How to get the cheapest price on Airfare

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by alohastephen, Sep 2, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. alohastephen

    alohastephen Gold Member

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    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-to-get-the-cheapest-price-on-airfare.html

    Airfare tends to be the most cost-prohibitive part of planning a vacation or trip. And with delayed flights, over-crowded cabins, excess fees and no free food, it’s surprising that airlines are able to charge such high tickets prices.

    During the course of a day, prices fluctuate depending on availability. “Airfare is the most volatile part of traveling compared to the price of hotels or cruises,” says Gabe Saglie, senior editor at Travelzoo.

    Despite the abundance of metasearch engines, like Kayak, Google Flights, or Fly.com, and online travel agencies (OTAs), finding the lowest-priced airfare is still a tedious process. “There’s not one place or website where you can find the absolute lowest price,” says John DiScala, editor in chief of JohnnyJet.com. “It changes every minute and it takes time to find the cheapest price.”

    To simplify your search, setting up daily or weekly price alerts will help you know when prices drop so you can get the best deal, suggests Jessica Casano-Antonellis, spokesperson for Kayak.
    Doing research is only one way to get a cheap ticket.

    Shop in the ‘magic window.’ “Generally speaking, buying airfare more than three months out doesn’t make a lot of sense,” says Saglie. “At three months is when people should start scoping out pricing.” Saglie suggests knowing all the airport options at your destination to help increase your chances of finding the best deal.

    “Up until 28 days prior to your trip, ticket prices are pretty much the same,” says Sarah Keeling, director of public relations at Expedia. Prices are at their lowest between 18 to 28 days prior to your trip, she says, and is your magic window to book.

    Domestic fares are lowest 21 days before departure, says Casano-Antonellis. These fares were about 8% lower than average fares available six months before departure, according to Kayak. The average fare increases 5% two weeks before departure, with fares increasing 30% from their lows the week before departure. International fares don’t fluctuate as much; 34 days before departure, fares are about 4% lower than the average at six months before departure.

    Book your hotel when you book airfare. “As a general rule of thumb, the more you can tack on to your vacation package upfront—even including things like meals and tours—the better the savings over do-it-yourself pricing,” says Saglie.

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