Finding the best deals on plane tickets isn’t always difficult. Moreover, now there are many tools that make it easier to find the most economical prices. This tool not only saves expenses, but also search time.
Reporting from Travel and Leisure, here are tips for finding the best flight deals that suit your pocket and needs.
Looking for flights
If you want a lot of things in a flight, it’s best to start with a metasearch engine, like Kayak or Google Flights. These sites search airline websites and online travel agents (OTA) at the same time so they can quickly find the best prices. Keep in mind that there are some airlines that do not appear on most third-party websites.
Using OTA vs. Airline Websites
After finding a good flight on a metasearch engine, travelers will most likely visit an online travel agent such as Tiket.com, Traveloka, Pegi-pegi, or the airline’s own website, to book that flight.
Online travel agents can save money in several ways. First, they can combine two one-way flights on different airlines into one itinerary, something they can’t do if booked directly through the airline’s website. They can also monitor flight price trends, and can even set alerts if prices drop.
Another way to save money by booking through an online travel agent is to use an in-house loyalty program. For example, taking advantage of flight and hotel promos at the same time.
Travelers who want to be practical may prefer to book flights through the airline’s website. So if there is a problem, customer service does not need to go through a third party.
Compare options and prices
There are several factors to consider when comparing flight prices, keep in mind that the lowest priced ticket may not always be the best choice.
Don’t forget to consider things like checked baggage and seat selection. This can make cheap ticket prices even more expensive.
Apart from that, pay attention to whether the ticket is refundable or not. “While non-refundable tickets tend to be cheaper, the flexibility of refundable fares is worth the additional costs if travel plans change,” said Alex Miller, founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, quoted by Travel and Leisure.
However, if your departure is certain and you want to bear the risk of your ticket being forfeited if it is cancelled, buying cheap tickets is not a problem.
Also pay attention to flight times. Typically, low-priced tickets don’t include things like seat selection or even carry-on bags. Additionally, passengers with basic economy tickets board the plane last, increasing the likelihood of the overhead baggage space being full. So, despite the savings, there is potential for stress.
Flight times with cheap tickets are usually at odd times, for example too early or too late. Consider the cost to the airport during these hours. Public transportation such as trains or buses may not operate at these times so you will have to take a taxi.
The cheapest flights may also have long layovers adding unnecessary travel time. Consider the money you might spend at the airport during your layover.
Use credit card promos
Having a credit card that offers flight discounts can save money. Sometimes, savings can be obtained from baggage fees on credit cards.
Booking flights with airline miles or credit card points is also another way to get cheap tickets.
Saving money on flights is easier when travel plans are flexible. Jarrod West, senior content contributor at Upgraded Points, advises travelers to be flexible with both their dates and destination.
Google Flights has a way to help you find destinations with the cheapest plane tickets from your home airport. Travelers can see which destinations offer the best flight prices.