We teach you a few tricks about booking your flight tickets so that you get the best deals at the airfares of your choice.
If you’ve watched the film Titanic (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?) and if you’re a travel buff, you might remember what Jack says about travelling and why he gets out as often as he can. He says, “I love waking up in the morning not knowing what’s gonna happen or who I’m gonna meet, where I’m gonna wind up.”
Well, Jack had it easier than the rest of us with his penchant for travel. For one thing, he loved to travel rough. Secondly, he didn’t mind lumping himself up with ten other people in a tiny space. For a third, he jumped aboard the Titanic at the last minute. If Jack did the same today with the modern-age flight bookings, he would have to cancel his trip! Imagine booking at the last minute and settling for whatever’s available! That’s a lot of money down the drain.
If you want to save money on airfare, don’t be like Jack. But you could certainly use his many wiles to crack the code on getting the best deals on your flight tickets – remember how Jack made his way to the great ship by pure chance? And it must be said that all of your ingenuity is required when you are looking for the lowest airfares. It seems like every time you try to book your tickets, the fares have increased overnight.
It’s not pure bad luck that this happens to you, because you’re doing it wrong. If you thought that the guy from your office—who travels more than he walks in to work—has a bag of money to spend, think again. He is probably really clever about booking cheap air tickets that greatly minimizes his overall travel costs.
People who vacation frequently are not extremely rich but extremely smart about their bookings.
But before you saunter over to your traveller colleague’s desk (if he is not out on holiday, that is) you should read these five easy hacks to book cheap air tickets for your next holiday:
1. If it’s Tuesday…
Any frequent flier will tell you that booking an afternoon flight, results in a lot of money saved on airfare. More to the point, a Tuesday afternoon will give you the lowest airfares across airlines. Why does this happen? For one thing, airlines are already booked right from Friday to Monday, with the next spell of travel starting from Wednesday to Friday. So Tuesday is the odd day out. Plus, nobody really relishes flying out in the afternoon and landing at their destination at an unearthly hour, so Tuesday afternoon flights have a lot of vacant seats. Airlines are often glad to sell these empty seats and you are bound to get a good deal on them. You will get an even better deal if you book two months in advance.
2. Browse ‘Incognito’
If you use a Google Chrome browser, you must have noticed that if your mouse pointer hovers over the browser icon, it asks if you want to ‘Browse Incognito’. This Incognito mode is offered by other browsers as well, but Chrome is the best one. Checking into the Incognito mode puts you (virtually) in a secret cocoon where you can browse for flights without airlines tracking your cookies and search histories. You can scour the Internet for domestic flight offers, cheap flight tickets and the lowest airfares without any of the airlines tracking your preferences – hence, airlines cannot offer you inflated flight rates when booking or hike the prices within minutes of you launching your search. This airline behaviour forces customers to book instantly, thus paying a lot of money for the tickets. Avoid this problem by putting the ‘Incognito’ barrier between yourself and other portals.
3. Budget Airlines Will Do the Job
You can fly in opulent luxury in the business class of a premium airline or save a lot money by taking a budget airline to the same destination. Sure, you won’t be pampered as much and the food might even be worse than bland, but you can divert the money you saved on flight tickets back into your holiday. If you save money on flights, you could probably use it for an extra day on your trip.
4. Make Your Stopover, Part of Your Holiday
So, you have an 8-hour stopover on your India to US flight. Instead of walking around in circles at the stopover and waiting for your flight to roll in, simply include the stopover in your holiday plans. This means that if you have one stop at Dubai, for example, you can book a flight out of Dubai two days later, thus using the two intermediate days to explore Dubai. You can then fly out of the stopover country based on your convenience. Plus, you’ll save money if you book a separate flight out of the stopover destination.
5. Register for Fare Alerts
There are tools called ‘fare alerts’ that help potential fliers know when the airfares to their desired destinations drop. These alerts are provided by travel portals and aggregators. You simply have to register with the fare alert site and specify the desired sector and travel date. When airfares drop for those particular specifications, the site sends emails at once – so you can book quickly within the window provided. Some fare alert sites also send fare histories for two weeks, plus flight options to choose from basis the date and time you are comfortable with. That’s it! And it’s a lot of money saved!