Nobody wants to pay $800 for an airline ticket when they
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!
Why it's awesome: Since its inception in 1998, New York-based JetBlue has helped raise the standard of service and amenities for low-cost carriers in the US. The airline's signature mood lighting, friendly service, complimentary satellite TV along with free food and snacks make it an industry leader economy flying. In fact, at 34 inches of pitch, JetBlue's Airbus A320 fleet has the roomiest economy seats in the US.
Search at the right time. Turns out, there is a best time to search for flights. After several studies of domestic (to the US) air carriers, it has been determined that the best time to search for flights is around 3:00pm Eastern time on a Tuesday. Why? Around this time is when airlines release their discounted flight options, and look to fill up last-minute flights for the upcoming weekend. Therefore, save your flight searching for a mid-afternoon break on the nearest upcoming Tuesday.
The US is a large country and the climate varies by region and time of year. It experiences four seasons, but some areas of the country see a more drastic change between seasons than others. The Pacific Northwest has cool summers and mild winters, while just to the south, the West Coast is sunny and pleasant all year long. The Midwest sees a bigger change between seasons, with strong summers and winters and frequent tornadoes and thunderstorms. The East Coast fluctuates and many people head down to Florida to get the warmest winters on that side of the country. Traveling in the off-season can save you a lot of money.
Get travel alerts. Spamming your email or message inbox on your phone doesn’t seem like the most organized way to get a deal, but travel alerts often offer amazing prices you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of. If your favorite airlines or airfare search engine offers travel alerts sent to your phone or email, sign yourself up! You won’t regret the few seconds it takes to delete those extra unwanted messages when you get the ones worth several hundred dollars worth of savings.
Depending on where you want to fly to in the USA will depend on the peak seasons. Due to the many, many states it can be hard to pinpoint exact months of the year to visit. Atlanta and Miami for example see the peak season from March to May and September to November. Las Vegas on the other hand is busy almost all year. You’ll find cheap flights to the USA if you go to Vegas during the Summer as temperatures in Las Vegas can get ridiculously hot. Once you’ve decided on a location in the USA you can start researching the peak seasons for that state or city and then secure cheap flights to the USA.
Depending on where you want to fly to in the USA will depend on the peak seasons. Due to the many, many states it can be hard to pinpoint exact months of the year to visit. Atlanta and Miami for example see the peak season from March to May and September to November. Las Vegas on the other hand is busy almost all year. You’ll find cheap flights to the USA if you go to Vegas during the Summer as temperatures in Las Vegas can get ridiculously hot. Once you’ve decided on a location in the USA you can start researching the peak seasons for that state or city and then secure cheap flights to the USA.
Visit individual airlines’ websites. Although airfare search engines are great, what they don’t tell you is that some airlines reserve their best deals for people who visit their sites specifically. Search for a list of large and local carriers in your area, and then search each of their sites specifically for the best deals. When coupons, discounts, or sales are offered, they will typically only be advertised on each specific carrier’s site and will run for only 1-3 days.
Airline fares will keep rising the closer you get to departure, but there is a sweet spot when the airlines begin to either lower or increase fares based on demand. Don’t wait until the last second but don’t book far, far in advance either. The best time to book your flight is around 6–8 weeks before your departure, or around three months before if you are going to your destination during their peak season.
Vacations aren’t cheap so you might want to find everything
Another thing to note when you're booking your flight tickets online is to consider extra fees and "hidden" charges such as credit/debit card fees, baggage, meals, certain seats, extra leg room et cetera. Factor all these in before you compare between different airlines and flights before making the final purchase. Most online travel portals require you to pay via credit card, and may charge you a hefty credit card fee. But some sites also accept PayPal (including American Airlines website aa.com, Agoda.com, hotels.com). If you buy tickets directly from most airlines, you also won't be charge a credit card fee, and you should take those charges into consideration when choosing between booking through an airline website or other travel websites. Some online travel agencies let you pay via wire transfer from your bank account.
We've all experienced the tiresome, repeated searching when trying to book the cheapest possible flights to any given destination. With endless search engines and continually fluctuating prices, the approach to frugal flight booking is overwhelming. Here's some key tips that will save you time, frustration and most importantly money when booking your next flight.
×