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.
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Don’t be afraid of the little guy. It’s easy, and sometimes perceived as safer, to rely on large airlines as the sole means of air transportation. Instead of only considering large airlines, consider using small budget carriers. These small, area-specific airlines may offer lower prices as an incentive to choose them over the big guys. Do a search of budget carriers in your area or destination and see if they also offer lower prices.
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Use skyscanner.net. This neat website searches all airlines, big and small, and allows you to look for the cheapest rates out of your local, rather than getting bogged down with specifics. Meaning, if you know you want to go on vacation but aren’t too picky about where, this website will provide the cheapest flights to everywhere in the world from the nearest airports to you.
Look into neighboring airports. The nearest major airport is a mere 20 minutes from your house, but several smaller airports are located within an hour’s drive. Rather than relying on the nearest or largest airport only, look into neighboring airports as well. These smaller airports aren’t controlled as heavily by large airline carriers, and have more ability to adjust their tickets and offer lower prices. Spend a few extra dollars to drive to an airport further away, and you may save several hundred on your flight bill.
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.
You're not crazy for thinking that a flight price has changed after searching it a few times in your web browser. Based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.