Finding the best flight deals is no longer about simply shopping around on the internet for hours on end – although we always recommend you compare prices on Skyscanner before you book. Get the full facts about how to find the best deal from industry experts and travel bloggers and learn a few new travel hacks to make sure you get a flight at a price that fits your budget.
Booking Early Doesn’t Always Work
So a budget airline has announced a fabulous new route with ridiculously low flight prices. But how do you actually get a hold those bargain basement tickets? Surprisingly, getting cheap flights isn’t necessarily about getting in there early. Regularly checking prices is more important – Skyscanners price alert emails can help you keep track of price fluctuations. “Airlines can and do release discounted tickets at any time before a flight,”. So when it comes to regular (non-sale) fares, you might be best off booking three weeks or two months before departure, depending on your destination. It’s also worth remembering that airfare sales typically only apply to flights within the next few weeks or months, though occasionally some will run through to the end of the airline’s schedule.
Try and be flexible. You’re more likely to find cheap flights by flying at unsociable times. “You’ll often find cheaper fares on flights scheduled for lighter periods, such as early morning, red-eye flights or flights departing on a Saturday afternoon or evening.
No Cookies No Worries
It’s a common belief that making repeated searches for certain flights pushes up the price. Many people do not believe this when we say go Incognito when searching for flights. We have seen a huge difference in price when doing, we then found Skyscanner. They only show prices passed on to them by travel agents or airlines, therefore it isn’t possible for the Skyscanner cookie to influence these prices.
If you want to search for flights through another agent then this is what you need to do. Go to the Toolbar click on the top right you should be presented with a list. Scroll down until you see incognito or private browsing mode, press it and the screen turns black, search as normal for flights.
Nobody likes spam but consider signing up for airline newsletters – you’ll be the first to hear about sales. You’ll also find out exactly when tickets for new routes go on sale, allowing you to grab the bargains before anyone else does. Airlines are also increasingly keen on improving their social media presence, so by signing up to their Facebook group or subscribing to their Twitter feed, you’ll often be the first to hear about great deals. Alternatively, sign up to Skyscanner’s weekly email and we’ll let you know about new routes, cheap flight offers and any new or exciting destinations that should be on your holiday hit list.
Look to Book a Package.
If you need a hotel in addition to your flight, it may be cheaper to buy a flight-and-hotel package than to book each separately. Many hotels take this opportunity to hide a very aggressive discount within a packaged price versus discounting the hotel alone. This is a great opportunity to find deals on big brands that are hesitant to have a low price next to their name.
Airlines are required by the DOT to offer 24-hour freehold or cancellations as long as you are booking your ticket 7 days prior to your travel date. Typically, you’ll have to pay first, then you get the full refund. The only exception is American Airlines, which is transitioning to this policy, but still, offers a freehold for 24 hours. The other big exception to note is that you have to book with the airline directly. This rule doesn’t apply if you book your ticket with an OTA (online travel agency), like Expedia or Orbitz.
Layovers are Good
Even though a nonstop is ideal, you can sometimes save £100 to £200 by stretching your legs during a plane change. Some airlines, like Iceland Air, also offer free stopovers — meaning you can extend your stay in the layover city and make it part of your vacation.
Find The Cheapest Place To Fly
Whether you know exactly where you’re going or you just want to find to the cheapest possible country to fly into, kiwi.com is a great tool to get the wanderlust going and save some big bucks. Hop on their site and enter your departure city, then select a date range to fly. Approximate costs then appear over hundreds of countries around the globe from your departure point, while the list of destinations is sorted by price, allowing you to see the most cost-effective place you can fly.