Should I follow conventional wisdom, and book early? Should I gamble my time and wait until the last minute? Should I use airfare watch sites? I want the best vacation for the best price. So what really is the answer? It is variable, but the following tips have helped many find cheap flights.
So far this year, airlines have raised rates for the third time, and Rick Seaney, chief executive of farecompare.com, said "I think pricing is going to be crazy, particularly this summer."
With that said, here are some of the HOT ways that readers have found helpful in getting great savings.
1. One reader has found that when comparison-shopping -- looking for the best scheduling or the best route or price, clicking repeatedly on travel sites such as Expedia or Orbitz seems to activate a bot somewhere that causes the price on that route to rise.
Readers' suggestion: Use two browsers. One to research with, and the other to purchase with.
2. mylittlenomads.com has offered these tips for saving money when booking a flight:
Flights between Europe and North America follow the most predictable price patterns. They ramp up at the end of May and enter peak season at the end of June and beginning of July. The decrease starts suddenly in the last week of August with the final big drop coming the middle week of October
Flights between Europe and Asia and between North America and Asia are more complex but generally increase for December, January, July, and August and are cheaper throughout the rest of the year. There can be huge differences between a New York to Bangkok flight and a New York to Singapore flight, so if your travel plans are flexible be sure to check every possible route.
The sweet spot is between 6 weeks and 3 months prior to your flight. Any farther before and the airlines haven’t started to actively manage fares on the flight. The pricing is still on auto-pilot, if you will. Any closer to your flight than 6 weeks most cheap seats will be sold out. Within 2 or 3 weeks of a flight, airlines assume you’re a business traveler (or a desperate one) that will pay whatever the fare is.
3. A reader, who frequently travels for business to Eastern Europe from Chicago, found that his best fares often occur 7 to 15 days prior to when he needs to leave.
4. George Hobica, founder of airfarewatchdog.com, found that if you find a cheaper airport to fly into, take that cheap flight and then use other methods, train, local air carriers, to get to your ultimate destination.
5. Another reader found consistent last minute deals on Virgin Atlantic.
As a parting thought, a reader asked a very good question, "are there any worthwhile travel agencies that serve consumers?"
The answer is a resounding YES! You have found one right here at Air-Savings.com. You can tell the travel agents here, "I don't care if I have to fly on a cargo plane carrying rubber doggie doo, just get me the cheapest flight," and they will do their very best to get you the best.