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Have Patience And You Could Save Big- How To Get Cheaper Flights Closer To Departure

Many of us live with the mindset, “If I wait, I’ll get a better deal.​” This thinking isn’t always true, especially when it comes to airline tickets.​ If you delay, you could end up paying much more than the price you’d get at the time of booking.​ But, if you’ve got patience and a hefty dose of research, you can score big savings on your next flight.​

The best time to book a flight is usually six to eight weeks before your travel.​ You can take advantage of airline sales that happen at that time, or discount opportunities that airlines make available at the time.​ For international flights, start searching three months in advance.​ Although booking during this time will provide savings, you can still get cheaper flights closer to your departure.​ Here’s how.​

Monitor airline sales.​ Airlines often promote fantastic deals and discounts to get you to book with them.​ Just keep a lookout for things like “2-for-1” sales or “Three Days Only” deals.​ You can even subscribe to notifications that provide you with the flight discounts.​ Most of these emails contain specific regions and destinations, so you’d need to narrow down if you’re looking for something very specific.​

Be flexible with your dates and times.​ You can make big savings if you’re open to taking a flight on an alternate date.​ For instance, booking your flight on a Tuesday instead of Friday could save you big bucks.​ Most airlines offer promotional rates in their off-season periods, so look out for those.​ Also consider taking a flight a few days before or after your intended travel.​ You could find huge discounts.​

Book direct flights when possible.​ Many travel aggregator sites offer discounted tickets, but they’re usually done by connecting flights.​ This could end up taking more time as you’d need to change planes, not to mention, the extra baggage and check-ins.​ So when you can, book the direct flight and save more in the long run.​

To get cheap flights closer to departure, play around with your search filters.​ Setting a maximum and minimum price range can bring up some interesting flight options.​ Using this tactic will also help you avoid seeing only the more expensive options when searching.​ For instance, if you’re flying from Chicago to Atlanta, put a price range of $200 to $400 to get the most out of your search.​

You can even try playing around with the airports.​ You would be surprised by how much different fares you would get by flying to a near-by airport instead of the intended one.​ This could save you anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.​

Check Aggregator Sites for the Best Deals

Aggregator sites compile airfares from different airlines all at once.​ So, if you’re looking to get cheap flights close to your departure date, checking these sites would be ideal.​ Depending on your choice, you can pick up a whole level of airline offerings that are unavailable elsewhere.​ Aggregator sites also remove the need to check individual sites, giving you the best result in a matter of seconds.​

Another great benefit of aggregator sites is that you can view some amazing deals such as the ‘Open Jaw’ ticket.​

Cheaper Flights
Here, you travel from one city to another, and back from another city.​ This gives you the option to explore more than one destination on a single trip.​ On top of all this, many of theaggregator sites offer low-cost hotels, rental cars, along with their discounts.​ This could save you more time and money than booking separately.​

When booking through such sites, make sure to read the fine print.​ This is important since you can face cancellations or additional charges when booking isn’t done properly.​ So try to keep any prior information handy before starting your booking process.​

Use Rewards Programs for the Ultimate Savings

That’s right – sometimes, saving money isn’t necessarily about booking the cheapest flight.​ A smart way to get the most out of air travel is to sign up for loyalty programs.​ You can either use your points, miles or through cash-based certificates.​

When you join a rewards program, you open yourself up to exclusive deals that can save you hundreds of dollars on air tickets.​ The airline companies also offer certain days such as “Travel Tuesdays” or “Wanderlust Wednesdays” when the deals they offer can be worth your while.​

Rewards programs also provide you with special offers and nudges with notifications.​ You’ll get to view the best prices for flights before it’s available to the public, giving you the chance to save a lot.​ That said, make sure you check their cancellation and refund policies before signing up.​

Look Out for Last Minute Deals

If you’re trying to get cheap flights closer to departure, you can look for ‘just-in-time’ deals.​ Some companies offer last-minute deals on their PayPal, Google, or Apple wallets.​ These would not be advertised, so you’d have to actively search for them.​

Depending on your destination, you can narrow your search in forums or online travel communities.​ Usually, travelers who end up canceling a reservation would post their unused tickets or vouchers for discounts.​

Another option would be to sign up for newsletters.​ Various sites and companies offer special deals to subscribers.​ All you need to do is attempt to get yourself on the company’s e-mail list with links on their home page.​ Be sure to read any social media updates as well.​

Don’t Forget To Check Local Airports

Most of the time, we focus on the major airports that we know of, such as JFK or Heathrow.​ But, what we don’t know is that local airports could provide us with some great deals.​ If you’re looking for cheap flights and your destination isn’t too far off, look for the smaller airports that are in the vicinity.​

Certain airlines offer regular flights from local airports which are cheaper.​ Sure, you’d have to be ready to drive an hour or so to get to the airport, depending on the distance, but it could still save you more than taking the flight from the major airport.​

Scour the Web for Discount Codes

Did you know that you can use promotional codes to get discounts on flights? If you search deep, you’d find exclusive coupon codes that can get you up to 70% off your ticket price.​ This might require more digging, like trying to find promo code sites or entering into contests.​

There are various tools and apps that serve as “airfare trackers” that keep track of the prices changing.​ It also sends out notifications when there is a drop in price.​ You can also use these trackers to figure out the best time to book your flight.​ All you have to do is set up a search for a particular route, like Chicago to Las Vegas and the app will track any price changes.​

FAQ

What is the best time to book a flight?

The best time to book a flight is usually six to eight weeks before your travel.​ For international flights, it is best to start searching three months in advance.​

What are the different ways of getting cheaper flights?

You can score cheaper flights by monitoring airline sales, being flexible with dates and time, booking direct flights, playing around with search filters, using aggregator sites for best deals, using rewards program, looking at last-minute deals and scouring web for discount codes.​

What is the difference between major & local airports?

Major airports usually have higher cost flights and local airports usually have lower cost flights if destination is not too far from major airport.​