1: Do airlines raise fares while you search? Keep your searches top secret.
You may have noticed that flight prices increase if you retrieve data repeatedly. Thus airlines try to insist you to book quickly before prices get even higher. The truth is that it will never be as cheap as the first time. In order to avoid higher prices you have to search incognito or in private browsing mode. Then airlines are not able to “remember” your previous searches.
How to use the incognito or private browsing mode: In most browsers you can click on the menu on the top right corner and choose “open incognito window”. This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search. Note: if you’re using an older version of OS X, open Safari then click “Safari” in the menu bar, and select “Private Browsing”.
2: Book at the right time
The perfect time to book a flight is very controversial. On the one hand, the earlier you book, the better. Especially if you have a certain date in mind, it is better to book as early as possible. Low cost airlines usually offer some good deals. As soon as these tickets are sold, the remaining ones will increase in price. On the other hand, studies have proved that the “sweet spot” is between 11 and 12 weeks before departure. An earlier or later reservation is likely to be more expensive.
3: Purchase the ticket at the right day
According to Airlines Reporting Corporation the best days for purchasing tickets are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On these days airlines usually offer new deals in order to improve sales. Please keep in mind that prices vary constantly, even during a single day. Hence it might be difficult to determine the lowest price. However, it is possible to draw up a prognosis by constantly watching the offers at any time of day.
4: Use flight search engines
For comparing different airlines and prices it is best to use search engines. Please notice that some search engines (e.g. Expedia) do not offer the lowest price. Our first choice for comparing airlines is Skyscanner.com. Also recommendable are Mimondo, Kajak or Fare Compare. For your final booking it might be advantageous to use the preferred airline homepage itself, thus avoiding any hidden commissions.
5: Identify the cheapest day to fly out
If you are flexible concerning your departure and arrival dates you can save money by choosing the cheapest days. Many search engines, such as Skyscanner, offer price overviews of an entire month. We recommend searching return flights separately as you have a better overview of the best offers. In general, the cheapest flights are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays. Flights on Fridays and Sundays are usually the most expensive.
6: Follow airlines on Social Media
Nowadays, more and more airlines publish special offers on Facebook and Co. Additionally there are often competitions or promotions published on their social media pages. By following or “liking” you are always up to date and have the opportunity to participate in those competitions.
7: Visit the website of your destination airport
It is possible that search engines do not list all low cost airlines. It might therefore be useful to have a look at the website of your destination airport, to make sure you have checked all possible airlines.
8: Find alternative routes on long distance flights
For long distance flights you can use your creativity and put together the cheapest route on your own, instead of booking the complete route in one go. For instance: The price for a direct flight from the United States to your destination airport might be significantly higher than a flight from the US to another, neighbouring country and then from there to your final destination.