How to find airline tickets at the best price? This is the question that I made to myself many times. Searching online, discussing with experts, and traveling I found an answer. Now I want to share it with you, guiding you step by step to make your research easy. As you know I like luxury and why not to travel in business and first-class, but why spend more than enough?! I experienced what I am going to write in the next lines booking a lot of flights in Italy, Europe, and the world. You will save money and also time following my tips. After my travel advice, now I focus on airline companies.
1. Browse with incognito setting
The first rule to find your airline tickets best price is to set your web browser into the incognito setting. It is easy, you can find the tool in the menu of your browser. Why do you have to do it? Simple: after your first research the price change. The system is adopted by the websites to catch your IP address and memorize your research, so plus you check a flight or a destination plus the rate will erase. The reason is: they want to show you that if don’t book quickly the ticket you will spend more. Their goal is to sell.
How can you proceed to browse in incognito? If you use Google Chrome or Safari you just have to hit “Command” or “Control” if using the desktop computer, Shift, “N”. If you use Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer you have to hit “Command” or “Control” if you surf the internet from a computer, Shift, “P”. Do you have iOS X? Click on the Safari menu bar “Private browsing”. The procedure will open a new browser window. In this way, the system can’t track your information. When it is time to book your flight, you can just close the incognito window and open a new one.
2. Choose the best web engines for flights
The second step concern the websites used to search for your flight. Each platform offers different rates and some of them increase the prices more than others. Sometimes also the airlines’ official pages propose good deals, but mainly the starting point is from other engines. Among the best sites there are:
Google Flights (It doesn’t give you the cheapest prices, but it is really useful to compare the dates)
You should keep in mind that the list of airlines on these websites is not complete. So I suggest you, especially for regional and low-cost companies to go directly to their official pages.
3. Pay attention to the date
Generally, there is the cheapest day to fly and it helps you to find the airline tickets best price. If you search on the internet you will find different opinions and mostly the sites indicate Tuesday as the perfect day. Be careful, because it is not true. It is correct that fly during weekdays is more convenient many times, but each company has its policy. So there are deals to travel on Saturday or Sunday as well. So what to do? Don’t worry, there is a solution.
The procedure you must follow is easy and immediate. Go on the search engine, for instance, Skyscanner. Then type the departure date, don’t consider the return ticket for a while. Select “one-way” option. Do your research for an entire month. In this way, you will find out what day is the cheapest one to move to. Once you collected the information you can adjust your search. Don’t forget to do the same for the return date, so you will know how to manage your round trip.
This tip is valid to find the airline tickets best price. Keep in mind that if you have to add more days to your stay just to have a cheap rate, you will increase the accommodation cost. Is this convenient? The answer is up to you. If you use Kiwi.com or Hopper you can track the changes in the prices.
4. Redeem your miles
As I mentioned in my travel planner guide, if you have in your wallet a loyalty card issued by an airline company or a credit card with a cashback plan, you can travel for free. It depends on the miles present on your account balance. Maybe you will get a discount or you will purchase the ticket without any expense. Also, the main hotel chains propose cards that give you miles to spend on your airline tickets. In this case, check what you have and visit the program’s web pages. Pay attention: the number of miles follows the same policy of the prices, so check the best day to travel.
5. Focus on low-cost companies
Around the world, many airlines are working with budget deals. They generally propose you very low rates, like almost nothing, but there are some compromises. To reduce the prices they put more seats and you have less space for your legs. Then they don’t give you food and drinks for free on board. You may pay also for the suitcase. To have a better treatment they offer some privileges to those who want to pay more.
The convenience has to be check up to your needs. Anyway, I always suggest checking the low-cost airlines. Because maybe you book a flight for a short trip and you can do some sacrifices to save more money. Last thing about this step. The airport location is most of the time the less close to the destination, so think about the transfer and the time that you will need.
6. Catch the errors made by airlines
Do you want to find easily and immediately the airline tickets best price? Search online for mistakes. Often the offices of the companies publish online the wrong rate. There are many reasons, but what is important is the result. If you catch the error and buy at that rate, you have the right to travel without any other costs. They can’t change, as the law says, the price after the ticket is sold. The mistakes are on the official website.
How can you find them? You are thinking to stay 24 hours online without sleep hoping to catch the error… No, you don’t need this. You can just connect to some platforms that search for you. Then you need to be lucky. Visit AirFare Watchdog and Secret Flying. On the first one, the updates are in real-time. Use the same search criteria already described in previous steps.
