I am sure it usually happens with all of us that we get to know about the ongoing discount on flight fares through a friend but when we go for booking, the discount remains no longer applicable. We face such conditions when we remain ignorant of the latest updates, otherwise who doesn't like to save?
Saving on flight fare is nowhere less than receiving an award as both give the joy of achievement. Or it could be the satisfaction of paying less to the airlines who upcharge their customers and still make headlines for problems in customer service. Of course, none of this should bother you if you are already a seasoned frequent flyer.
Finding cheap flights is never easy especially with enormous number of search options, several comparison websites and fluctuating prices. So, here are some of the tips to help you in finding a cheap flight:
Do a Round Trip Vs One-way Flight Comparison on Travel Booking or Airline Sites:
Whenever you search for a flight, compare the prices both ways, i.e., for round trip as well as one way. If you check sites like EaseMyTrip.com, you will see the difference. When I had to go Delhi from Bangalore, I was searching for flights on one-way mode to check if any discounts are being offered by airlines which they don't offer during round trip.
Although I didn't find any discounted flights on one-way trip mode, I realized that I was able to save around Rs 649 by booking a round-trip, which was costing around Rs 5760 rather than Rs 6439 (cost of two one-way flights if booked separately). Another benefit of booking on EaseMyTrip is that they don't charge any convenience fee which also saves some amount of money.
Keep Your Dates and Days of Travel Flexible:
If you travel on festival dates or any public holiday date, definitely the fares will be high. In that circumstance, you either need to book the flight six months before or else be open to changing your travel dates. Fares also vary as per the days, for example: while searching for flights on any of the sites, either travel booking or airlines like Vistara or Indigo, you can check that fares differ as per day - on Monday it may be more and on Wednesday it may be less.
For checking fares on different days, search for any flight on EaseMyTrip. The website calendar will show you the prices of all days in a particular month, giving a clear idea about the cheap and expensive days.
Try to Be Flexible with Your Traveling Time:
People who can manage to travel on undesirable hours like early morning or late night are able to save more as flight fares remain cheaper. Opt for this option only when you are comfortable with traveling at odd timings.
Let me give you an example of this. My flight was booked at 4 a.m. in the morning for returning from Hyderabad to Bangalore. In spite of leaving for the airport around 2 a.m. in the night, I preferred to reach the airport at around 9 p.m. and stay there. I was traveling alone and my friend was not comfortable with midnight driving.
When I reached home, I just became restless and my whole day was wasted in sleeping. It's true that I saved some money but that was at the cost of my health. So my advice is that you should plan your travel at odd timings only if you will be able to manage your health.
Be Active on Social Media:
Follow the Twitter handle of your favorite airlines as most of the airfare deals are shared over there. Twitter does not only inform about news updates but it also notifies about the discounts on fares. The benefit of being on Twitter is that you don't need to visit websites of different airlines, rather you can stay updated in one place. By clicking on the link of the tweets, one can visit the airlines' website directly to know more about the offers - you could even land some last-minute flight deals as airlines try to fill seats.
Here is the list of some popular airlines' twitter handles:
Name of Airline
Set Alerts to Track Fares on Your Preferred Sites:
Checking the websites of travel booking companies or of your favorite airlines is a tedious task for which none of us have time. In order to stay updated about the best available discounts without wasting time, it's better to set alerts or keep the notifications on for your favorite sites so that you may keep track of the discounts.
You can also set a reminder on Google alerts to know about cheap airfares. Using Google Flights is another option for knowing about the upcoming discounts on flights.
Check Cheapest Flights at Nearby Airports:
If you find that your destination is expensive, then the alternate option is to research the nearby airports where flights are available at lowest prices and from there you can travel by car to your destination. So in order to decide, all you need to do is compare the costs of different modes so that you may opt for the best one.
Search in Incognito Mode:
If you are searching for flights on a normal internet page and notice that the cheapest airfare suddenly disappeared, rather an expensive fare is shown as the best deal, then there are chances that you are getting tracked by cookies. In order to avoid them, it's better to search in incognito mode. In the incognito mode, cookies are reset each time you re-open the window.
Don't know how to use incognito mode? Here are the steps:
If you are using google chrome, use Ctrl+Shift+N and in Safari hit Command, Shift and 'N' key.
A new browser window will be opened where the information is not getting tracked and if the site is showing cheapest fare, it will not disappear.
In case you are not good with keys, just open the browser.
Click on new incognito window under the 'File' tab present at the top of the desktop screen.
Compare the Prices Through Sites like Momondo:
The interface of Momondo is very easy to navigate and it shows the most relevant options by filtering the search results. It is one of the best platforms for price comparison as they compare the prices from the sites of airlines as well as from third-party sites.