Airline ticket prices vary considerably day to day, from airline to airline. Ticket prices sometimes vary so much that some people claim no two seats on the flight cost the same amount unless they are purchased together. Rather than leaving the price of your tickets up to chance and poor planning, use these strategic tips to get the upper hand on your flight purchase. With a few helpful tidbits, you could save hundreds or thousands on your travel around the world.
By taking the two above mentioned approaches, you are sure to come across cheap airfare rates. Even if you can’t come across any amazing deals or discounts, you can still price compare airlines and specific flights to at least prevent yourself from paying more for your airline tickets than you need to.
If you are uncertain about the routes that these low-cost carriers fly, check them out online. For instance, JetBlue serves many of the major U.S. cities, particularly on the East Coast. It also has numerous vacation destinations in Central and South America and the Caribbean; Southwest serves most major U.S. cities as well as a few in Central America and Puerto Rico; Frontier serves most major U.S. cities as well as vacation spots in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic; Allegiant Air's focus is transporting leisure travelers to warm vacation destinations like Punta Gorda, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
The best city for flights to the USA from Australia is Los Angeles. This is a popular flight route and with several airlines competing for direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane you should have plenty of options for cheap flights to the USA. Popular carriers include Virgin Australia, Qantas, United and Delta, or consider airlines that offer a stopover in San Francisco such as China Southern and American Airlines. Once in Los Angeles, there are many low-cost domestic airlines, including no-frills leaders Southwest, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines, to fly you anywhere in any state.
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.
Fly out on the right day. Sure, leaving on a Friday promptly after work or heading on vacation on a Sunday after a relaxing weekend might be ideal, but it turns out these are the absolute worst times to fly. High air traffic on these days means that airlines jack up the prices. Plan your flights so that you depart on a Wednesday if possible, followed by a Tuesday or a Saturday. Mid week departures are the slowest, so carriers know they will have to accept lower costs in order to fill their seats.
You can even book your own multi-day layovers, essentially allowing you to see 2 destinations for the price of 1. Rather than spend a day sitting in the airport, you can spend multiple days exploring the city you are laying over in. AirWander is a specialized search engine for doing exactly this. Put in your origin, final destination, and number of days you want to stopover. AirWander will return a list of places you can visit on your stopover, often even cheaper than a regular flight search engine! To learn how to do this, read our guide on How to Get Free Extended Layovers & Hack One Trip Into Two.
Travelers who don’t mind exploring destinations in the off-season can easily score cheaper flights and discounted hotel rooms. But if what you want is to experience a destination like Europe during peak summer — either because the kids are out of school or because you have your heart set on balmy Italian beaches — it can be tricky to find airfare deals.
If you're really serious about experiencing this country, you'll find America's best barbecue in Austin, Texas. Or will you find it in Kansas City, Kansas? How about Memphis, Tennessee or Chapel Hill, North Carolina? And speaking of American institutions: Should you see the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.; San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; New York's Statue of Liberty; St. Louis' Gateway Arch; or Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota?
can get something pretty similar for half the price or
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Stopovers can range from a mere hour to even a full day (or more), so it's really up to you whether you would prefer paying less for your flights in exchange for doing some time at the connecting airport. The biggest issue is that time spent in airports eats into the "free" time you would otherwise enjoy at your final destination. If you do settle for a trip with a long layover, check into sights to see or activities to do near your layover airport. A 10-hour layover might provide the perfect opportunity to visit a famous landmark or explore a new city. To each, his own.
Keep your dates flexible. Many airlines have specific requirements for a minimum and maximum total number of days to be spent in a location in order to get the best deal. For the cheapest flights, stay for a minimum of 2 nights and a maximum of 30. Try to stay at your destination over a weekend, as flights that bookend a Saturday night are cheaper than those that lack a Saturday stay.
If you want to travel to Europe during the summer (when, admittedly, everyone else wants to travel to Europe) you definitely can’t procrastinate. “Prices typically rise through the spring and peak in June as summer arrives,” Hopper’s data science team determined. And if you plan on traveling during a summer holiday — Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day — the best fares can typically be found at least three weeks in advance of your departure.
Don’t search for or buy multiple tickets in a single purchase. Airlines always show the highest ticket price in a group of tickets. For example, if you are a family of four and searching for four seats, the airline will find four seats together and show your fare based on the highest ticket price. So if seat A is $200, seats B and C are $300, and seat D is $400, it will price those tickets as $400 each instead of adding up the individual ticket prices. Therefore, always search for tickets as a single person. Afterwards, in the checkout process, you can pick your seats so you and your family are sitting together.
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).
Business conferences and sporting events will guarantee you
Whether you know exactly where you're going or you just want to find to the cheapest possible country to fly into, Kiwi.com is a great tool to get the wanderlust going and save some big bucks. Hop on their site and enter your departure city, then select a date range to fly. Approximate costs then appear over hundreds of countries around the globe from your departure point, while the list of destinations is sorted by price, allowing you to see the most cost-effective place you can fly.