Ways & How

How to Get Discount Airline Tickets

How to Get Discount Airline Tickets

Airline ticket prices vary from day to day, much like the stock market. This is because airlines want to maximize ticket sales for every flight. Unlike the menu at your favorite restaurant, airfare prices tend to respond to real-time changes in supply and demand. The trick to figuring out how to get discount airline tickets is to make your bookings when supply exceeds demand. Below are some pointers on how you can catch a great deal when that window opens.

  1. Keep yourself updated about special offers and promo codes by subscribing to airline alerts via email and social media sites. Good places to get started are online booking services like Expedia and TripAdvisor. You may also want to follow airline websites and Twitter accounts.

  2. Watch out for price wars between competing airlines. Airline companies usually follow a herd mentality; when one offers discount tickets, others will typically do the same to prevent losing too many market shares.

  3. In most instances, the advice to book flights during the slow season is not practical because oftentimes, you will need to travel during the peak season like holidays and summer.



    However, if you are willing to put up with some inconvenience, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars in airfare. Look for flights that are scheduled at rather awkward times, such as early morning, midnight, or during mealtimes. Airline companies charge premium rates for a noon flight because they know that most people will not feel like getting up very early just to make it to a 5 a.m. check-in at the airport.

  4. Don’t book your flights earlier than four months in advance. The cheapest plane ticket rates are never released earlier than four months ahead, simply because at that time, airline companies are not too worried about not being able to fill up the plane. However, there are exceptions to this, such as travel that is due to fall on very busy days (like right before the start of a long weekend) or during periods when fuel surcharges have been rapidly increasing due to oil market trends. In these cases, you may be justified in wanting to book early to lock in the prices.

  5. Try to be as flexible as possible regarding your travel dates.

  6. If your schedule can allow it, choose to go on flights with one or more scheduled layovers; they are significantly cheaper compared to nonstop flights.

  7. If you have a sense of adventure, you can also take your chances and choose to catch last-minute flights. Oftentimes, a passenger will not be able to make a flight, leaving a seat empty at the last moment. Airlines usually prefer to sell this at a heavily discounted rate rather than leave it unused. The downside to this, however, is that you should be prepared to go on your trip with short notice. Not everybody will be okay with this arrangement.

  8. Do some research on applicable discounts that you can use. Members of the AARP can get at least 10% of regular airline rates. Some airlines will also have their own policy on senior discounts and it doesn’t hurt to ask how you can avail of these if you qualify. Also, many major credit card companies have airline tie-ups; check if you can get rebates.

  9. As a last resort, check with group buying sites like Deal Grocer and Groupon for any travel deals.

Aside from wanting to save, many travelers enjoy finding out how to get discount airline tickets because they get a kick out of bargain hunting. Nothing quite beats the satisfaction of getting something premium for much less than retail price.

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