Reasonably Priced Airfare – Is That Possible?

Reasonably Priced Airfare – Is That Possible?

Most of us online travel savvy consumers check every airline booking engine wanting to get the best price for airline tickets. There is nothing worse than discovering that the person next to you got there for a fraction of the ticket price you paid. Here are some ways to ensure you get the best airfare deal out there, without spending days searching the internet or haggling with travel agents. How does one find the cheapest price for airline tickets? All the information you need for cheap airline ticket prices is on the internet and of course a bit of luck goes a long way.

Flight Search Engines

Travelers can find cheap airfare by comparison shopping online. There are two types of websites in which to do this: the traditional travel website such as Expedia or Orbitz and the flight search engines such as,,, and Sometimes after checking these sites it is a good idea to also go to the airlines site and possibly shave more dollars off the cost of airfare. Sites such as Expedia and Travelocity are often mistaken for flight search engines, but they are actually online travel agents.

The main difference in these websites is search capability. A travel web site like Expedia or Orbitz only searches its own database for available flights, hotel rooms, and car rentals which means the search is restrictive. However, you will obtain more search features and travel services at these sites.

Flight search engines will save you lots of time and money by shopping around for you – you enter your flight details and the site does all the searching for you simultaneously to find you the best deal. The search engines make money from paid advertising and referral fees – this means that when you click through to purchase your flight, they get a small fee for having pointed you there. So usually you don’t pay a fee when using them to book, but this is changing so always check for the fee disclosure before booking.

Generally, the fees should never be hidden from you, but in a rush to book you may easily overlook a charge that wasn’t obvious before. The profit margins for online travel sites are low, and they can be very creative in their fee structure if you don’t pay close attention. Because the budget airlines tend not to pay referral fees, most Flight Search Engines don’t include the budget airlines such as Jet Blue and American Eagle in their search results.

Additionally, travel search engines such as Sidestep, the results will include selections from airline sites, travel web sites, and other databases containing flight, room and car rental availability. The drawback is a simple search engine capability, but without all the bells and whistles you may be accustomed to from the traditional online travel websites. site.

Further, to take full advantage of the Internet using other popular sites like Google or Yahoo. Companies like your local automobile associations give away useful information to interest you in their membership. If you are a resort owner, the company owning the resort has a website where you can research and book your travel needs. When surfing, don’t forget sites such as eBay, Hotline and Priceline. The ‘bidding’ model has become a very popular way to shop online.

Travel Clubs

To obtain a reasonable airfare, you could join a travel club. In the last few years, specialty clubs have formed for the sole purpose of helping you save money when you travel. Sponsored by hotels, car rental companies and more who understand how competitive the market is, these niche clubs can save you money on travel. Membership in these clubs often consists of buying a coupon book of savings or paying a monthly membership fee. Don’t overlook the savings of these small ‘discount clubs.’

Travel Section of Your Local Newspaper

Researching through the travel section of your local Sunday newspaper you can find some really great bargain prices for airfare and on bundled travel packages. Sometimes, low airfares are found at your brick and mortar local travel agencies that deal with a particular destination. However, keep in mind that most advertised prices do not include taxes, luggage fee and airport tax, so the cheap airfare may end up being not so cheap. It’s best to read the small print to clarify exactly what you are getting before you purchase a ticket. A trick of the trade is for agencies to grab travelers’ attention by indicating the lowest possible prices, which only apply on specific dates in the low season.

Early Bird Specials

Although you can expect to get the cheapest air ticket if you start searching many months ahead, there are some exceptions. Purchasing an airline ticket at least ten days ahead of the scheduled trip will usually guarantee low airfares. It is a myth that the cheapest airfares are available to those who book last minute. Rather, the best deals are usually available about six months before departure, when the seats are first released for purchase, and these disappear as availability becomes scarce.

If you call an airline reservation desk and request airfare to a specific location, you would be quoted a rate that may not be the lowest airfare. Many times you’ll find that the cheap airfares are only offered on the internet, because when booking your airline ticket online you’re practicing the ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) no frills concept because there is no ticketing office to maintain, travel purchases are transacted online and since you are able to purchase online e-tickets, that alone saves time for the traveler and eliminates the need for the airlines to employ more people for processing travel purchases.

Flexible Travel Dates

Travel becomes expensive during school holidays. Depending on the destination, it is often cheaper to travel on a Sunday or mid-week, or if you stay over the weekend. Checking prices for dates a few days before or after you originally wanted to fly can often have a big impact on airfares. Extending your stay for a few days either before or after the popular dates can save you money also. Look for travel deals on Wednesday and Saturday Mornings.

It is best to choose a weekday departure and arrival date when possible. This is because weekend flights get filled up faster than weekdays and airlines often offer discounts to fill up the weekday flights. The cheapest flights tend to sell out within hours of being released. Airlines play with their fares at any time, so don’t be surprised if you checked on an airline fare an hour ago and the cost of your trip has increased.

At times, dates during the Christmas holiday or other periods of high demand the prices are usually inflated and planes fill up many months in advance. If you can be flexible and travel on the holiday for example, Christmas or New Years Eve you can find some pretty attractive discounts.

Be aware of travel website service and transfer fees. When booking travel online at travel websites it usually involves some type of service fee. The prices may range from five to twenty dollars. The fees to be aware of are transfer fees when you change your itinerary or cancel your travel plans. It can cost $100 or more to change after you’ve booked a flight.

Flying can be an expensive form of travel if you don’t examine all your possibilities. The travel industry continues to adjust to the advantages of the Internet. Billions of dollars have been invested in online travel booking systems, and new players continue to enter the market every year. Armed with these tips you’ll be better prepared to navigate through the maze to the very best deal for you. And there’s still that brick and mortar travel business if you don’t have the patience to search online for your travel needs. Do your homework; in the end there are far better things to spend your money on while on your next vacation, or business trip.