The airlines don’t want you to read this.
They have a bunch of tricks up their sleeves to nickel and dime us (Spirit’s carry-on luggage fees, anyone?) but they don’t realize that two can play this game.
On any given flight, there will be a schmuck who forked over hundreds of dollars for his seat sitting right next to a smart shopper who paid only half that for the very same in-flight amenities.
Don’t be that schmuck! Beat the airlines at their own game and score the cheapest tickets on the plane with the following 7 tips.
Clear your browser’s cookies.
Many travel websites base their prices on how many times you’ve visited their website (the more you visit, the higher the prices.)
You want to appear as a first-time visitor to snag the best prices, so you need to remember to clear your browser’s cookies before trekking over to any travel website.
Consider flying red eye.
Sometimes cheap airline tickets come with a price. In this case, the price is sleep.
You could save a whole lot of cash by flying first thing in the morning or overnight. There’s a low demand for red eye flight tickets simply because fewer people are willing to go through the hassle of flying during the wee hours.
Well, want to know a secret? Contrary to popular belief, red eye flights are not a hassle at all! They actually come with a lot of perks, including faster check-in, fewer passengers, more luggage space, and a thicker wallet!
Use a promo code.
A few months ago, I paid only $174 for me and my fiance to fly round trip from Denver to Phoenix. That’s $87 per person!
I managed to snag such a sweet deal by performing a 5-second Google search. I found a $26 off promo code, and I purchased both tickets separately so I could use the promo code twice. I ended up saving $52!
The Internet is chock full of promo codes just waiting to be used by anyone. Before looking for flight tickets, do a Google search for flight promo codes, check out OneTravel’s latest deals, or visit RetailMeNot’s flight coupons page for the latest promo codes.
Buy on Tuesday at 3 pm EST.
Most airlines roll out discounted tickets every Monday night.
However, travel comparison sites don’t pick up the discounted tickets until the following day. Tuesday at 3 pm EST is the best time to buy flight tickets because it’s when the maximum number of cheap seats are available to consumers. Be sure to find the best deal and snag it before everyone else does!
Search one ticket at a time.
Not all seats are equal.
You know how travel websites ask you how many people are traveling with you? Well, always put down one (yourself).
It’s because if you put down more than one person, the airline will show you only the available seats that will allow your group to sit together, and often times they aren’t the cheapest seats on the plane. Let’s say there are cheap $80 seats scattered all over the plane, but you’ll miss them because you did a search for three people and you were shown only empty rows of three seats at $150 a pop.
To avoid this (and to score those awesome $80 seats), ensure that there are enough seats on the plane for everyone in your group, and then search one ticket a time. Don’t forget to clear your browser’s cookies before searching again!
Don’t forget about Southwest or Ryanair!
Some budget airlines like Southwest (USA) and Ryanair (Europe) never sell their tickets on travel comparison websites. You need to visit those airlines’ websites separately to check their ticket prices. Sometimes they offer the lowest prices around.
Get a credit card tied to the airline you most frequently use.
If you’re partial to a certain airline, you might want to consider getting a credit card tied to them. Having one will let you snag some perks, like free checked bags, free miles, priority boarding, and seat selection.
If you have any more tricks up your sleeve, please be a dear and share them with us! We’ll be forever grateful!