Traveling is fun, but sometimes it can come at a great cost, especially if you want to plan a spontaneous trip with friends or families. You can’t get cheap flight tickets to your desired location. However, these days, some tips and tricks can help you get some good deals from airlines and travel websites. You can use and redeem some travel points from credit cards too. Here’s what you need to know.
Look for single seats
If you are traveling with family or friends, try looking for seats individually. Airplane companies constantly change their pricing terms and conditions; sometimes a seat to the same destination in the same plane may be cheaper than another seat. If you try to look for seats together for a group, the search engine will probably only offer the same price for all the seats while booking, which will end up being heavy on your pocket. However, if you book individually, you may find a seat slightly cheaper, and other friends/relatives can book separately to save some money.
Similarly, try to search for one-way tickets instead of booking return flights together. Often airlines may not have a seat in the economy section on one side, so they will bump you up to another class from both ways, increasing the ticket prices in the bargain. Instead, book flight tickets to and from destinations separately.
Ask, and you shall receive
This may not always work, but it’s worth a shot. While booking your tickets, keep an eye out for any upgrades or seats available in another class. When you reach the counter, you can simply ask if there are any available seats. While the online price for those upgrades is pretty expensive, the pricing can drop suddenly if they remain unbooked until the last moment! You can sweep in at the chance of getting a cheap upgrade or even free if you are lucky.
Known as the “hidden-city” trick, this is useful if you can find that your actual destination is simply a layover on a long flight to another city. Sometimes, a long flight is cheaper than a direct flight, so if you are planning to go to NYC from DC, you can try taking a DC to LA flight with a layover in NYC. With such flights, you have to be careful about your baggage as, most often, the bags that are checked in will only be available at the final destination. So travel light! There are some websites like Skiplagged that help you find these hidden cities. However, be careful as some airlines have found this to be an offense and could lead to some repercussions.
If you can keep an open mind and be flexible about your destination, this is a great option. Some sites like Skyscanner allow you to search for flight prices to literally all destinations at once! Not only does this show you cheap flight options, but it also helps you explore some destinations that you didn’t even consider before. Similarly, you may even try to change your itinerary a little bit. If you are planning to travel to a particular city in a country and the tickets seem too expensive, you can try traveling to another city in the same country and take local transport to reach your final destination.
Cheap business class tickets
Due to the travel uncertainties around the world, leisure travel is still at its lowest. This makes it difficult for airlines to pack their business class with customers. This is the right time to keep an eye and get some sweet deals for luxury seats. Some airlines even offer a bid on upgrades to those traveling in the economy class. You just bid the price you are willing for an upgrade, and if you win, it’s yours! Most airlines are open to giving the seats to fairly cheap bids without any hassle since they know it’ll just help the business, even if it’s little.
Direct contact with the airline
Some other tips to keep in mind is to use your frequent flier miles appropriately! Till the last minute, the airline or the rewards website may not show you any available cheap tickets, but if you call their helpline and chat with their representative, they may give you some unreleased offers that you could avail yourself by redeeming your miles. Also, be careful and flexible of your dates as it is observed that if you try booking a flight within 21 days of take-off, the price will only get more expensive and fixed. This is because the airlines consider these last-minute bookings to be corporate bookings and charge a lot. Try booking your flight closer to the 21-day window!