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50 Best Ways to Find Cheap Flights

Posted On 12 September 2017

Top 50 Ways To Find Cheap Flights

We invite you to explore the best strategies, techniques and resources
regarding how to find the cheapest flights on the planet.
 

1.) Discover Meta-Meta Search for Cheaper Flights.

It is well known that the cheapest flight will not be found on one particular site every single time. Due to this fact it is imperative to check numerous sites before committing your money. The quickest way to do this is by using a metasearch engine or flight aggregator. These are clever sites that search numerous sites for you with one single user query.

However, the 'Secret' that not many know is that a single metasearch site will not weed out the cheapest deal for you every single time ..... This is due to 2 reasons -

1.) There is not a single flight comparison site in existence which searches every single travel site on the internet. Each comparison site tends to have different relationships with different travel agents and airlines thereby producing varying results. It is very unpredictable as to which one will produce the cheapest result. 

2.) The efficiency and accuracy via which the searches are conducted vary from one comparison site to another. On one given day one search engine may locate a particular deal with a travel agent only for another search engine to miss it due to the unique ways in which each of their algorithms work.
As a solution to this quandary we have developed what we like to call... -  A 'Meta-Meta Flight Search' Engine . This is a new concept in online flight finding where you can search multiple metasearch engines or aggregators with one single search. CheapFlightsFinder.com is the world's first meta-meta search engine and allows you to search all of best aggregators in seconds eliminating the need to laboriously enter your details in each one over and over again. In other words it is "The Mother" of all flight searches.
By searching all of the flight aggregators and comparing results you can actually save up to 20% off your flight ticket. 

CheapFlightsFinder searches flights from Momondo, KayakSkyscanner Google flights, Hipmunk, JetradarDohop and more from 1 single dashboard making it our first indispensible resource when hunting the truly lowest fares online.

Try CheapFlightsFinder now or Read more about Flight Comparison Sites ...

 2.) Use Experts By Outsourcing Your Flight Needs 

Expert help

However good you are at finding cheap flights - there is always a possibility that someone out there is better than you. In fact new services have sprung up which allow you to outsource your flight needs to travel experts who have made a veritable career out of finding the cheapest possible flights on the planet. these experts or flight hackers have spent hours upon hours researching various routes and their knowledge can often beat the best price any flight aggregator can discover on its own.

Services such as flightfox, flystein and chimpando all offer to utilise their experts to find the best deals in return for a finder's fee which varies according to the type of flight you require. The fee usually starts from around $27 for a basic return flight. These sites state they will find a cheaper flight for you - guaranteeing to save you more money than the finders fee or you get your money back. Well worth a try as there is nothing really to lose. The following points in our list utilise some of the tactics used by flight hackers to shave some extra money off your ticket.

 

3.) Hidden City Ticketing Search

Hidden city ticketing has been a well known flight hack for those in the know for a number of years now. The basic principle is that if you wanted to fly from city A to city B it is sometimes cheaper to book a flight from city A to city C with a stopover in city B. What you would need to do is simply get off the flight at city B and not continue on to city C. 

There are a few downsides to this type of behaviour - 1.) is that it is sometimes against the terms of the airline and you may have to pay a penalty for this type of activity such as having your frequent flier account suspended 2.) You can not check in luggage as it will only be available at city C. 

Some new sites have sprung up in order to find these hidden city tickets - one such site was skiplagged which was actually sued by united and american airlines for promoting such fares. In the end the case was settled as its not technically illegal just something the airlines dont care too much for. Nevertheless if you are not concerned with the downsides of this strategy it is an avenue well worth exploring.

4.) Take Advantage of Your Age

child discounts

Airlines often give discounts for children under the age of 12 and for adults over the age of 65. 

If your child is under the age of 2 you will usually pay a discounted infant fare. You should have the option of carrying the child in your lap. If you choose to use the seat the fare could be increased from an infant fare to a child fare. 

Discounts vary from airline to airline, nevertheless It is imperative that you mention the ages of your child whether you book your flights on the internet or not. 

Similarly with senior citizens, you should be eliglible for a discount up to 10% of the actual flight. 

Just make sure you enter your ages accurately when doing your preliminary searches. Prices could vary quite drastically if you fail to do so. 

 

5.) Collect and Redeem Frequent Flier Miles

Many airlines offer frequent flier programmes which allow you to collect air miles or points whenever you fly on their carriers and allow you to redeem those points for free or discounted flights in the future. 

These programmes have partnerships with numerous other companies allowing you to collect points when spending at those venues - These other avenues include everything from using particular credit cards to spending at various hotels. 

