Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Flight search Tips

Today we spend so much time looking for the right priced airline ticket in the hopes that we can do better than a travel agent. We say to ourselves that if we do the time, it will pay off. Who doesn't dream of a $500 ticket from New York to Johannesburg? Or a Miami - Paris ?

Websites that help

Cracking the code of airline pricing is difficult yet there are things to keep in mind when embarking on the search. One thing to understand is that prices vary constantly so nothing is guaranteed. I always go to momondo when I want to search a ticket. The search platform looks at more than 700 air websites at a time.
I also recommend creating price alerts or travel windows are useful. Many websites likes kayak and airfarewatchdog.com offer these. Price comparison platforms like skyscanner are great. Booking in advance is not always the right strategy.

Searching on specific days in order to save

Tuesdays has been considered the best day of the week to book tickets for all airlines in general.What I think is that savings based on which day of week a person flies, actually buy, and their route will be all variables that affect the search, therefore the Tuesday rule might actually not work. I still have seen savings during weekdays rather than booking on the weekend.

Be flexible yet smart

If you can afford being flexible with your travel dates, you are giving yourself a great opportunity for savings. These can add up to 20% easily. One thing to know: advanced booking estimations don't take into account the variances in dates, routes and price. Perhaps the airline you prefer does not fly to your destination on a daily basis or in a direct route. I for one prefer paying extra rather than booking the cheapest flight and getting there less tired and in one flight. Keep in mind that paying a bit more can provide you the right correspondence/ time between flights. I dread being at an airport more than 4 hours unless it's at Singapore! 

If you are flying internationally,  the lowest prices are estimated at around 81 days in advance, which is between 11 and 12 weeks out. If you are curious about travel specifics and timing, kayak.com just published this report: Travel Hacker 2015 Guide.

Between USA, Europe and Asia
Some sources say to look 6 months before, others 6 weeks before. Prices do vary depending on low/ high season as well. Weekends will cost you more and weekday travel may save you some cash.

The exception - Low Cost Airlines
If you want to travel with Ryanair, Easyjet, and all those low cost companies make sure to book as quickly as possible. These do not fluctuate at all. They work on quotas. Their revenue model is based on starting with all seats as cheap as possible and fares go up when a percentage is sold out and so forth.

Multiple destination versus Separate tickets
I have had more savings when booking separately. Still, it's good to look and compare. If you book separate flights, find out if the companies are from the same alliance and luggage can be transferred to the next flight. If not, give yourself enough time between connections in case your first flight is late.

Deals/ Special offers
Websites like these are great to do your search for deals.
Do you get the feeling that while doing your research , every time you visit a website the price just got a bit higher? This is true, websites track your visits. To prevent this, use a new browser every time. I learned this tip from one of my favorite bloggers, Audrey from thatbackpacker.com.

So, hope these shed some light and lastly, I wish you SAFE TRAVELS!