5 simple tips for finding cheaper flights

Posted on Nov 13th 2018 By obptravel

Do you need to fly somewhere but have a limited budget? Don’t worry, we are here to help. We have put together five really easy and practical tips so that booking a flight does not end up costing an arm and a leg. Whether it is a short or long-haul flight, simply follow our advice and you will save precious money.

1. Use flight comparison websites

When you go grocery shopping, you compare the prices of tomatoes, eggs or rice, right? Well it’s the same with flights. And the best way to compare prices is through a flight comparison website. Always use at least two different ones to make sure that you find the lowest fare in the market. One is not enough. There are some really good search engines out there (including our own), but every flight comparison site has distinct commercial agreements. The fares on display rely on the terms agreed with the advertisers (airlines and online travel agencies). Also, advertisers will appear on some websites but not others, and this inevitably means that you will encounter price differences. Therefore make sure you compare the comparison sites, if you get the gist.

2. Activate fare alerts

First you need to understand that each flight has a limited number of seats. Prices fluctuate constantly according to the laws of supply and demand. A flight is like an auction, and the first seat sold will not carry the same price tag as the last one. Hence, the fare you pay will depend on how full the flight is at a certain time. A really useful tool available on most flight comparison websites is the “fare alert”. Subscribe by using your e-mail address and automatically receive an e-mail alert each time the price moves (up or down). You will be able to observe how the fare evolves over time without having to perform a search each time. When the price has met your expectations, you will know it is the right time to make a booking. Some websites even include flight insights that predict prices and recommend the best time to purchase.

3. Flexibility

Flexibility can greatly help with the task of obtaining a cheap flight ticket, and we are not referring to your ability to do the splits. What we mean is that it can pay off to be flexible with airports, timetables and airlines. For instance, it is usually cheaper to fly to Orio al Serio (BGY) for Milan, Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) for Istanbul, and Basel (BSL) for Zurich. Also, a flight leaving at 7am on a Tuesday will normally be cheaper than a flight on Sunday evening. You can also contemplate buying two single flights with different airlines instead of a return with the same airline. With long-haul flights, you can consider departing from an altogether different airport. Imagine you live in London and the cheapest flight to Lima is £510rtn, but there is another one departing from Paris for just £290rtn. You could travel by coach directly to Paris airport for about £20 each way, and still save a lot of money. The trade-off is (more) time for (less) money. It won’t always work out this way, but it is worth taking into account if you are on a really tight budget.

4. Loyalty schemes

We are not going to write about this in great detail, as there are many websites and even books entirely dedicated to this subject. Suffice to say that joining a loyalty scheme is one of the best ways to obtain very cheap flights. The basic premise is to earn air miles and exchange them for discounts on flights. Also, the more you fly, the bigger the rewards. Think business class travel, airport lounges, credit cards and much more. Avios points for example can be regarded as currency like GBP or USD because you can purchase so many things with them. Frequent flyers in the UK may be interested in the Executive Club for British Airways, Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club, Easyjet Plus, or myJet2. Not all loyalty schemes are the same, so it’s important to choose the right one for you.

5. Follow us

Now that you are wiser after reading the first four tips, you can still do something else! Find out about the latest holiday deals, cheap flights and more. It’s easy and also free. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or on our Telegram channel. And then sign up to our newsletter. Find out first hand about all the latest travel offers and never miss anything. Go on, what are you waiting for?

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