You should make sure you redeem your miles in good time as they usually have a time limit on when they can be used. Accounts are usually deactivated if no activity takes place for around 36 months 

You can also collect points if you fly with any of the airlines under a particular programme. For example the following airlines all operate under the one world partner airlines programme, and you can collect frequent flier miles whenever you travel with them: 

British Airways - American Airlines - Cathay Pacific - Finnair - Iberia - Japan Airlines - LAN - Malev Hungarian Airlines - Qantas - Royal Jordanian

 

 6.) Choose Your Season of Travel Wisely  

Seasonal Travel 

Make sure you travel in the season which is considered off peak in order that you can make the maximum saving on your airfare.
Generally speaking summer is the busiest season to travel - so it is advised to travel slightly later, like in the month of October.
A time which allows you to purchase flights for a reasonable price yet is still desirable to travel to is known in the business as 'The Shoulder Season'
It is best to check a destinations travel guide to find out when the 'Shoulder Seasons' are before planning a trip there.

Read more about Seasonal Travel
 

7.) Claim Compensation for Overbooked Flights 

You may find yourself in the unfortunate position of having your flight overbooked.

Airlines tend to overbook flights occasionally due to the fact that a certain percentage of passengers inevitably fail to show up.

If you find you cannot board your plane you may be entitled to compensation - a miscellaneous charges order may be offered to you which could range in value from $200 - $400.

Make sure you take advantage of all your rights and ask for compensation if anything like this should ever happen to you

Read more about overbooked flights

 

8.) Use Specialized Travel Agents 

specialised travel agent

Even though the advent of the internet and online booking has revolutionised the way we book our flights the need for travel agents has not yet come to an end.

You may find that in particular areas where a particular ethnic group reside you could find discounts to their homeland due to special deals they have negotiated with the airlines due to the volume of visitors they send there.

For example Southall (in London, England) is a centre for the south east asian community and you can find remarkable deals back to south east asia if you asked travel agents for flights in that locality.

Read more about using specialized travel agents

 

9.) Check Nearby Arrival and Departure Airports 

check different airports

When checking for flights always check airports at a close proximity to your nearest airport for flights to your required destination.

You could end up with significant savings. It is a similar situation with the arrival airport - always check alternate airports to see if you can get a cheaper deal.

For example - if travelling to London - Check flights to Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and Stansted aswell as Heathrow international airport.

The decision ultimately boils down to whether you want to save a little extra for the price of travelling a little further for a cheaper flight.

 

10.) Keep an Eye out for Error Fares 

Due to the extremely busy nature of airlines and airfare pricing - a phenomenon known as error fares are sometimes published.

It most commonly occurs when fuel surcharges, airport tax and other fees are not added onto the final price of the flight.

If you do go ahead and book an error fare it may be cancelled by the airline after they notice their mistake - however there have been instances where the error fare has been honoured.

A quick way of discovering error fares on cheapflightsfinder.com is to go to flexible dates > choose search everywhere > then select flexible dates > then select whole year search.

Our search engine will quickly find the best fares found in the entire year and any error fares will quickly show up.

 

 11.) Begin Your Search Early 

Book early 

It is a wise idea to leave adequate time for you to research numerous avenues and book your flight in good time.
The ideal time to book your flight would be at least 54 days before departure according to research from some of the leading flight comparison engines. 
You could wait for a cheap last minute flight but its a risky strategy and only to be employed if you are not worried about the seats on your flight selling out.
 

12.) Use Price Trends to Book at the Right Time

price trends

Kayak has a handy feature called "price trends" based on data from over a billion flight search queries. They will indicate whether the price is good to book now or you should wait for prices to drop.

Once you have located your flight and you are happy with the price you have found you should proceed to book your flights immediately.

One of the common ways in which people lose money is by procrastinating on buying the flight only for it to snapped up by someone else. 

 

13.) Book Your Flight and Other Needs Together 

book flight and hotel together

If you require hotel accommodation and car hire as well as a flight you may receive discounts by booking your needs altogether.

Expedia is a popular site which often gives an overall discount on the entire package if all things are booked together on their site.

What I would recommend is to use the best comparison sites for flights, hotels and car hire - check the total price - and then compare it with a package deal.

Then simply book the one who wins.

 

14.) Fly Late Night or Early Morning 

fly late night

You may receive discounts on your flight if you look for very early morning flights or very late night flights.

This is generally inconsequential if flying long haul but for short haul is likely to be a significant factor.

Generally speaking people dislike travelling at these hours hence airlines drop their prices to entice people into their aircrafts and fill their seats.

