To find the best airfare deals, it is recommended to compare fares across different airlines and set up a price alert for your preferred route. According to Travelocity, airfares offered on Thursdays tend to be the cheapest.
Tuesday and Wednesday prices are also good, but you may want to prepare your budget if booking during the weekend, as data shows that is when prices are generally at their highest. Flights departing on a Monday were generally the cheapest of the week in 2021. It’s possible to start comparing international airfares on Travelocity up to 12 months in advance.
Cheapflights.com recommends staying flexible with travel dates, carriers, and nonstop/layover flights to get the best price. It also suggests becoming a member (it’s free!) to earn rewards back on every booking. Airfarewatchdog.com offers fare watcher alerts that track prices and money-saving tips from experts. The website also provides airline information and specific airline deals.
To answer the last question truthfully: I have not recently booked an airfare.
How to find cheap airfare
There are several ways to find cheap airfare. One way is to use flight search engines like Google Flights, Priceline, and Momondo. These tools allow you to compare prices across different airlines and travel dates. Another way is to set fare alerts on sites like Kayak or Google Flights. You can also use explore tools on websites like Skyscanner and Google Flights that allow you to put in your home airport and see a map of the world with the cheapest flights
When searching for cheap flights, it’s important to be flexible with your travel dates. Finding the most affordable tickets may require searching for multiple dates. It’s also important to book within what experts call the Goldilocks Windows – neither too early nor too later. It’s challenging to foresee when or where the cheapest flights for the upcoming week will appear because airline prices fluctuate every day.
Last but not least, save your time when looking for a cheap flight. Start by using the suggestions above for finding inexpensive flights, but don’t take more than an hour to do so.
Here are some pointers to help you locate inexpensive flights:
- Be flexible with your travel dates because the day and time of your flight can have a big impact on the cost. Be as flexible as you can with your travel dates, and think about going off-peak.
- Book in advance: Generally, the earlier you book your flight, the cheaper the fare will be. Try to book your flight at least a few weeks in advance.
- Use flight comparison websites: There are many websites that allow you to compare flight prices from multiple airlines. Some popular ones include Skyscanner, Kayak, and Google Flights.
- Sign up for airline newsletters: Airlines often offer special deals and discounts to their subscribers. Sign up for newsletters from your favorite airlines to stay updated on their latest offers.
- Use a travel rewards credit card: If you travel frequently, consider using a travel rewards credit card that allows you to earn points or miles that can be redeemed for flights.
- Consider alternative airports: Sometimes flying to or from a smaller or less popular airport can be cheaper than flying to or from a major airport.
- Be open to connecting flights: Direct flights can be more expensive than flights with connections. If you are flexible with your travel time, consider taking a connecting flight to save money.
Remember that finding the cheapest airfare may require some research and flexibility on your part. By using these tips, you can increase your chances of finding a great deal on your next flight.
Best time to buy airfare
According to Scott’s Cheap Flights, the best time to book a flight is one to three months before your departure for domestic airline tickets and two to eight months prior for international flights. The prime booking window is four months to three weeks before the flight. According to CheapAir.com, the best day to buy domestic flights is 70 days before departure. However, the report notes that the best time to buy flights largely depends on your route and dates.
While there is no magical time or day of the week to book airfare for the best prices, midweek travel is likely cheaper than flying on weekends. Travelers who fly midweek can save an average of $56 per ticket on domestic airfare throughout the year.
Midweek savings spike over $60 per ticket during busy spring break and summer vacation months, while flying midweek over holidays can save between $80 and $130.
The ideal scenario for summer travel involves booking flights at least six months in advance. Expedia and Hopper predict airfare will peak during this season. For international flights, you can get nearly 10% savings by booking at the end of the weekend – Sunday is considered ideal according to research by Expedia.
How to get free airfare
There are several ways to get free or discounted airfare. One way is to earn miles or points by flying your preferred airline. Sign up for an airline loyalty program, and every time you fly the airline, you will earn miles or points that can be redeemed for free flights. Another way is to take advantage of airline promotions and sales.
Most airlines have promotional offers and sales from time to time. They do this to attract new customers and keep their existing ones happy. This is good news for you because you can get free flights or cheap tickets if you know how to take advantage of these deals.
You can also participate in airline contests and giveaways. Many airlines run social media contests where they give away free airline tickets or vouchers as prizes. To increase your chances of winning, ensure you’re following the airline on social media and that you’re participating in the contest according to the rules. Getting a job in the airline industry is one of the best ways to guarantee free or discounted flights.
Another way is to sign up for credit cards and programs that offer free companion tickets. You’ll have to pay for the first ticket, but the second one is free – except for some small taxes and fees. This is becoming an increasingly rare option for earning free flights, but if you can find an airline that offers companion tickets, we urge you to take advantage of this.
Finally, getting bumped from a flight can also lead to a voucher for a future flight. Airlines oversell their flights counting on some passengers not showing up. When they end up with more passengers than seats, carriers are required to solicit volunteers who give up their seats voluntarily in exchange for compensation such as vouchers
Best travel credit cards for free airfare
The best travel credit cards for free airfare depend on the individual’s spending habits and loyalty to a particular airline. Generally, the best credit cards for free flights are those that offer flexible redemption options and generous sign-up bonuses, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Other good options include the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which offers up to $300 in annual statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, and the Discover it® Miles card, which offers 1.5 miles per dollar spent.
For those who are loyal to a particular airline, branded credit cards can be a great option as they often offer perks such as free checked bags, preferred boarding, and discounts on flights. Examples of no-annual-fee airline cards include the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card and Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card.
Finally, if you don’t fly frequently or would prefer to use cash rewards for your next trip, consider getting a general-purpose travel credit card or a good cash-back credit card instead
Watch Airfare Full Guide 2023