FINDING AIRFARE THAT'S FAIR
‘Back in the day’ travel agents use to make most of their income from printing airline tickets for clients. You now know, airline ticket purchasing has been radically transformed for the better! Now we all have access to real-time inventory and are able to book tickets ourselves. However, here’s the rub… Now there are so many places and ways to search, it’s overwhelming. Based on how quickly you need to travel, here is some sage guidance for finding an airfare you know is a great value.
Need to book a flight right away? Follow the three steps below!
Airfare deals change by the minute, literally, so you need to search multiple websites. You may have heard the old advice to search for airfare on Tuesday or Wednesday nights, however that no longer applies now that airlines have become so competitive. Before getting started, be aware of “Basic Economy” airfare rates as you can’t bring on a carry-on or select your seat in advance; we advise that you avoid basic economy flights.
Step 1: Scan Google Flights
With Google Flights, you can search by destination and the approximate travel dates, and then figure out the best-priced airline-and-day combination to score a deal. Google Flights works with most airlines, and it will give you a good overview in helping you figure out the best travel days.
Step 2: Use Momondo, Skyscanner and Hipmunk
After Google Flights, search the same information on Momondo and Skyscanner. These sites compile prices of flights from hundreds of companies, meaning you’ll likely see lower prices and more flight options than you did on Google Flights for the date you searched. You can refine your search to find out prices for economy plus, business class, and first class. Hipmunk brilliantly allows you to search on “Agony”. It sorts flights based on the price WHILE also considering the associated duration, number of connections, etc. Again, brilliant!!
Step 3: Double-check the Airline’s Site (especially if you have a reward program)
After step 1 & 2 and you find a flight or three that you are interested in, check the actual airline’s website to see how prices compare. Sometimes the airline website will have a better deal, and sometimes it won’t. This is sometimes your only option if you are looking for Southwest or another carrier not selling on the online travel sites. If you have airline miles to utilize, you’ll have to check the airlines site to see if any flights are available. However, you’ll still want to check the airline site, and at least Google flights, for the actual price of the ticket. Sometimes a cheap ticket isn’t worth using miles for, and you should save them for tickets across the pond! If you don’t participant in a traditional airline program miles account, you may have your credit-card points to use as a great way to save money, because most rewards programs will let you transfer your points to an airline or purchase the flight through their website for a discounted price.
Have some time look around?
If you’re using Google Flights on your phone, you may see pop-up notifications that tell you when prices are likely to increase for specific flights. The notifications aren’t available on every route, and you can’t control when they appear, but they’re a handy way to predict how much time you have left to book before prices jump. Pay attention when you see them! Scott’s Cheap Flights sends us tons of great travel deals. This is a membership site that in return sends e-mail with incredible flight and travel deals that you won’t find anywhere else. Scott’s finds peak-season deals, mistake-fare deals, and other recent deals every day. You can plug in the airport nearest to you, and the site will deliver deals that are most relevant. Another great resource is Airfarewatchdog. On this site, you can set airfare alerts to let you know when a flight deal is available. Airfarewatchdog also features loads of airfare deals as they come available, and it shops the best deals for you. The site is ideal if you’re not set on a particular day that you want to travel and are looking for bargain when it comes along.
If you need help planning your perfect group adventure or have questions about travel insurance, send an email to or call us at 833-FIT-TRIP (348- 8747).