Booking Cheap Flights Best Way
We try to answer three questions:
(1) Which time of the year is the best?
(2) How many days in advance should you buy a plane ticket?
(3) Where to book your flight?
The annual price waves are clearly shaped by the summer season in the northern hemisphere. It does not really matter if you want to fly to New York, Tokyo, Bejing, Paris or Milan. Prices do rise across the board at the end of April. They hit the roof in May, only to cool off again in mid September. Between October and Mid April, tickets are significantly cheaper simply because it’s off-season. Temperatures are down. The amount of daylight is short, and the weather can be very unpleasant.
Which time of the year is the best for cheap flights?
We like to go against the grain, visiting our dream destinations when the main tourist season has not yet started or when it’s over. Therefore our two favorite time slots are the second half of April and the second half of September. Ticket prices are still moderate, but the weather is already back to mild, and big tourist crowds can be avoided. In peak months like July and August we would have to share the fun with millions and millions of families that are depending on official school holidays to go on summer vacation.
When it comes to fine tune the exact fight dates, we target Wednesdays and Saturdays to lift off. Wednesday seems to be the cheapest day, while Sunday is the priciest. Saturdays are ok too. We don’t know why actually. Just price comparisons we did over a time span of several years tell us. But there is no guarantee for that.
How many days in advance should you buy a plane ticket?
Around about 70 days before, you should book your flight. This does not guarantee the cheapest flight, but it’s a decent rule of thumb. The prime booking window is between 120 and 30 days before a flight. 70 become our lucky number.
Keep one important thing in mind when looking for cheap flights online: via cookies, airline sites see you repeatedly searching for a certain route. Higher fares can be programmed and sent to you this way. Browse incognito or delete your browsing history and cookies to avoid leaving such traces.
The rumor that booking flight tickets is cheaper on Tuesdays – preferably between 2pm and 3pm – is not true. We don’t know who spread this fake news. But the source is wrong for sure.
Where to book cheap flight?
Our favorite search option for flights is Google’s https://flights.google.com/. The site let’s you set up trackers which log the price of a plane ticket each day. This way you slowly build a nice graph that shows the price history of your targeted flight. Here are some examples:
As you can see, our 70-days-theory is not too bad. 9 of 10 examples shown above give you a price within 5% distance of the All-Time-Low. What else can you do in order to outsmart the system? We have three more ideas …
Flight+Hotel Package travel deals
Yes, doable. Don’t be shy. This can be a good deal. With sites like Groupon or Travelzoo offering travel packages that include your hotel as well as airfare, there are times when the actual travel package is indeed cheaper than the roundtrip ticket.
Flight Deal Newsletters and Social Media
It’s worth following some of your favorite airlines on Social Media to catch special offers. Apart from that you may sign up newsletters from these services: Scott’s Cheap Flights, The Secret Flying Club, The Flight Deals.
Booking Cheap Flights Best Way: Try Skiplagged! The story behind Skiplagged is the stuff of a movie. Founder Aktarer Zaman discovered a weak spot and took advantage of something called “hidden city” fares. It might sometimes be cheaper to book a flight with a connection, rather than flying directly. Then you never actually take the second leg of that trip. You just book a layover flight that includes the city you were wanting to fly, and you skip the final destination. It can be cheaper to fly this way. Keep in mind: you can’t check in luggage because any checked-in suitcase will be routed to the final destination.
United Airlines wanted to sue Aktarer Zaman for this. They lost. But that’s not the only embarrassment for United Airlines in recent history.
In 2008, United baggage handlers broke the guitar of Canadian country singer Dave Carroll. After nine long months fruitlessly trying to get a refund, Carroll released three songs about the incident. The first song – “United breaks Guitars” – has over 18.2 million views as of August 2018, and caused a significant public relations embarrassment for the airline.
You want another example of United staff misjudging a tricky situation? Here we go. On April 9, 2017, a revenue passenger was forcibly removed by law enforcement from United Airlines flight 3411 at Chicago-O’Hare. United needed four seats for additional airline staff on this sold-out flight. No passengers volunteered even after being offered vouchers worth $800. So United staff selected four passengers to leave. Three of them did so, but a doctor named David Dao, declined as he said that he had patients to treat the following morning.
The unthinkable happened. He was pulled from his seat by security officers and dragged by his arms down the aisle. Dao sustained a concussion, broken teeth, and a broken nose.
Of course all this was captured via smartphones and posted on social media with far reaching consequences. Chief executive officer, Oscar Munoz lost his chance to become chairman of United’s board of directors. Executive compensation is now tied to customer satisfaction. Following this incident, passenger complaints increased by 70 percent.
Booking Cheap Flights Best Way. By Chili and Churp | © International Destinations | Header image by The Traveling Chili. More smart travel hacks <- here.