 

15.) Depart Mid Week 

depart mid week

The best times you choose to fly would be during the week. namely on a Tuesday, Wednesday or sometimes Thursday.

Weekends tend to be busier and airlines tend to raise their prices because they are aware of the demand associated with these days.

As a rule of thumb I would always recommend checking prices three days before and after your preferred departure time.

Cheapflightsfinder.com has a handy calendar function which allows you to see 3 days before and after effortlessly.

 

 16.) Bereavement Fares

 

If you are in the unfortunate position of having lost a family member you may be able to travel cheaply to attend a funeral or be by the ill persons bedside at their hour of need.
You may need to prove certain details with the airline to confirm your relation with the person you wish to travel to, nevertheless it is worth exploring if you really wish to travel and find yourself struggling financially.
It is not guaranteed that the flight offered to you will be cheaper than a conventional ticket so it is worth exploring some of the other options mentioned on this page.
 

17.) Research Alternate Routes

alternate routes

One vacation searching strategy which people often use is to research alternate routes by flying to a secondary nearby destination and then take a journey by road to your primary destination.

For example, booking an airplane ticket from Atlanta to Paris could set you back around $900. To cut the price of this international journey you could take a cheaper flight to a nearby destination, such as luxemburg, and in the process save a significant amount of money. Then you could take a road trip to Paris which would enable you to take in the sights of two different countries in one vacation.

 

18.) Check Directly with the Airline 

check airline directly

It is always worth checking any flight quotes you may have received from a travel agent with the airline directly.
However, some people mistakenly believe that the cheapest flight can be found by going to the airlines' site every single time. This is erroneous and it is often the case that an agent can beat the airline ticket price due to heavily discounted bulk price it got it for in the first place.

once again the trick is to check both sources in order to find the cheapest flights. 

 

19.) Book Your Fights Online 

book online

It is generally cheaper to book your flights online, simply due to the fact that agencies can cut down on staff costs by not having to employ an operater to take your calls and book your flights.

Just check that you are purchasing from a reputable site and that the page you enter your details into is a secure page signified by the 'https' found at the beginning of the url. (The web address)

 

20.) Throw Away Ticketing

throwaway tickets

This is a strategy employed when you only need a one way flight but a return flight to your desired destination is cheaper.
Passengers simply discard the return portion of their trip.

For example if someone needs only to fly from New York to Los Angeles - they may find the one way trip is more expensive than a return trip. Its important to note that you must use the first leg of the round trip ticket as the airline could cancel the entire fare after they realise the first portion was not used. 
  

21.) Sign up to Informative Newsletters

newsletters

There are literally hundreds of sites out there claiming to weed out the best deals for you and sending them directly to your inbox. Some of the best that I have found are those of Travelzoo (UK and USA), Dealchecker (UK) and Airfarewatchdog (North America only).

Travelzoo is famous for it's weekly newsletter that finds the top 20 best travel deals for you - It currently has over 12 million subscribers.

Airfarewatchdog (North America only) is another site which tracks all airlines aswell as promo codes and notifies you about the best deals directly to your inbox.

Dealchecker is another site which offers a weekly newsletter which contains their top ten hand picked deals. They often pick up pretty good bargains making it a worthwhile resource to sign up to.

I recommend you sign up to these sites to be notified of great deals as soon as they appear.

 

22.) Purchase from a Foreign Site 

foreign sites

It may be worth checking for flights from foreign sites to see whether you can aquire cheaper flights or not.
I have noted on occasion that the Expedia (US Site) often offers fares which are lower than the Expedia UK Site.

Just make sure that you are allowed to purchase tickets from them even though you may reside in another nation by checking the terms and conditions of the site. 

 

23.) Purchase A Last Minute Flight 

lastminute flights

Airlines often find that they have a number of seats on their aircraft which have not been filled so begin to drop prices as an incentive for people to book.
It is best to search for these last minute flights a few days before departure.

There is however an element of risk when looking for last minute flights as sometimes you may find that you cannot find a seat due to the fact that those deals are snapped up notoriously quickly. 

 

24.) Check Agents and Airlines Not Checked by the Aggregators

check agents

Even though my top advice would be to check prices through flight aggregators / flight comparison sites first, you should note that some companies do not allow their fares to be displayed on their systems.

Travelocity, Priceline and Southwest Airlines are all known not to display their deals on flight comparison sites so it is always worth checking their sites seperately to see if they can beat any offers you may have got elsewhere.

