Tips on finding the best fare prices:

Buy your tickets on the right day:

When to begin shopping and when to wrap up your purchase.  The best day to book a flight in the U.S. is Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. This is when airlines release the most sales and the competition matches the lower prices so you have more deals to choose from.  If you shop too late, you may be hit with the steep prices last-minute business travelers pay but shopping too early can also cost more. These shopping windows yield the best-priced fares.  The best time to buy airline tickets for U.S. travel is at least 30 days before departure and up to 3 months in advance.  International tickets should be purchased between 1 1/2 to 5 1/2 months before departure.  During peak seasons such as June, July and August or December holidays, purchase tickets two months in advance.  When you are ready shop to compare first.

How to find cheap flights:

First and foremost, you should always compare airfare and you should always set airfare alerts.  Why would you compare airfares?  The reason is quite simple: No airline always has the best prices. Not Spirit, not Southwest, not every single time. If you don’t compare airfare prices – and it only takes a second – you could pay too much.  If you know where you want to go, set an airfare alert. This too takes just a second, but is so easy because the deals come to you. When you find a good deal, act fast; others have set alerts too and cheap seats are always limited.

Booking Tips

Many airlines and travel web sites (such as Expedia, Kayak, etc.) track how many times you’ve visited their websites. In so doing, they provide different offers and deals depending on the user.  To make sure you’re getting the best prices when you book air travel online, be sure to clear your web browser’s cookies and cache. This will make it appear as if it’s your first time visiting these sites, and you’re likely to see much better prices for your next flight!

When are the cheapest days to fly?

These are general guidelines for the cheapest days to fly on U.S. domestic routes.  There  are exceptions, so another good reason to compare fares, and compare fares for flights on different days and times.

  • Cheapest days: The cheapest days to fly are unpopular travel days; Tuesdays, Wednesday and Saturdays.
  • Expensive days: The most expensive days to fly are the most popular days; Fridays and Sundays.
  • Cheapest times: Fly when most people don’t want to including flights at dawn, red-eyes (overnight flights) and flights around the dinner hour.

Can’t fly the cheapest days or times both directions? Do it on one leg of your trip and you’ll still reap half the savings.      When to Buy Flights tool, Get the Lowest Fare


Finding cheap flights for 2 or more people:

When you’re not shopping just for yourself, shop one ticket at a time.  When you are ready to book the flight, book just one ticket to start. The reason is because of a quirk in airline reservation systems that requires multiple tickets sold in a single transaction be the same price. Shopping one ticket at a time can save money.

Example: An airline has one ticket left for $100; all the others on that flight cost $200. If you shop for two tickets at a time, you’re going to pay $200 for each ticket, the most expensive price. Shop for tickets one-at-a-time in separate transactions and you’ll get each ticket for $100.

Be Flexible to save more:

If you can be flexible in your travel plans, you can save a lot of money.  Connecting flights are cheaper than non-stop flights.  Of course, non-stops are more convenient, but there are always better deals to be had with connecting flights. Adding a stop, or two, can sometimes save you as much as 50%.

Flying out of a bigger airport can also save you on the ticket price.  Bigger airports, especially hubs, often have cheaper airfares. Compare prices from the closest airport to you, as well a larger airport and you may find that the longer drive is worth it.

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