You were not put on this planet to work yourself to death.
With your pet’s vet bills, student loan debt or whatever expense may be luring overhead; Traveling (especially by plane) can seem impossible…
Well Bucko, it is time to take that word impossible out of your vocabulary, because I am about to show you how to beat the system and score cheap plane tickets!
1. Keep It Private
Take a look at your internet browser.
It is highly recommended that you view any booking website in a private or incognito window.
CHROME browser: CTRL + SHIFT + N
FIREFOX browser: CTRL + SHIFT + P
SAFARI browser: CMND + SHIFT + N
IPHONE: Open Safari, tap “Show Pages” (bottom right), tap “Private”
ANDROID: Tap menu icon while on browser (three dots), select “New Incognito Tab”
Your cookies are collected in your browser when flights are repeatedly searched which in turn increase fares over time.
This is the reason why it is of high importance to view in private mode.
Be sure to close and open new incognito/private windows between browsing multiple sites, or else the cookies will not reset!
2. Know When To Hold Em, Know When To Fold Em
Although there is no truth on which days are the cheapest to fly, it is found that leaving on a weekday may help you catch a deal.
A system that has worked for me, is booking my departing flight on a Tuesday and returning the following Tuesday, but don’t be afraid to explore weekends, as deals could pop up at random.
Domestic flights are seen to have the cheapest rates 47 days in advance (based on information analyzed during 2014). International flights are seen to have the cheapest rates 60-90 days in advance.
If you are interested in traveling for holiday season, both domestic and international, it is recommended to book as early as 11 months in advance.
Oh and when you see a good deal- buy it.
Sleeping on an airfare that you justify as a fair price is a good way to miss out on big time savings.
Sure, there is a chance that it could go down in price, but a gamble is a gamble.
*Remember that your biggest savings will come from booking well in advance.
3. Technology Is Friend Not Foe
There are tons of websites and apps that allow you to compare prices, side-by-side.
A few search engines that come to mind are: Sky Scanner, Kayak, Momondo, Google Flights.
Some of the sites mentioned above do not let you book with them and will direct you to an airline or third party website with step-by-step directions on how to book.
Some of these search engines are available as apps for your smartphone or tablet!
Skyscanner.com is a great search/comparison site. This can be valuable when you are looking for a visual of airline routes. They will redirect you to a partner airline once you have chosen your itinerary.
Kiwi.com is a great site, especially for people who have not yet decided on a travel destination.
With Kiwi.com you can sit back and let the computer do the thinking!
Enter your city of departure, choose a date (or date range) and costs will appear over hundreds of countries view able on a map.
You can also use ITA Matrix, a search engine that gets its price information live from the airlines. But instead of using their not so user-friendly interface, you can use Google Flights, which shares the same platform as ITA Matrix with much better displays.
Follow twitter’s like @airfarewatchdog and @theflightdeal for deal on flights both domestic and international.
I recommend turning on notifications so that you will not miss out!
Also be sure to follow budget airlines like Spirit, Frontier, Air Asia, Etc.) on twitter and other social media platforms for deals and sweepstakes.
4. Hidden City Ticketing
Hidden city ticketing happens when a passenger gets off an indirect flight at the connection (which is often referred to as a layover).
Say you want to get to Dallas from Philadelphia, but you see a flight to Denver with a layover in Dallas for a cheaper cost than a direct flight to your destination (Dallas).
Book that flight with the layover in Denver and get off in Dallas!
Remember that any checked luggage will likely end up in the flight’s final destination so make sure you pack light!
This method is technically legal, but violates most airlines fare rules.
The consequences for not continuing your flight are harder for the airline to reprimand because people miss their flights all the time, so consider practicing this method infrequently and check your airlines fine print.
This method may leave you in a pickle if the initial flight has been overbooked or cancelled.
5. Military Discount
Many airlines offer various military discounts, here are just a few: Alaska Airlines-Allegiant Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, jetBlue, SouthWest Airlines, US Airways.
Note that most of the discounts apply to luggage, but some companies do offer discounted tickets.
Be sure to call the airline to see if you are eligible for any discounts before you purchase your ticket.
5. Think About Future Trips
Before you start your travels consider signing up for your chosen airline’s loyalty program. Most if not all of these programs are free to sign up.
You can start racking up miles for deals on future flights, upgrades or maybe even a car rental!
I hope this has given you some resources so that you can enjoy the trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank!