How To Purchase The Cheapest Plane Tickets!
Posted By Macey Farnsworth on January 23rd, 2019
It’s no secret that good plane tickets are pretty pricey. Purchasing a plane ticket is a major financial decision for the average American family and don’t even get started about flying overseas affordably. We don’t think you should have to decide between going on a trip or eating for the week. So to help you out, here are some airline website hacks to find yourself a killer deal in no time.
Don’t Plan Too Far in Advance
You’ll want to purchase your ticket about three months in advance for domestic travel and at least five months ahead of time for international flights. Why? Airlines don’t list reduced fare pricing any later than these dates, so if anything, you’ll be paying more out of pocket than if you waited a little longer to buy. However, unless it’s the busy season (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.), be sure that you purchase your tickets at least a month before your trip, or else you’ll be looking at huge price spikes for a last-minute ticket.
Go Deal Hunting
If you do need some last-minute tickets, airlines frequently hold sales midweek for the coming and following weekends. Occasionally they sell for later dates, as well. The fastest way to find these deals is by subscribing to travel website newsletters and scouring travel sites that aggregate these sales for you. But keep in mind that you need to act fast. These are popular times to purchase tickets, and the sales typically don’t last longer than three days before they’re all sold out.
Bonus Tip: One secret to finding the very best deals is to delete and temporarily disable cookies on your internet browser. You can find this option in your preferred web browser under “Settings,” or just do a quick search online to find out how.
Change Your Location
This one requires more advanced technical knowledge but can save you hundreds of dollars. Airline websites practice regional pricing, which means that a ticket’s purchase location affects the price of that ticket. This means that airlines charge more for the same ticket for someone in New York City than they do for someone living in Kansas. Not just that, but international tickets are even cheaper in countries with lower standards of living. If you can trick the airline websites into thinking that you’re buying the ticket in another country, you will dramatically lower the price of your ticket.
If you have a light knowledge of computers, then this can be accomplished relatively easily. Simply use a verified program that hides your computer’s IP address from websites, so they are unable to determine where you’re connecting from and boom: cheapest possible price on the website.
An easier method that works a little less frequently is to visit the airline’s regional website, which means connecting to the country-specific web address of your choice. It’s as simple as changing the “.com” after a website address. Say you wanted to connect to Bolivia’s regional airline website: type “.bo” instead of “.com” to connect regionally and rake in those sweet deals. The downside is that tickets must be purchased in the country-specific currency, so be sure to use a credit card with low foreign transaction fees!
Best Days and Times to Fly
If you’ve ever done any ticket hunting in the past, you’ll know that the most popular days to fly are Fridays and Sundays at virtually anytime, not to mention certain months pricing higher than average to account for demand. Avoid the crowds and paying an extra month’s worth of rent by shopping for less crowded days during the off-season. Airlines are desperate to get rid of their empty seats during the middle of the week, which can benefit you greatly. There are lots of websites that allow you to compare flights spanning across an entire month to determine the cheapest flight you can get your hands on.
Be sure to try booking your flight on a slow day for travelers to avoid the stress of navigating a busy airport. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are the cheapest and least crowded days to travel. Experts say that the “golden time” to travel is Tuesdays at 3 pm. The next best times are between 5 and 7 am and anytime after 8 pm in the middle of the week.
Buy As If You’re Going Solo
Airlines love to sell tickets in bulk. They get to sell you a bundle of their higher-priced seats, as you aren’t individually shopping for the best-priced seats. If an airline is selling tickets for $200 each and one seat is $100, you’ll be paying $400 for two seats instead of $300 if you bought two seats separately. Don’t let them take advantage of you. Even if you’re buying tickets for a large family of five or more, shop for each ticket individually to save hundreds or even more; the only downside is that you likely won’t all be sitting together on the flight (but let’s face it, you’re probably going to be sleeping anyway).
Not every airline does this dirty little trick, but you should always check. Shop for tickets for the same flight as both a solo traveler and a large group to see if there’s a better deal. If there is a better deal, then take a few extra minutes to go through the process of buying each lower-cost ticket individually.
Good things come to those who look. Flying doesn’t have to be a major financial burden if you can manage to find a great deal online for your flight; it only takes a few hours of your time if you’re lucky. And the money you could save from doing it? Totally worth it.