How to Find Cheap Flights

How to Find Cheap Flights For many people trying to plan an affordable summer vacation, finding cheap flights is the first hurdle. There’s no secret recipe to finding affordable flights. Rather, it’s a new experience every time! While some of the below tips on finding cheap flights may work for you, others may not be applicable. Wade through these tips, pick a few that work, and you’re almost certain to snag a deal for your upcoming trip!

Be flexible with your travel dates. Airlines operate on the basic rules of supply and demand. Traveling around the Fourth of July will be expensive this summer, as will flights around Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day, and other holidays. Be willing to shift your travel dates as necessary.

Fly standby. With airlines trying to stretch their budgets, fewer flights are taking off at half-passenger capacity. Nevertheless, there will always be open seats from time to time. Call up nearby airports to see if there were any cancellations or unsold tickets on flights that interest you.

Go off the beaten path. Many airlines feature special deals to travelers who are willing to be flexible with their destination. You might find that visiting a bargain destination city is actually more fun than whatever town you originally had in mind!

Use different search engines. It’s a common misconception that all of the price comparison airline websites show the same deals. Use at least 2-3 different price comparison websites. You’ll find that some flights are actually cheaper than you thought!

Sign up for those frequent flier memberships. Become a frequent flier member and you’ll start getting all kinds of rewards. Also, make sure that your primary credit card is associated with the frequent flier club. This is a great way to effortlessly rack up points you can then put towards your flight!

Check online auctions. Sometimes people or companies will purchase flights that they can’t use. Because the flights aren’t refundable, they’ll auction off the tickets. This is a great way to snag a deal. Obviously, this method is a little riskier than purchasing directly from an airline, so be sure to protect yourself as a consumer!

Call the airline directly. If you’re willing to be flexible (and you should, if you want to get a great deal), then you can always call up the airline directly and ask them for their lowest fare.

Look into the discount airlines. Some discount airlines (like JetBlue and Southwest Airlines) don’t list their flights on the main travel sites. In order to see their fares, you have to go directly to their websites. For Europe, check out RyanAir and EasyJet, two of the most popular discount airlines.

Happy travels for 2013! Good luck with your search for cheap flights!

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