How To Always Book The Cheapest Airfares

Trying to find the best deals when booking airline tickets can be a frustrating experience. Prices constantly fluctuate and the true cost of flights are hidden under the add-on fees airlines now charge. Trying to time when and how to buy tickets can feel as tricky as timing the stock market. So to ease your pain, here are my tips to help you get the upper hand when booking your tickets to nail the best possible price.


Tip #1: Be Flexible And Identify Cheapest Days To Fly

Three things impact the price of your ticket. The date and time of your departure and the route that you take. Getting the best price when buying plane tickets demands you be flexible.

First, avoid popular flying days which tend to be the start and the end of the weekend (Friday and Sunday). Second, consider flying early or late. Most people don’t want to fly at the crack of dawn or past their bedtime. Third, look at alternate airports for departures and arrivals. Going through less popular airports can dramatically reduce the price of the ticket, justifying the hassle of less convenient airports.

But how do you truly find the cheapest day, time and route to fly in a given period. My trick has been to use Select country or state you are flying to and then when picking the dates make sure to click on the search by month option. This will display a chart showing the price fluctuations across days of the month.

This takes all the guess work out of identifying the cheapest day to fly in any given period. The below example shows the cheapest flight between New York and Orlando. The cheapest day for the month of May is Wednesday 11th and for the return as Tuesday 17th.



If you’re flexible with the arrival city, then only enter the country’s name in the search box. So for example, if you search flights between London and Spain, skyscanner will show you which city is cheapest to fly into.

One final word of advice on this point. Even with this predictive tool, flight prices fluctuate frequently over any period. It’s a good idea to keep checking your flights frequently before booking. If you see a deal on your route jump on it. Don’t try to be too smart, it’s impossible to game the system to get the absolute lowest price.


Tip #2: Sign Up For Airfare Alerts

This is a great way to track prices on routes and dates that you’re interested in. Many travel sites offer a travel alert service by email that alerts you when prices go down. A great service to use is, which along with tracking the shared data provided by airlines, has a team dedicated to checking fares from discount airlines to include in their alert service.

An alternative to email alerts are twitter alerts. The best deals are usually last minute and for a short time.  @Airfarewatchdog tweets deals every day of the week, alerts on discount promo codes and other fare deals.


Tip #3 Consider Alternatives To Travel Search Engines

Believe it or not, travel agents still exist and they have access to special rates not available to the public. For expensive routes its always a good idea to check with a travel agent to see whether they can get a better price than the quotes you got online.

Consolidators specialize in buying discounted tickets in bulk BUT they usually come with heavy restrictions. They’re definitely worth checking out to find cheap tickets. Log onto, and to see consolidator fares.

Please read this to get a better understanding on how consolidated fares work.


Tip #4: Budget Airlines Are Your Best Friend

If your craving for cheap tickets overrides your need for comfort then you should be on a first name basis with the budget airlines in your neck of the woods. Even with all the add-on fees that you pay on budget airlines the final price tends to be (much) cheaper than flying on a major carrier.

I’m currently in Asia and all my flights have been through They (by far) have the cheapest tickets to all destinations in this region. Sometimes their price difference can be very dramatic. My flight from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne was for $400 half the price of the next cheapest flight I could find on any other airline.

Obviously these discount airlines are able to provide their lower fare by having limited in-flight service. There are no complimentary drinks or food, you have to pay for all your checked baggage, you need to print your boarding pass at home and when you run a foul of their conditions they’ll make you pay high penalties. But, at the end of the day, we accept this in return for the cheap tickets.


Tip#5: Search For Tickets Anonymously

Have you ever noticed while repetitively searching for a route, the prices listed suddenly increase as you browse. You’re not alone. These travel sites track your your search history using cookies. When they notice a pattern for a particular route they’ll increase the prices. It’s a psychological trick. It makes you think the prices for your route are increasing and you should book immediately before they skyrocket. It’s very effective.

That is why it’s best to search in anonymous mode. All browsers offer this option. Your cookies will reset each time you re-open a browser in anonymous mode. If you want to start with a clean slate for each flight search close all your windows and open a new one.