Travelocity and Priceline offer particularly good deals on long haul flights so it would be worth checking their sites if planning to travel slightly further afield.

 

 25.) Try to Avoid Travel During National Holidays/ Events

holiday travel 

It is always worth checking whether a particular destination has a national event taking place before you plan to travel to that area.
Dubai for example has a huge shopping festival from mid June to August and Izmir in Turkey has a huge trade fair early on in the year.
Ticket prices tend to rise for these destinations at these particular times and it may be worth travelling slightly earlier or waiting a while to acquire a much cheaper deal. 
 

26.) Check for Student Travel Discounts

Students often acquire discounts for flights via specialized travel agents which specialize in student travel.

Student Universe is one agency which is famous for finding cheap student deals.

There are also particular cards you can get which give you not only discounts on flights but many other venues aswell.

If you are in Full Time education and under the age of 26 you should apply for the ISIC Card which not only gives you discounts on flights but can also cut the price off cinema tickets, museums, restaurants and numerous shops.

If you a student of any age or are a member of faculty or teaching staff you may be entitled to the "International Student Exchange card". Numerous benefits are available to holders of this card which is recognised in 58 countries.

 

27.) Learn What is Considered a Good Price 

check prices

It is often the case that people buy tickets thinking that they have acquired an excellent deal without knowing the 'going rate' for flights during that time period. They only realise later that they could have brought a much cheaper flight if they had flown on a slightly different date.
For this reason it is very important that you educate yourself about what is considered a good price for the particular time you wish to travel so that you can evaluate whether you are getting a good deal or not.
Hopper.com offers a brilliant service to help facilitate this advice by tracking airfare prices for you and informing you when it is the best time to buy your airline ticket. 

 

28.) The More Flexible the Better 

Flexible Dates

It is generally well known that travellers who have more flexible travel itineraries are much more likely to acquire cheaper tickets than those people that have strict travel dates.
So if you want the best prices it is best to set yourself a loose time you wish to travel and then engage in searching for your best deal.
The best sites with powerful flexible date calendars are Google flights, Momondo and Skyscanner - Cheapflightsfinder.com also has powerful flexible date calendars but our data is powered by Skyscanner which sometimes fails to have data for less well travelled routes. 
My best advice would be to search Google flights to discover the best dates to travel and then plug those dates into cheapflightsfinder and see if any other meta search engines can offer a better price on those dates.

The differences within a few days can be surprisingly different. 

 

29.) Check Indirect Options 

indirect flights

Many sites on the internet do not automatically search for indirect flights to you desired destination.
It is imperative that when you are using these sites to search for flights you check the box which says 'search for indirect flights' too.
The difference in prices can be substantial if you are able to spend a little time longer flying to your destination. 
 

30.) Sign up to Helpful Forums 

use forums

It is always helpful to get tips from other travellers who have have years of experience searching for flights on the internet and through traditional means.
Two of the best forums where you can acquire quality advice from other travellers is at Flyertalk.com and MoneySavingExpert.com
Flyertalk.com has a very vibrant forum with discussions ranging from budget travel to frequent flier programmes and from entering travel contests to how to use bidding agencies. Very informative indeed.
Moneysavingexpert has a section dedicated to cheap flights - they have a vibrant community of users who offers useful advice on a range of topics you otherwise wouldn't have thought of. 
 

31.) Become a Travel Representative

Many people may think that it is difficult to acquire the same benefits as a professional travel agent by having to put in lots of time and effort and investing lots of money.
However, unknown to many, one can acquire the same benefits as travel agents by becoming qualified through the travel institute.
You will have to pay a fee and take a test to acquire your accreditation after which you can approach different travel companies and become a sales partner for them.

After that you can enjoy many of the benefits and discounts that professional travel agents enjoy. 

 

32.) Need Cheap Multi City Flights? - Here's How

Multi city flights

If you require multiple flights from one destination to another before flying home it is worth checking specialized search facilities which will weed out those deals for you.
Kayak Multi Flight Search, Skyscanner, Momondo and Cheapflightsfinder all have multi city flight search options. Simply enter your entire travel itinerary in their search engines and they will locate the best deals for you. We actually search all of the best meta search engines with one search here - multi stop flights.
Alternatively you can call travel agents that are experts in searching for multiple flights for you. Trailfinders, Travelmood and Statravel all specialize in finding multiple flights for consumers. 
 

33.) Call After Flight Purchase to Check for a Lower Price 

call the airline

Some people call the airline even after they have purchased the flight so that they can check whether the fare has dropped any further in price.
Some airlines will refund the difference whilst others will not. It certainly doesn't hurt to ask. Some airlines will charge a price for reissuing your ticket so it is only worth going for it if the discount outweighs the charge.

