When booking flights, every traveler should know a few key tips in order to save money and find the best possible offers on their next adventure. By applying these principles, travelers will find themselves more prepared when making flight reservations.
Airline tickets tend to become more costly as your departure date nears, but there may be a sweet spot where prices drop or remain stable, especially with great carriers like Cathay Pacific Flights.
Booking flights early can save both money and time; additionally, this gives you more options – something especially important during popular seasons or holidays.
Booking early also enables you to secure better seats on the plane and avoid extra fees – this is particularly useful if traveling with multiple people and can prevent waitlisting for flights.
Airlines typically release their flight schedule a few months in advance; however, if travelling during an especially popular season or holiday it is wise to book at least a month ahead in order to avoid delays or any complications during the journey.
Airline prices fluctuate daily and when is the best time for you to book depends on your destination, season and travel dates. Hopper research revealed that it is often less costly to fly Tuesdays and Wednesdays instead of weekends; additionally it may be beneficial to book earlier in the day, since prices often increase with each passing hour.
Book with a credit card.
Saving money when booking flights can be easy when using a credit card. Some cards provide special features, like price drop protection and free ticket cancellations; in addition, others allow you to earn points that can help cover future travel expenses. No matter which card you select, make sure it only gets used for flight-related purchases to maximize its potential value.
Book with a travel agent.
Travel agents utilize their knowledge of airlines and airfares to find you the best flights at the lowest possible rates, as well as assist in booking other aspects of your trip, such as hotels, tours and car rentals. Travel agents generally charge a nominal fee but ultimately save money in the form of savings over time.
Travel agents often offer exclusive discounts and coupons not found online – this can be especially beneficial when booking international flights, which can be pricey.
Travel agents can also be invaluable resources in helping to identify any hidden fees imposed by airlines. Extra charges can quickly add up, so travel agents know what to watch out for.
Travel agents play an invaluable role in representing their clients. For instance, if an airline oversells and denies you access to a flight, a travel agent can ensure you receive compensation and are reimbursed.
Travel agents also maintain up-to-date knowledge of Covid restrictions and can advise their customers accordingly. This is particularly helpful for travelers visiting countries with stringent entry requirements, since travel agents frequently have connections in these places that can assist clients with visa applications or other arrangements.
Book with a low-cost carrier.
At Going, our focus tends to be on larger full-service airlines; however there are many low-cost carriers who may provide great alternatives when booking flights. This is especially true if your travel dates, destinations and flight times can be flexible; such airlines usually have lower base fares with additional fees charged for checked bags, food, etc. They may also fly out of lesser known airports in order to reduce user fees.
Be wary that low base fares might not always represent the cheapest available. Many budget airlines are known for adding on extra fees that can push ticket costs well above what was originally displayed. Make sure that you research pricing policies prior to booking, and compare this cost against full-service airlines before making your decision.
Be mindful of non-refundable and non-transferable fares when booking low cost fares; otherwise, they could leave you paying the price for something that never actually materialized.
Book with a flexible date.
One of the best tips when booking flights is being flexible with your travel dates; this will save money and prevent incurring date change fees or penalties from airlines.
Airlines often charge extra fees when changing flight dates, which can add up quickly. With a flexible ticket, however, these fees can be avoided and provide for a less stressful travel experience.
Google Flights makes searching with various dates easy, while also offering a calendar view that helps pinpoint the cheapest times and days to travel – this can help you save hundreds on airfare costs!
Skyscanner and Expedia both provide flexible date searches; however, these websites don’t display all airline prices and have limited functionality; in particular they don’t show airline-specific fares which often offer the lowest available fares.
Travelstart, an Australian site, provides flexible date searches that prioritize price by listing dates with lower fares first followed by advanced booking windows – making this tool invaluable for price sensitive travelers.
Book with a seat assignment.
Seat assignments make your journey that much smoother. Without one, the airline will assign one upon check-in – something which can be avoided by downloading your airline’s app as soon as you book your flight – this way when check-in time comes around, you’ll receive a push notification telling you when windows or aisle seats become available and giving you first dibs on them!
Subscribing to services such as Expert Flyer or SeatGuru may be another solution. With these services, you can set a seat alert so that when an ideal seat (such as row 1 on an Airline X 777) opens up prior to departure, they’ll notify you. They also keep tabs on your flight and notify if aircraft type changes which can impact seat availability.
If you decide to book a basic economy ticket, make an effort to select your seat early. Although this may cost additional dollars, doing so can prevent those without assigned seats from having their travel disrupted by strangers during busy travel periods or holidays; additionally, passengers without assigned seating are usually the first ones removed when overselling occurs and you want to ensure you remain eligible.