7. Split connecting flights
Are you searching for connecting flights? Maybe to go to your destination it is necessary to change the plane to another airport or country. Never search for all tracks. Split them. If you book each flight, also with a return ticket, you will find better deals. It is also possible to save money just by changing the airline company. If you do this you are freer to choose the best options, according to the price and your convenience. It gives you more chances to find airline tickets best price.
Keep in mind that you need to work more on hours of arrival and departure. This because you have maybe to move and to catch the connection with a different airline. If you use a low-cost company and a traditional one check the arrival airport. They may use different locations and you have to organize the transfer on time to catch the other flight. You can in case consider also a stopover to see another place.
8. Choose carefully the destination
To find the airline tickets’ best price you have to focus also on budget companies. As I already wrote they offer you a good rate for different reasons. One of them is the airport used. In the big cities, there are more locations, with different distances between the city and the airport. Anyway, if this looks like a sacrifice, you should consider one more element. There are different tracks to get to your destination for less money.
You are thinking…WHAT?!?! I am going to explain to you two interesting options. The first one is that around the region of your destination there are smaller cities or towns connected with their airports. It can cost less to go there and then to move by car, bus, or train to the place where you want to stay. The second aspect is made by the connections.
For instance, if you move from the USA to Italy and you stop in Spain to change flight you have more chances to save money. Airlines have some track that they need to promote and they offer good deals. Or simply using different airlines and prefer a longer trip can become an economic benefit for you. It happens especially if you choose airlines without a hub in the departure or arrival countries.
In this way, there are always some risks. Be careful because if you book a connecting flight with different companies and you miss the plane to continue your trip, you will lose your money. That is why it is good to prefer dedicated search engines. Some of them help you to use different airlines in combination and to purchase your ticket in the same order. In this case, your money is guaranteed and you can get refunded in case of problems. This because they sold you the deal for the whole trip. When you choose the website read their policies.
9. Prevent the hidden city risk
While people were searching for their airline tickets best price, they discovered the “hidden city” flights. It means that airlines are going to hide the flight connections because they are cheaper than the direct flight. Anyway with the steps described you won’t have problems finding them. The problem concerns the risks and you need to be aware of this.
What are the risks? To not have the luggage checked directly for all flights, so you need to claim it at your arrival and then do again the check-in. You may not be allowed off the plane in case the flight is continuing to its final destination. You may lose the connection without having any assistance from the airline. There is no solution, but that is why I suggest to choose carefully the website and especially to check the conditions.
10. Buy flight tickets at the same moment
Did you find the airline tickets best price? Will you use the same company? Buy the tickets altogether. If there is no chance to have a lower rate in splitting the flights, buying each of them separated it will cost more. Companies prefer to sell the round trip, otherwise, they propose a higher rate. It doesn’t make sense. Try to research the multi-city flights.
For example, a company can offer more routes together for an interesting rate. In Europe, it is quite common with Turkish Airlines. The same does Virgin Atlantic. Include regional passes, because there is a cooperation between local companies with the big ones and it costs less to mix the flights among them. The same airline will issue the ticket.
11. Give a chance to local airlines
Never forget to check the proposals of the regional airlines. They are small but they have connections and they may propose low rates. Especially in the countries where tourism is now so much developed. It is difficult to know them and to find a complete list, but searching on Google you will access their web pages. It is also hard to find them in the main flight search pages. The small companies can be a surprise, it is good to check every time you need to travel.
12. When you know the date of your trip book the tickets
It is another important rule to follow for who is searching for the airline tickets best price. When you decide the dater for your travel start immediately to check the flights. Also, purchase as soon as possible the tickets. All the steps will help you to find quickly the best deal but keep always in mind that approaching the departure day the rates will increase in any case. It can be useful, if you don’t have fixed dates, to search for the best one to travel, the one that has the lower price. So you will let the search engine decide for you. It can be convenient.
13. Focus on the currency
The last tip about how to find easy and immediately concern the currency. Booking form different countries you can see different prices. That is why you should consider checking the different currencies on the same website. Sometimes it is not a simple conversion and also it depends on the conditions apply for certain countries. You can save again a bit of money. Be sure to have a credit card that doesn’t apply fees for the transactions in foreign currency. It is part of the steps to find the airline tickets best price. Don’t forget my guide about air miles credit cards to collect bonuses and fly for free.
And now let me wish you a safe flight!