Although oil prices have been on a downward trend, you may have noticed that the cost of airline tickets hasn't gone down as much. But even though cheap oil hasn't yet translated into cheap flights, it is possible to find great deals on air fares if you know the tricks to getting them. By savings on tickets, you'll have more money to spend on other things (think more food, drinks, gifts, souvenirs, savings and so on and so forth).
You can sign up for an airline rewards card that earns points with a particular airline, or a more general travel rewards card that lets you redeem points across a variety of airlines. As a beginner card, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You can earn up to 60,000 in bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after your account opening. That's worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and more than enough for a domestic flight. There's also no foreign transaction fees, so it's the perfect all-rounder travel credit card. You can compare this card with other top credit cards.
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.
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Indirect flights are the way to go. Although layovers can be a hassle - especially if you have several of them - flying indirectly to your location decreases the total cost of your flight. Direct flights are in high demand, and are therefore made more expensive by airlines. Keep at least one layover open as an option, and prepare to save more money by considering multiple layovers for a single flight.
Before focusing on a few of the many ways that you can go about finding cheap airline tickets, it is important to know what to look for. This can sometimes be difficult, as we all often have different views as to what is cheap and what is not. With that being said, there are some signs that you will want to watch for when looking to find cheap and affordable air travel rates.
In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”. This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search. Note: if you're using an older version of OS X, open Safari then click “Safari” in the menu bar, and select “Private Browsing”.