you aren’t in a time crunch consider taking alternative routes to your destination. If you can get a cheaper flight flying from Seattle to Boston, and then from Boston to London, then book two separate flights. Breaking up your travel will lengthen the amount of time you have to spend journeying to your destination, but it could be one of the best ways to manage saving money.
As was the case last year, not a single airline from Europe or the Americas made the overall top 10 list. That is something of a surprise considering Delta, like Qatar Airways, introduced a new all-suites business class last year. Also like previous years, the rankings are significantly skewed toward the Asia-Pacific region. This should not be a surprise considering the massive growth of aviation in that part of the world, which is only projected to continue increasing in the coming decades.
Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. No matter how often you fly, you should be signed up for the airline’s reward program. I stick to US-based airlines since they are involved in all the major alliances and you can earn miles on their partner flights. For example, if I fly Singapore Airlines, I can earn United Airlines miles because they are partners. Likewise, if I fly Air France, it’s credited to my Delta rewards account.
If you're flying somewhere that involves a transfer, say from Canada to Australia which typically involves Canada to LA, then LA to Australia, consider that it may be cheaper to book these two legs separately on your own by adding another destination to your trip. It should go without saying that in doing this, you should not book tight layovers. I repeat: do not book layovers that are hours apart! This approach is for those who want to create an additional destination of a few days or more, before catching their next flight. The one exception is when booking with Kiwi.com, who offer their own guarantee on making connecting flights even when not with the same partner airlines.