We’ve all experienced the frustration of trying to get the best deal during an airline seat sale only to have the website crash just before check-out and your seats taken by the time you’ve refreshed. While waiting for airline alerts is one way to get discounts, there are other less stressful ways to save on your airfare. Here are a few tricks to try:
Use an app that can help you compare rates
Probably one of the best apps that can help you compare and collate rates especially if you're traveling abroad is Skyscanner. You’ll get to see all your pricing options from hundreds of airlines, plus get tips on red-eye flights that usually cost lower than regular ones.
Pick a flight that falls in the middle of the week.
According to a feature on Mashable, the cheapest flights are usually scheduled on Tuesdays at around 3 in the afternoon. Sales start at this time, too, and are pulled out by Thursdays. If you can, avoid booking weekend flights as they’re more expensive than usual due to the number of people who prefer the schedule.
Take advantage of tour packages.
Sometimes, it’s best to approach a travel agency to help fix your trip for you. Agencies usually get discounts from partner airlines, hotels, and resorts, which help keep costs low. You can also check out websites that can simultaneously book flights and accommodations, such as Expedia.
Book a month in advance for local flights and earlier for international flights.
For domestic travel, News.com.au reports that booking six months before your planned departure date may actually cost 19 percent higher than flights booked only a month before. That being said, the sweet spot is usually 47 days prior the trip.
For international flights, it’s best to book as early as you can in order to have more airline and pricing options available.
Book connecting flights instead of going direct.
Nonstop international flights can sometimes be more expensive than those with layovers. For example, if you’re planning a trip from Manila to San Francisco in the U.S. for ten days in May, a roundtrip ticket for a direct flight could cost you up to $1,863.91* or P97,036.09 as of writing. That’s an okay deal especially if you're in a rush or have a limited number of leaves, but if you’re feeling a bit adventurous with a few hours to spare, you can try booking an Asiana connecting flight with a layover at Seoul (where yes, you can look around a bit as the airline offers free transit tours), and a ticket will only cost you $956.36* or P49,788.58, which is roughly half of the direct flight. Not bad at all!
Pick a travel-friendly credit card that can help you collect miles.
A credit card with a partnered airline allows you to earn rewards points every time you spend, which you can later on convert into miles. So if you’re a traveler at heart who pays her bills and does her groceries using her card, then milk those points for all they’re worth!
*Rates featured can change without prior notice.