5 Ways To Score An Incredible Deal On Flights By Booking In Advance
Did you know that the further in advance that you book a flight, the more of a discount you can get on your ticket? Booking a flight in advance can help you save money, but there’s more than just the date to consider when you’re looking for an incredible deal — so try these five tips for scoring a great price on your plane ticket.
1. Check the airlines’ websites and the aggregators, like Skyscanner, Kayak or Expedia, for the best deal. When you’re looking for a great rate on a flight, check the price directly from the airline’s homepage, plus a few of the online aggregators to find the best overall price. Make sure to look for any special offers and promo codes, too. And don’t forget to read the fine print to make sure you’re getting the best deal you can.
2. Fly during off-peak hours and days. Not only is it usually cheaper to fly at the less popular times of the day and week, but you’ll also find it much easier to get a seat — not to mention a better night’s sleep when you’re flying overnight. And if banks and corporations are flying their customers on the same route, you may be able to snag a seat on their flights at a more reasonable fee.
3. Look for shorter stopovers. If you’re looking for a great deal on a flight that’s longer than a few hours, look for flights with shorter stopovers. You’ll avoid spending extra time in the airport and save yourself a few extra dollars.
4. Buy a return ticket instead of two separate ones. Often, when you book a return ticket, you’ll get a better deal than if you purchase two one-way tickets separately. And in some cases, you’ll also get the added benefit of more flexible travel options in terms of times and dates.
5. Consider flying budget airlines. Budget airlines often offer great deals on flights, but make sure to read the fine print before you book — many of them offer super-cheap fares if you’re prepared to pay extra for seats, meals or bags. And because they often pair places you wouldn’t find in typical flight searches, you may be able to get unbeatable value.
6. Be Flexible With Your Travel Plans
If you’re able to, being flexible with your plans can really help you save money and score an incredible flight deal. Sometimes airlines offer cheaper flights if you’re willing to make a pit-stop — so as long as it’s only for a few hours or overnight, it could save you some serious cash. You might even be able to take a cheaper flight if you’re willing to travel a few days earlier or later.
And if you can’t be flexible with your route but there’s some wiggle room in your dates, you might find yourself with a great deal. Different days of the week are cheaper than others and if you’re able to travel at any time, the savings will be even greater. Plus, when you fly during off-peak times you’ll likely get more bang for your buck.
And even if you can’t change the dates of your trip, you might be able to fly out slightly earlier in the day or later at night — making sure you check the prices before you choose the time. Any savings at this stage will mean more money for your travels.
7. Seek Out Special Offers
Everyone loves a bargain and it only takes minutes to look around for special offers on flights. Do your research yourself, or sign up for the newsletters of the airlines and travel aggregators to make sure you’re first in line for the latest deals.
You can also hunt down promotions from hotels that may come in the form of bonus points or discounts that include flight tickets. Flying business or first class can also be cheaper if your airline offers an upgrade incentive program — and if you’ve got a long-haul flight you could really save some cash this way.
And if you’re looking for the best deal available, make sure you use a specialist flight search engine. These take into account factors like budget and full-service airlines, plus any special offers, to help you make an informed decision.
Look for Special Deals for Tourists
Another great way to find a great deal on your flights is to take advantage of discounted tickets offered to tourists. If you’re looking to get away from your hometown and experience something new, be sure to look for discounted rates for flights. Many countries offer special discounts for travel within certain regions — making them the perfect option when you’re looking for a great deal.
For example, when you’re heading overseas for a once in a lifetime trip to Europe, look for flight discount programs like Eurostar, Eurojets, SkyEurope and Pegasus Airlines. They often offer great deals that can save you up to 40% or more.
And the same goes when you’re booking a domestic flight. Consider joining airline loyalty programs like Southwest’s Rapid Rewards or JetBlue’s TrueBlue to help you save even more. With a loyalty program, you can enjoy exclusive offers and discounts that can help you get the best airfare available.
9. Book With Aircraft Brokers
When you’re looking for an incredible deal on a flight, consider booking with aircraft brokers. Brokers act as middlemen between you and the airlines, meaning that they’ll be able to get you a considerable discount on flights. They can often get around “maximum allowable fares” and preferential rates to make sure that you’re getting the best possible price on your flight.
The same goes for business or first class trips. Aircraft brokers are experts at getting business or first class flights at a fraction of the price — which means that you’ll be able to get the most out of your travel budget.
Plus, when you’re booking with an aircraft broker, you can often make payments in installments — which means that you’ll be able to enjoy only the best rates without having to worry about paying for it all upfront.
10. Look for Student and Military Discounts
Whether you’re a student or a member of the military, you may be able to take advantage of discounted rates on flights. Airlines like Southwest, United and Delta all offer discounts for students, and many airlines also offer discounts for members of the military. So if you’re traveling for school or for business, take a few minutes to search for student or military discounts.
In addition to the discounts offered by the airlines, student or military ID holders often get exclusive travel deals from travel websites, hotels, museums and tourist attractions around the world. Many of these deals even help you save on flights to some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
11. Consider Flight Deals for Groups
If you’re traveling with a group, consider looking into special group discounts. Many airlines offer special deals when you’re booking for more than two people on the same itinerary, and these deals can often be found on third-party websites like Expedia and Travelocity.
You can also try to bundle your flight with hotel accommodations and a car rental. This approach can provide even more savings — and it’s great for larger travel groups. Plus, if you’re planning on sightseeing while you’re away, you can look into packages that include museum passes, concert tickets and restaurant discounts.
Booking with a group isn’t just about getting great deals — it’s a great way to explore new destinations with some of your closest friends or family at a fraction of the cost.
12. Look for Loyalty Programs
Partnering with an airline and signing up for its loyalty program can maximize your savings when you’re booking in advance. Airlines often offer exclusive deals and discounts to their loyalty members, and you’ll always be the first to hear about new promotions — so make sure to join the loyalty program of your favorite airline if you’re a frequent flyer.
You can also combine loyalty programs when you’re booking a flight. For example, if you’re a frequent flyer with American Airlines, it’s often cheaper to book a flight with American and their partner airlines than it is to just book American Airlines alone.
And when you’re booking with a partner airline, make sure to check if you can earn American Airlines miles even when you’re flying with the partner airline. You never know how many rewards you may be able to get — and it could mean big savings on future flights.
13. Use Flight-Search Apps
Finally, if you’re looking for an incredible deal on flights, make sure to download the latest flight-searching apps. These will often include exclusive offers and discounts that may not be listed anywhere else — so make sure to check the app for your next flight.
Plus, these apps often allow you to share flights with other users — so if you’re traveling with someone else, you’ll be able to sync your travel preferences and find the best flights for both of you.
But before you book, make sure you compare the prices of the flight-search app with both the airline and the online aggregators to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
- Q: What’s the best way to find a great deal on a flight?
A: The best way to find a great deal on a flight is to look for special offers and compare prices on the airlines’ websites and the aggregators, like Skyscanner, Kayak or Expedia.
- Q: Does the time I fly make a difference when looking for a great deal?
A: Yes, flying during off-peak hours and days can help you get a great deal on a flight since there are usually fewer people flying at those times. Moreover, banks and corporations often fly their customers on the same route, so you may be able to snag a seat on those flights at a reasonable fee.
- Q: What are the advantages of booking with a flight broker?
A: When you’re booking with a flight broker, you may be able to get considerable discount on flights as brokers are experts at getting business or first class flights at a fraction of the price. Additionally, you may be able to book with them in installments, rather than paying for your flight all upfront.