Let’s face it, nobody wants to pay more for a flight than they have to. The cost of airline tickets varies based on a variety of factors, including the flight’s origin, destination, flight time, the time of year and even the current price of oil. All these variables affect the cost of booking a flight for consumers at an given time. Savvy travelers know this and use it to their advantage when trying to snag a bargain. The truth is, with a little planning you can save yourself a lot of money on airline tickets when planning your next vacation. Read on to learn how our money-saving experts can help you save those precious dollars on your next flight.
Firstly, with the proliferation of online price-comparison websites, the price differences between airlines of the same class is far less than it used to be. Airlines know very well that consumers use these websites to compare prices before making a purchase which has led to a much more competitive landscape. To some extent it’s a race to the bottom for airlines to provide the most attractive prices for travelers. With this in mind, price differences between different airlines are no longer likely to be the single deciding factor. Although you may find a better deal by switching airlines, the prices differences are likely to only be slight.
One of the best ways to save money when booking a flight is to make sure you purchase the tickets at least a month in advance. The closer to the flight date you book, the more expensive the tickets will become. This is especially true before holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving which are always popular travel times. As a general rule, if you leave it to the last minute to purchase tickets, you can expect to pay a premium for those tickets. Prices fluctuate based on market supply and demand and when there are times when there is substantial demand and a limited supply of tickets available, prices will be much higher. If you want to be sure of getting the best ticket prices, make sure you book your trip as far in advance as possible.
In addition to changing based on ticket availability and market demand, the time of the year also affects ticket costs. During the summer months when most people go on their vacations, prices tend to increase compared to off-seasons. Major holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, are also times when prices tend to spike. Also, when there are major sporting events prices can also increase. For example, don’t expect to get a bargain flight to whatever city is hosting the next world cup the next time it’s on! When planning your trip, bear this in mind and if possible try to avoid flying during the most popular times of the year.
It isn’t just the time of year that affects flight costs – the time of the day is also a big factor. It should go without saying that flights that leave the early morning and afternoon on Fridays and weekends are much more popular than flights that leave a 3am on a Tuesday. Most travelers prefer convenient departure times (which often means inconvenient arrival times). If you don’t mind have to get up very early or stay up very late, you could get yourself a bargain by flying during an unpopular time. Also, you might get a nice and quiet flight without many other passengers making for an even more pleasant flying experience.
Yet another way you can save money when purchasing airline tickets is by extending your flight time by booking a flight that has a layover en route. For example, if you are flying from New York to Istanbul, instead of booking a flight that goes directly from New York to Istanbul, you could get a cheaper deal by booking a trip that has a 4 hour stop in Amsterdam along the way. Again, if you’re willing to put up with the inconvenience and delay, you could save yourself some money doing this. It’s up to you to decide whether the extra time you spend waiting is worth however much you save on the cost of the tickets.
All things considered, there are many ways you can shave off a big chunk of your travel costs. If you’re a budget conscious flyer and don’t want a lack of funds to interfere with your grand travel plans. If you don’t mind putting up with a little inconvenience, you can save yourself a small fortune on flight tickets and still get to the destination you want to go!