10 Amazing Tricks for Scoring Cheaper Airfare
Beyond just buying tickets on a Tuesday
You know all about scoring a cheaper hotel room, but airfare? Now that's another story. (Cue: $67 in luggage fees.)
Here, ten ways to lock down a less pricey flight.
BOOK 49 DAYS IN ADVANCE
Seven weeks is the sweet spot when it comes to locking down the best rate, according to airfare experts. If you book too early--or worse, too late--you face a greater risk of expensive fares.
OPT FOR A MIDWEEK DEPARTURE
Planes typically have the most seat availability on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If your schedule is flexible, look for flights on those days since airlines are more likely to drop ticket prices to ensure a sold-out trip.
BOOK DIRECTLY WITH THE AIRLINE
Just like with hotels, the best airline deals sometimes come straight from the airlines themselves. It’s OK to cast a wide net and scan Orbitz for deals, but don’t be surprised if you find the best rate on the airline website.
SIGN UP FOR AIRLINE NEWSLETTERS
It pays to be an insider. Plus, the extra email clutter is worth it if it means scoring a surprise 20 (or 50!) percent off promo code.
WATCH FOR NEW ROUTES
Whenever airlines announce a new destination (like direct flights from Newark to Venice), they usually offer low prices to help promote it. How do you stay in the loop? By signing up for the airline newsletters, of course.
“FAKE” YOUR BUYING LOCATION
Google Flights makes it easy to play around with different currencies--say, paying with pesos instead of dollars--a strategy that tricks the airline system into thinking you’re traveling from a different locale. This could save you anywhere from $10 to $50. Go here for more details.
ALWAYS (ALWAYS) CLEAR YOUR COOKIES
You know, the third-party kind. Some airlines track how many times you’ve searched a particular flight route, then use that info to jack up the price. You’ve been warned.
DON’T SHY AWAY FROM SMALLER AIRPORTS
Sure, you wanted to fly direct to LAX, but what if flying to Long Beach could save you $100? Yes, it’s about an hour outside the city, but depending on the cost of local transportation, it could end up being cost-effective in the long run.
24 HOURS CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
A lot can change in a day. If you spot a better deal, remember that most airlines give you 24 hours to cancel (or rebook at a cheaper rate).