1. Use Airline Consolidators: Airline ticket resellers work with larger travel companies to sell tickets at reduced prices. Consolidators are wholesales that buy in bulk. Since they have existing relationships, travel agents can purchase tickets from consolidators and then sell them to consumers. Thanks to the internet, you can now bypass the travel agent and book directly with a consolidator to get the reduced rate. The best rates are usually found for international, US domestic business and first class flights.
Here is a list of consolidators:
2. Book in Advance: The general rule of thumb when trying to find inexpensive flights is that the more available seats there are on the plane, the cheaper the ticket. Booking well in advance is your best bet., a minimum of 21 weeks before your desired departure. If 21 weeks have come and gone, some airlines (listed below) offer discounts at 14 days, seven days, and sometimes even three days before a departure date.
3. Clear Your Web Browser History: All booking sites record your web browsing data and some, such as Travelocity, use this information to raise prices when you’re interested in a flight. If you clear your web browsing data (a/k/a cache), you’re more likely to find the original price you came across.
4. Be Flexible about Dates: This is considered the number one way to save when it comes to booking a flight. The cheapest days to fly are usually Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Booking agents now offer a “flexible date” search so finding the cheapest flight is easier. Sites that offer this search are below.
5. Research Airline Hubs: Every airline has a “hub” where the majority of their flights arrives and departs. Flights to and from these hubs are inexpensive because there are more flights to choose from. If your final destination isn’t a major hub, check prices to that hub first and then look for an additional flight from the hub to your final destination. You may have a layover but you will save a lot of money in the process.
6. Book on the Right Day: A study done by FareCompare.com claims that the top fare deals are found early in the week, specifically on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday when the airlines post discount prices. A trick used by travel agents is to search for flights three days before and after an intended departure. This can help save a few hundred off international flights. But remember tip 3 and clear your history.
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