Come Fly with Me?

As a travel consultant, I cannot tell you how often I’m asked if I know any secrets to booking the best flights and getting the best airfares. Don’t I wish!?!

Sure, there are tips and there is expert advice, but to say that you can guarantee the best airfare deal is folly. The airline industry is extremely volatile. By the time you research an airfare, discuss it with your travel partner or client, and make a decision, it has probably changed…several times!

Whether you go direct to the source by calling or going on the websites of the airlines or  the numerous consolidators (e.g. OrbitZ, Expedia, and  Travelocity) or sites that compare and offer fares from multiple sites (e.g. Kayak), searching for and comparing fares and itineraries can be time consuming, confusing and frustrating.

There’s no magic or secret, but there are some recommendations:

When You Buy:

  • Purchase tickets on Monday or Tuesday, around noon PST or midday EST. Airlines typically announce sales on Monday nights and other airlines match them on Tuesday morning. So, during this time period, typically the greatest number of sale tickets are available.

When You Fly:

  • Arrival DeparturesIf possible, travel during shoulder seasons and off-peak times.
  •  Avoid holidays and typical vacation times as much as possible.
  • Try to fly on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.

Now, the Fun Part:

  • Write down your “ideal”/preferred itinerary: Include destination, dates, departure and arrival times, departure and arrival airports, etc. If  you have favorites, write that all down, too. Start checking as early as possible, find itineraries/fares that fit your  preferences best and track them.
  • Have a Plan B and C for above. Be as flexible as possible.
  • Look at and review travel itinerary options VERY, VERY carefully including the number of connections, the connecting airports, and length of layovers. Maybe that fare is a few dollars cheaper but do you really want to make 4 connections or  get up at 3 a.m. to  make the flight? What sounds good on paper may not be so great in reality.
  • When you think you’ve found the best deal that works for you, book it and don’t look back!

For more Travel TipZ about:  Planning, Preparing, Being a Savvy Traveler and when the best deal isn’t always the best deal

 

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How do you go about booking your flights? Do you have any tricks or techniques that have worked for you?

 

Reference: Condé Nast Traveler

Sign graphic courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotography.org

 

About PostcardZ from Victoria

Wish you were here! I love sharing my passion for travel and insights I've learned along the way. Enjoy my travel tips and inspiration with a lighthearted twist! Join me as we create a forum for sharing experiences and information! Enjoy my newly published book, "Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style!" and then let's go to Italy together!
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3 Responses to Come Fly with Me?

  1. Cheryl Kroyer says:

    Good advice. I think getting good fares is like buying a car. You never know if you got the best one. Sometimes a helpful agent for the airlines will take the time and interest to find you a great deal. I always hope for that person.

  2. Thanks for visiting and for your comment, Cheryl. So true, about airfares. Sometimes you just have to go for it and be OK with what you got. Even though airlines don’t pay commissions and it is so time consuming, there probably are agents who will watchdog for you, for a fee.

  3. Pingback: Today's Travel TidBitZ: Remember When...It Used to Be Fun to Fly? (Honest!) | Postcards from Travel PiZazz

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