How to Save Money on Airfare
You can reduce the cost of your airline tickets.
If you are planning to take a trip and your mode of transportation is a jet plane, you will soon discover that airfare has increased as has related fees for security, baggage handling and food. Finding a cheap flight is more of challenge these days, but it isn’t impossible, provided you know how and where to look for discounted tickets.
Plan ahead. The earlier you plan your trip, the better. Secure your tickets as soon as possible to obtain discounts and to thwart eventual price increases. Keep in mind, however, that you can sometimes secure last minute bargains if your travel plans crop up suddenly. You stand a better chance of a discount if the flights out and back are not full.
Look online. Airlines routinely post fare information online including their lowest fares. Start with your favorite airline site, but don’t stop there. You’ll want to check with fare discounters too including Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz. Set up alerts to have this information sent to you.
Travel off-peak. If you travel when everyone else travels, you will find discounts are not readily available. Leave and return on a Tuesday or a Wednesday and you will pay less than the person who leaves and returns on the weekend. Discounts can also be had during slower times of the year for certain destinations.
Use different airports. Flying from point “A” to point “B” does not have to be accomplished by taking off and landing at the busiest airports. For instance, if you are traveling from New York to Los Angeles, you might want to start your trip at MacArthur and go to Long Beach. This option may prove cheaper than traveling from JFK to LAX.
Connect and save. Fly nonstop and you will get to your destination faster. You will also pay more than the person that connects at another airport when flying over a long distance. The savings for connecting flights can be tremendous, shaving hundreds of dollars off of your flight according to USA Today.
Carry-on only. Check your baggage and you will likely pay $25 or more per bag each way, a cost you can avoid if you can carry your items onboard. TSA fees cannot be avoided, but if you think you’ll get hungry while onboard, eat a big meal before checking in. You will pay handsomely for anything you must purchase when flying.
Cheap Ticket Considerations
You may not be able to get cheap tickets, but you may be able to save money by using a travel agent. Agents are particularly helpful with arranging package deals that include airfare, hotel stays, car rental and related expenses.