We tend to stay glued to our computers, browsing different websites, different airlines, to see where can we find the lowest airfare for the dates that we want to travel. And after hours of research, we do find it, but guess what? The moment we enter into the process of booking the flight and entering our credit card details, BAM, the airfare we chose, is no longer available, and suddenly went up by a $100, or even more. Sounds familiar, right? What can be more frustrating and annoying! Well, now you can breathe in some air. Below are some tips which will help you in grabbing the lowest fares.
Essential Tips to Buy Airline Tickets
Buying and selling airline tickets, and that too in the lowest possible amount, is more like a ‘try-your-luck-game’ than a proper ‘buying-selling process’. As travelers, we want the best deal at the lowest fares. On the contrary, the airlines want us to purchase seats at higher prices. They are right from their point of view, and so are we! So, the best way to be content both ways, and to lay your hands on some cheap airline tickets, is to do the following.
- Best Day-Tuesday: Not always, but most of the time, Tuesday is the best day of the week to buy airline tickets. Why? Let me tell you how it works. All of us know that Sundays are one of the most expensive days to fly. So, the airlines tend to lower the fare during the later hours of Mondays. As I mentioned earlier, if one airline decreases the fares, the rest follow. So, the rest of the airlines enter the competition and revise their prices to a lower fare, completing the process by Tuesday afternoon! So, the best time to buy airline tickets is around 3pm on Tuesdays.
- Other than Tuesdays …: Apart from Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are also among the good days to buy airline tickets when you can get a chance to fly at a lower price, provided you book at the wee hours.
- Book Tickets on Sale: If one airline announces low fares, then the rest of them follow. Although, you will get cheap fares, you might miss the chance to get the desired fares, if you aren’t quick enough. News for low airfares spread like fire in a jungle, so the faster you are, the better it is.
- Sign-up for a Travel Alert: Many airlines, travel agencies, and travel websites have this facility. All you need to do, is to sign up for a lower airfare alert. You need to enter the travel destinations that you wish to book your flights for, and you will automatically get an email notifying decrease in the fares. Many times, the email itself has a link which enables to take you directly to the page of booking the flight at the lower fare. This proves to be very helpful provided you are real quick in booking! And, if you manage to get a good deal, wouldn’t all the hard work be worth it?
- Red-Eye Flights: Red-eye flight seats are usually less expensive than normal flight seats. Common sense is that most people want to travel during the standard morning/afternoon hours, and reach their destination till evening. But, if you are comfortable staying up till late, booking tickets in a red-eye flight can be a good deal, monetarily.
- Purchase Your Tickets in Advance: Booking in advance is a good option, but not way too advance! Many airlines have the 14 days, or the 21 days advance purchase plan. Airlines like jet blue and Airtran have the 7-day advance purchase plan wherein you can get a lower fare for the travel.
- Don’t Follow the Crowd: Another way of getting a good deal within your travel budget is to be a little flexible with your travel dates. Of course, everybody wants to fly on certain dates and be at the destination during the weekend, or on the exact date of the occasion. But then, you will have to compromise either on the price, or the wants. So, if money is the more dominating factor, travel on the dates when there won’t be much of a rush, or fly off-season!
- Go for 1 or More Stop Flights: Instead of booking a non-stop flight, book a flight which has one stop or two stops. The fare of flights with stops will be lower as compared to non-stop flights, most of the time.
- Check for Discounts: As I mentioned earlier, use all possible means to check the discounts the airlines are offering. Many times, travel websites like Travelocity, Expedia, and Orbitz offer really good deals with packages that include air, car, and hotel. Keep a track of the latest and lowest deals that they have in store for you, and who knows, you just might get lucky!
- Be Sure and then Book: Not always, but most of the time, airplane seats with low fares are non-changeable and non-refundable. So, if you are not sure about the dates, or your plans are subjected to change, then be sure first and then book. If you think you can change the dates later, then let me warn you that changing the airline ticket comes with a heavy change fee.
- Speed is the Key: Apart from all the points mentioned above, bottom line is that one needs to be very quick when it comes to booking airline tickets. This is because, there are limited seats at this price, and unlimited people waiting to book those seats.
To conclude, I would just like to say that knowing the best day to buy airline tickets is only half the battle won. One needs to be alert and quick enough to grab the best deals. So, keep yourself informed and updated. Subscribe for an airfare alert, and the moment you get an e-mail notification, don’t be lazy to book the seats later. A delay of even a few minutes can make you lose the low fare, and then you might have to book a higher fare for the same seat. This world is all about competition now, ain’t it? And the irony is, when we plan to take a break to relax and fly away from our competitive daily schedule, we have to compete to book a flight at the lowest fare.