Starting with flight search on mobiles, to regular advertising of flight deals on social media sites, travel planning has become very simple. We never before had more options to help us find the best deals.
Whether it is for a vacation or a business trip, we are all looking for the best and cheapest flights. Most likely we have also learned a few tips and tricks along the way on how to get them.
Below are a few great ideas (to improve your knowledge) on how to find great deals on flights and few suggestions for the most popular flight search engines used by millions of people every day.
Explore your options and be flexible
Everyone will tell you that the golden rule of the cheap flight search is to be as flexible as you can. The more flexible you are, the greater is a chance you will find a super cheap flight to book. Be flexible with the dates, times, departure/arrival airport destinations and accept longer layovers.
When searching for a flight always check the flexible date option. You would be surprised how much money a day or two can save you.
And don’t just book the first flight that comes up: explore your options, try different flight comparison sites, Google words like “cheap flights for 200 dollars to…”and search for destinations that are not far from the place you are going to. Maybe the fare is much cheaper and you can catch public transportation from there?
And remember you need to be persistent if you want to get the best flight there is.
Choose wisely: when, what day and what time to fly out
Book your flight in advance! You probably won’t save money if you book your flight last week or minute. As soon as you know you are travelling, go online and start your search. Chances are you are getting a good price by booking early.
Also, looks like Tuesday is the best day to fly since most business travellers fly out on a Monday and return on a Friday and leisure travellers fly out on a Thursday and return on a Sunday. That leaves Tuesday and Wednesday as the best days to fly out and the ticket prices are lower on those days.
Another opportunity to save money on flights is to fly out in the evening as most people prefer morning flights. Especially for long haul flights: you will sleep for the portion of your flight and arrive at your destination having gotten at least some rest plus you saved yourself some money.
Most popular cheap flights search engines
Momondo: This is a very popular flight search engine that has made it very easy for users to choose the best flight. It is based on a clever set of filters for airlines, flight times, arrival times and frequent-flier alliances. It also shows you a graph with the cheapest dates for requested flight.
Hopper: The service is powered by a well-designed engine that analyses thousands of flights daily. It uses an exemplary forecast algorithm that recommends you the best time to book a ticket. It will tell you when to fly and when to buy. Hopper pulls data from almost all major airline fares, and you can shop flights and book a flight not leaving the app.
Skyscanner: This is as well an established flight search site and offers similar results as other engines as well. It provides a couple of easy tools for filtering out particular features like take off times and number of stops.
Book directly with airlines
This is another trick you can use to get cheaper flights (might not work every time but it is worth trying). Find your desired flight on any of the flight search engines and then go to the airline’s direct website and see if they can beat the price? Or print the flight you found and take it to your travel agent, a lot of times they can offer even a better price!
Lastly, it is always useful and recommended to set up flight alerts on different flight search sites for the routes you are interested in. To mention Hopper in particular, this apps forecasting software tracks airlines ever-changing ticket prices in order to predict prices and alert you when it’s the best time to buy a ticket.
To summarise: You do have to invest some time and patience, stay focused and do some research, however, it is worth it and will result in your desired flight ticket at a very good price.
Manigo Team, March 2017