The Travel Doldrums got you itching to book a flight?
1 Be a Sleuth! Clear those Cookies or use Private Browsing
Airlines and search engines track your computer activity and use your searching history to raise your ticket rates. Prevent them from doing this by ALWAYS clearing your cache & cookies OR ALWAYS using a private browsing screen.
2 It does not matter what day you book your flight…
Airlines differ on when they update their flight prices. For example, American Airlines is rumored to update their pricing on Tuesdays, whereas United frequently updates their pricing on Thursdays. So if you are not exclusive to one airline and your main goal is to simply save money, there is ultimately no difference between buying your flight on a Tuesday or Thursday (or Sunday or Monday etc!).
3 …but buying 30-90 days in advance is key!
The consensus in the travel community is the best time to find the low prices is:
- Domestic: 30-60 days before your desired flight
- International: 60-90 days before your desired flight
4 DO set up Price Alerts (aka “Soft Searches”) but…
Setting up “flight alerts” is one of the most important things you can do. Flight alerts are sent to your email or even to an app. The alerts notify you of flight prices for your anticipated flight itinerary and dates. “Price Alerts” are also known as “Soft Searches” because they do not trigger airlines to raises prices.
Our current favorite price alerts website SKYSCANNER
5 …do NOT run frequent specific searches (aka “Hard Searches”)
Even if you clear the cookies on YOUR computer, the airlines still keeps track on THEIR end! So if you do frequent searches for a particular flight path on a particular date, the airlines are tracking that. Guess what they’ll do with that information? RAISE THE PRICES of course! So do NOT do frequent “Hard Searches”.
For example: You wish to fly CVG-NYC-CVG June 1 – 10. Once you’ve set up a “Price Alert” (step 4) your next step is to monitor the Price Alert emails. When the prices start going down, that’s when you do a “Hard Search” with your specific details.
6 Ready to Book? Keep up to date on the best search engines for plane tickets
As we all know, technology changes fast. It is important to keep up which websites do the best job in searching for plane tickets and comparing rates between airlines.
Our current favorite search engine GOOGLE FLIGHTS
7 Purchase your ticket directly from the airline
After you have found the best price, we recommend booking your flights directly via the airline’s website. For the same price, you’ll get better service and a higher grade ticket with less restrictions, resulting in fewer potential hassles such as flight cancellations.
8 Found a better price? Yes you CAN cancel within 24 hours!
You’ve found a good price and purchased your ticket. But the next day you see flight prices went down! Do you have any recourse? In many cases, yes! Thanks to the 24 HOUR LAW by the U.S. Department of Transportation, you can cancel your ticket within 24 hours of purchase!
9 Kick back and relax in the Best Seat
Now that you’ve done the hard work, it’s time to kick back and relax! Every time I fly, I always use SEATGURU. Simply type in your flight number and it will tell you the best seats in your class – and you don’t even pay extra! Don’t like to sit near the restrooms? You don’t have!
10 Think outside the box!
You’d be surprised but thinking outside the box can often get you better and cheaper flights! Some examples:
- One-way cheaper than round-trip? With international trip, one-ways are often (about 40%) cheaper than round-trips!
- First class tickets cheaper than economy? Yes! About 1 in every 15 flights I’d had this happen – it’s worth checking out!