27 Mar 10 Ways to Get Cheap Airline Tickets
I’ve always loved to travel and I used to think it was a luxury. But just recently, I’ve learned that there are a few tricks you can do today to get your hands on cheaper airline tickets! If you love traveling as much as I do, I’m sure you’d be willing to put in the extra effort.
10 ways to get cheap airline tickets:
1. Sign up and get alerts from Kayak and AirFareWatchDog
You can set a max price you are willing to pay for a ticket to a certain destination. If ever that deal comes around, Kayak will send you an email!
- Sign up for an account on Kayak.com
- Click on your username on the top right corner
- Click on “Email & Alerts”
- “Add a flight price alert” and enter information. You can set it to s pecific dates you want to travel or make it flexible
AirFareWatchDog works in a similar fashion. The difference is that AirFareWatchDog will email you deals based off your departure city and destinations you love. You can enter as many as you want and choose how frequently you want to receive emails. I’ve received deals on flights to San Francisco for as low as $57 roundtrip, $475 RT to Honolulu (with Hawaiian Airlines woot!), and so much more. AirFareDogWatch is so helpful because google flights doesn’t show you everything! I used to think it would help me find the cheapest fares out there, but it turns out they won’t reveal discount airlines. I found this out when I booked a ticket to SF for about $100 RT, and later realized I could’ve bought a ticket for $57 RT with Southwest, ugh! Don’t make this same mistake.
Be first to know when prices drop:
- Go to AirFareWatchDog.com
- “My Alerts”, enter email, and click “Get Alerts”
- Click +add route and fill out information
2. Buy on a Tuesday
Airfares constantly fluctuate, but I found that purchasing a ticket on a Tuesday is cheaper most of the time.
Most airlines announce deals by Monday in the evening, so come Tuesday, all airlines are scrambling to match/beat those deals! I can honestly say the best airfares I’ve purchased were on a Tuesday. Just recently, I was able to catch an amazing deal to Tokyo for $614.60 roundtrip (with taxes and everything included)! And guess what? I bought it on a Tuesday.
3. Fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday
Usually, buying tickets that depart on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday will be cheaper. My San Francisco airfare departs from Las Vegas on a Saturday and departs from San Francisco that following Tuesday. I wasn’t even thinking about the days when I purchased it, they just happened to be cheaper.
4. Get a travel rewards credit card
There are plenty of credit cards out there you can apply for with amazing travel rewards. You usually have to meet a quota within a few months or so, but once you do, you’ll receive points that you can use towards travel. I recently got the Chase Preferred Sapphire Card and once I hit the $4,000 limit within 3 months, I would get 40,000 points for travel (roughly good enough for a roundtrip domestic flight, possibly more. check out this chart to get an idea). I thought I would benefit from this because I was purchasing a new camera anyway. Every credit card has different rules and fees, make sure you read up on that before you apply for any of them.
5. Browse incognito
Have you noticed that when you are eyeing tickets and continue to check the prices, the prices are suddenly higher than the first time? Those travel/airline companies you are visiting contain cookies that store information about you, like your IP address. Basically, they see you are interested in buying a ticket to –let’s say Honolulu, but don’t want to commit to it just yet. You keep checking back throughout the day or maybe that week. They study your behavior and will therefore increase the prices to Honolulu to make more profit. In order to prevent this from happening, clear your browser history and delete cookies. Then open up a new private window by right clicking your browser icon or new incognito window in Chrome. Then continue shopping for tickets. This isn’t always effective, but it’s better to check just in case.
6. Use air miles
This really deserves a post on its own, but I’ll save that for another time and briefly go over this. Racking up air miles is the new “couponing”. There are so many ways to do this including applying for a credit card with travel rewards, taking surveys, signing up and following promotions, shopping through airline shopping malls, eating through airline dining programs, etc. A lot of the things you already do today could probably get you travel points. For instance, I love to shop online. I learned that I could sign up for a United Mileage Plus Membership (for free) and earn points through their shopping mall. Just recently, I purchased a new camera through the chase ultimate rewards program. I earned 3 points for every dollar spent at Best Buy. Lastly, because I was traveling so much this past year, I was constantly renting cars and booking hotels. You can earn points for renting cars and booking hotels too! These points are usually accrued through an airline alliance membership (which you can apply for free), credit cards, and other programs. There are different rules for transferring points so read up on that. I will go into depth about this next time!
7. Watch out for mistake fares
Once in a blue moon, airlines will have a computer glitch or something of that sort. When this happens, a trip overseas can cost as low as $200. These deals sell out in minutes and you’d need to act on them immediately. I like to follow travel experts on Twitter and other fellow travelers who will post about these inexpensive airfares. United once sold tickets for $5 and honored the mistake!
Watch the video here.
8. Buy tickets with connecting flights, but miss it
I would be careful with this one because someone got sued for doing this numerous times. However, it’s not illegal. Basically, when purchasing a ticket with a layover to the destination you want, the flight will be cheaper. For example, let’s say I want to fly to Los Angeles from Boston. Instead of getting a direct flight from Boston to Los Angeles, there’s a cheaper flight from Boston to Vancouver with a layover in Los Angeles (the city I want to go). So when I fly that day, I just stay in Los Angeles and “miss” the flight to Vancouver. Just make sure to not check-in a bag, otherwise it’ll be waiting for you in Vancouver!
9. Travel off-season
This is pretty self-explanatory. Tickets will be a lot cheaper when less people are traveling. Airports are usually congested during the Holidays and during the summer. Avoid these seasons!
This is one of my favorite websites to go to. Every once in a while, JetRadar.com will have a wand next to an airfare called a “magic fare”. When this amazing thing happens, you can compare to other sites and save about 30%. That’s because JetRadar.com factors in layovers, currency exchange rates, airline partnerships, commission discounts, and tariffs.
Learn more about it here.
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