Great Tips for Cheap Airfares

by brian on March 14, 2009

An interview on NPR revealed that the best days of the week to fly for the best ticket prices were Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.

The best day of the week to actually buy the ticket is Tuesday afternoon.

Other tips for the best airline ticket prices:

Be Flexible with Your Dates
In my experience you can also great fares if you’re willing to be flexible about your dates. Most booking options on the Internet ask if you are “flexible” with your dates, meaning they will show the fares for the days you request, and then show the fares for a few days before and after you want to fly. If there is a significant cost difference, you may want to change your plans to take advantage.

Consider Early Morning and Late Night Flights
Early morning and late red eye flights are generally not packed. Everyone wants to fly in the middle of the afternoon and early evening. Do not be one of the lemmings and save money by going during the off peaks hours.

Plus you deal with less crowds in the airport terminals and can get through the security lines faster. That to me is reason enough to fly during the early morning and late evening.

Book a Round Trip Ticket
Even if you are traveling one way, look at the round trip ticket. It could be cheaper than the one way fare. Makes no sense you say? I know, but I’ve experienced this firsthand.

When I flew from Rome to get back to New York, I booked a round trip flight from Rome to Amsterdam, because the round trip ticket was significantly cheaper. As in hundreds of dollars cheaper.

Look at the airports nearby
In New York, there is JFK for international flights. But I flew out of Newark in New Jersey which is the same distance to JFK for me when I started my round the world trip because the price was less. The “secondary” airports of your area are generally less crowded and could give you a significant price advantage. Don’t ignore them.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeremy Jones March 14, 2009 at 3:10 PM

One thing I have noticed for cheap tickets was flying through alternative cities and avenues rather than direct flights offered on websites.

One example to illustrate my point – my itinerary has me going from Indonesia to India as of now. Looking at flights on kayak straight from Bali to Delhi it would be very expensive. Bali to Mumbai would be hundreds of dollars cheaper. Bali to Kuala Lumpur, overnight, then Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai would be even cheaper still.

The ironic thing? The flight from Bali to Mumbai has a layover in Kuala Lumpur. But booking each leg separately is significantly cheaper even with paying for 1 night in KL.

If I were set on going to Delhi immediately, I would be paying at least $400 more.


brian March 14, 2009 at 5:05 PM

@Living the Dream
Booking the flights is like traveling itself. You have to be flexible and be willing to look at something a different way. When we were booking our way from Barcelona to Marrakesh, we went through days of options until we finally hit on something that fit our budgets and schedules. It took a while, but we were happy with the end result.


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