It’s all about supply and demand.
As the demand goes up during peak times (summer and holidays), so do airfares.
Throughout the summer and from Thanksgiving through New Years, it is generally hard to find low fares.
But there are a few tricks:
1. Try to fly on less popular travel dates to avoid peak crowds and highest fares.
The worst days will be:
Friday, Sunday & Monday
The best days are:
Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday
FYI: Data is mixed as to the best time of day. The earlier in the day you fly, the less chance of getting bumped or delayed. However, as to the impact on your ticket price, that seems to be hard to qualify.
2. The best time to buy airline tickets is after midnight during the week when fares
are uploaded. There are only a handful of cheap seats. When those get sold out,
the price goes up to the next tier and so on. Another good time to buy tickets
is on Tuesday afternoon when sales are posted.
TIP: Signing up for Twitter alerts and email notifications from your favorite airlines are good ways to learn about deals.
3. Flights with connections cost less than direct or non-stop flights. The big concern
with connecting flights is delays and missed connections. This depends on which
airports and airlines you use. For example, Chicago’s O-Hare airport is
notoriously bad for delayed flights. American Airlines has one of the worst records with
an on-time departure of only 54 percent. Be careful about tight connections.
Not allowing enough time between connecting flights can easily cause a missed
connection these days. Rebooking on the next flight may not be an option if a plane
is full or it is the last flight of the day. www.flightstats.com
4. Check alternate airports to compare fares. Flying out of a different airport usually
results in a different fare that may be much less than your hometown or main
TIP: Be sure to allow plenty of time to get through security as lines will be long this summer!
5. Comparison shop. Compare the fares offered by the airlines by visiting their websites (for a complete listing, http://www.listofairlines.org/),
Check one or two popular travel sites (they are generally comparable), auction
sites (http://www.priceline.com/ is one of my favorites), and reputable consolidators.
Stay tuned for the rest of this series, My Five Favorite Cruise Hacks and My Five Favorite Cheap Hotel Hacks. Coming Soon!
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