Airfares tend to take a major chunk out of our travel budget and yet, airfares remain a key component of every travel plan these days. Getting cheap airfares to our favourite destinations always seems to be a tough task, but with detailed planning and research, one can actually pull out a coup by landing a good airfare deal! Airfares change dynamically based on several factors like days, months, seasons, booking availability, type of airline, upcoming festivals, special promotions, discounts and offers, and so on. To compound further miseries, add hundreds of travel apps and websites; all promising to provide the cheapest of airfares. Sometimes, it actually becomes a difficult process to book flights, especially if air tickets are a main component of the holiday budget. However, by following a few steps, along with careful planning and research, one can surely get the best flight deals.
Here are a few nifty steps to book cheap flight tickets…
1. Always use incognito mode or private browsing while looking for airfares to the selected destination. The cookies enabled in browsers are traceable by travel websites, and they tend to increase the fares automatically for repeatedly searched routes and flights. Opting for incognito mode or private browsing provides you a clearer picture without keeping a track of searches.
2. Try the best flight search engines and comparison sites for the best airfare deals. Flight search engines and comparison sites like Google Flights, Skyscanner, Kayak, Momondo and TripAdvisor are a few best flight search engines and comparison sites. These websites search several travel portals and list the best airfare prices available for customers.
3. Try booking with official airlines of your travel destination. For example, if a person is looking for airfares to Bangkok from Dubai, register with Thai Airways in advance. The official airlines offer great flight deals, promotional airfares, and all-inclusive holiday packages. Official airlines also have the best airfares and the maximum number of flights to your selected destinations.
4. Try local airlines and regional low-cost air carriers. Low-cost air carriers are the newest trend in the aviation sector. The no-frill airfares and quick operation turnarounds have resulted in increasing popularity amongst air travellers. Local airlines also have good promotional fares to several destinations, while regional low-cost airlines have round-the-year competitive prices and plenty of flights.
5. Register with travel portals for amazing promotional discounts and deals. The popular travel portals continue to release attractive discounts on hotels, flights and holidays in every calendar year. Register for the official newsletters of various travel portals and keep a look out for air deals related to your destination.
6. Be flexible with your travel dates, since airfares fluctuate on a daily basis based on several factors like demand, availability, special seasons, promotional airfares, etc. Flexibility in dates can help to pick up the best date with the lowest airfare for a particular destination.
7. Be flexible with travel timings as well, since airfares continue to hover based on flight timings. Late night flights are always cheaper due to very few takers, while morning flights or evening flights have higher demands and pricing due to favourable travel timings.
8. Avoid peak tourism season and months in the case of looking for attractive air fares. Peak tourism season and the best months to visit a destination generally see an increase in tourist footfalls. This leads to higher demands for flights, hotels, and holiday packages and in-turn leads to a surge in pricing. However, by booking in advance, one can still get attractive deals even during peak seasons.
9. Avoid travelling to your destination during festivals or events. Airfares are always high due to high demand during major festivals or events. Book in advance to avoid the surge in pricing during festivals and major events happening in your destination.
10. Opt for round-trips rather than one-way flights, since combined flights booked together save money. What’s more, it also saves you the time and effort you spend in searching for return flights, following the same painstaking process.
11. Use your existing air miles or reward points to book flights. Almost every airline in the world offers some kind of reward programme based on air miles. It includes periodic upgrades to a higher class, free tickets and access to premium lounges across several destinations. Join a reputed rewards programme and keep a track of your mileage points. It actually helps a lot in planning for your next travel journey and holidays.
12. Use indirect flights rather than direct flights. Direct, long-haul flights are always costlier due to high demands and preference. Use indirect flights with one or two layovers to reach your destination. The layovers range from a few hours to 6-8 hours, enough time to stretch, rest or go for a casual, local sightseeing with a transit visa.
13. Try flying with multiple airlines. Booking with a single airline can save plenty of time, research and effort, but usually, it is not a cost-effective solution. Try booking with multiple airlines to travel between destinations. Every airline has their own set of fares that are determined on the basis of several factors, and these can lead to attractive fares between different sectors.
14. Book multiple items together to avoid extra-pricing. It’s always better to book in advance several additional services such as extra-baggage, extra leg space, meals, priority baggage-out and transfers between airport to the hotel. These services, if booked in advance, tend to save a lot of money, rather than booking at check-in counters.