We’ve all been through the repeated, tiresome searching to book the cheapest flights to a particular destination. With continually fluctuating prices and endless search engines, the approach to economic flight booking is overwhelming. Here are some key tips that will save you time, frustration and most importantly money when booking your next flight.
1. Keep your searches top secret
Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.
If you feel that your flight price has changed after searching it a few times, you’re not crazy. Based on your browser cookies, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched. This is because the site wants to scare you into booking the flight ASAP before prices get even higher.
2. Use the best flight search engines
Most of the search engines inflate flight costs as they get a cut from the airlines. Some search engines (e.g. Expedia) consistently inflate much higher than others (listed below). It pays to familiarise yourself with sites that offer the best prices.
Use These to Book
Skyscanner (our #1 choice)
3. Fly for free with points
The cheapest flight you can book is free, and the simplest way to do that is with points. If you don’t have any, don’t worry – signing up for just one travel rewards credit card and hitting the minimum spend can get you a major points bonus, often enough for a free flight!
4. Befriend budget airlines
Budget airlines have significantly cheaper tickets than their full-service counterparts. It should be obvious, but this comes with compromises such as less leg room and no “free” food/drink on-board.
5. Identify the cheapest day to fly out
While many theories exist around booking specifically on a Tuesday to save money, the reality is there is no consistent truth to exactly which days are cheapest to fly. Most of the time, though this isn’t always the case, it is cheaper to leave on a weekday. Get a quick visual of prices for a whole month to see what days are cheapest for your specific route. Here’s how:
Step 1. Hop on the Skyscanner website or download the app
Step 2. Enter your departure & arrival cities
Step 3. Select “one-way”
Step 4. On a computer: click “Depart” but instead of entering a date, select “Whole Month”, and then “Cheapest Month” so you can browse all dates to see which is cheapest. Hit “Search flights” to easily see which date is cheapest.
6. Search for airline error and sale fares
Airlines sometimes make mistakes when posting their fares, which leads to seriously discounted flights. This can happen for various reasons – technical glitches, currency conversion mishaps, or human error. If you’re in the know-how on where to find airline error fares, you can save yourself some serious bucks on a ticket.
Secret Flying and AirFare Watchdog are great resources to stalk for finding mistake and sale pricing as they conglomerate slashed ticket rates all in one spot. You can also search for flights for an entire month using Skyscanner.