Yapta is a site which claims to notify you of price drops even after you have purchased your flight and helps you claim the difference from the airlines. 

 

34.) Keep an Eye Out for Price Wars 

price wars

Price wars amongst airlines can be initiated by an upstart airline which is trying to establish itself in the market.
The new company can start selling tickets at extremely low rates in order to lure customers away from their usual carriers. 
Norwegian is one such airline which is now offering extremely low rates to the USA from Europe.

You can sign up to individual airlines Twitter feeds to keep up with their latest offerings.
The benefit in such in such a situation is evidently on the side of the consumer. However the fares tend to come with a long list of restrictions so do make sure you check the small print before diving in and making a purchase 

 

35.) Ask the Airline or Agent to Match or Beat Your Price 

phone the airline

It may be worth phoning the airline or travel agent directly to enquire about their cheapest flights.
Simply get the cheapest quote you can find online (using the tips mentioned in this page) then phone up the airline and travel agent and ask them if they can beat it or at least match the price.
Airlines often update their fares between midnight and 1am on a wednesday. The closer you phone after this time the more likely you are to find a great deal.

Just make sure you are polite and friendly on the phone. Research indicates that people will go out of of their way to help you if you come across nicely. 

 

36.) Beware of Extra Taxes and Fees 

beware extra taxes

Many people find a really cheap flight on the internet only to be disappointed a short time later when they realise they have to pay quite a lot extra for additonal taxes and fees.
Due to this it is advised to always check this point thoroughly before you commit to purchase your flight. Many flight comparison sites for example do not show addtional taxes and fees when they present the flight price to you. Also by using certain payment cards there may be an extra charge presented to you.

It is also worth checking your baggage allowance on the flight. Some airlines have very strict baggage limits and require to pay extra if wanting to take more luggage on the craft. 

 

 37.) Clear out Your Cookies When Searching Online

clear your cookies 

Some websites use cookies to track your behaviour in order to observe your preferences and see what flights you are interested in.
Cookies are small files of information which websites can use to analyse your searching behaviour and can be used to push particular products to you.
It may be worth clearing your cookies in order that your results are totally unbiased. 
 

38.) Check Airline Low Fare Guarantee Pages

low fare guarantees

Some airlines offer unbeatable fares which they personally guarantee are the cheapest available flights via their carriers to your destination.
Always check if an airline has a lowfare guarantee page before you purchase your flight.
Many airlines will match the cheaper price you find somewhere else and offer a voucher to you as a bonus.

Here are some sites which offer low fare guarantees. 

 

39.) Read the Best Books By Experts 

the best books

There are a number of seasoned travellers out there who have it made it their life missions to travel the globe on a budget. Over the course of their travels they have accumulated invaluable advice on not only how to score savings on airfare but also on every aspect of the trip.

Here we present some of the top books to help you on your way:

How To Find Cheap Flights: Practical Tips The Airlines Don't Want You To Know
How to Travel the World on $50 a Day
The Savvy Backpacker's Guide to Europe on a Budget
Adventure Of A Lifetime: Travel The World, Escape 9-5 And Live A Life Of Freedom On A Budget (2017)

 

40.) Read the Best Online Resources 

book online

Their is a wealth of free advice to be found online regarding tips and tricks on how to cut down the cost of your flight, you just need to know where to look.

Here we present some of the best resources to continue your research on travelling within a budget.

Smarter Travel - Packed full of tips for trips 
Tripsavvy - Previously About.com - full of in depth articles related to budget travel

The next five entries are the best tools available for discovering the cheapest fares. We show you how to make the most out of each tool to score the best deals.

 

41.) Use Skyscanner Flexible Functions

Skyscanner has one of the most powerful flexible searching capabilities on the net. Not only does it show you cheaper days to fly either side of your chosen dates - it also shows you the absolute cheapest month in which to fly via its flexible price calendar.

However, for those who want to score the best possible deals its the "flexible destination" search which will show you truly cheap fares. You can either search from your local airport to "everywhere" or keep the search generic like 'UK to USA' to show best fares found by other users searching on those routes. 

  

42.) Use the Kayak Explore Tool

kayak explore tool

Kayak has a handy feature on its explore page. Simply input your local airport - then use the filters to decide what type of flights you wish to see. You can specify what season you wish to travel in or simply leave it at anytime and anywhere. Then prices will load on an interactive map showing you the best prices found by other Kayak users.

One word of warning - the prices may be cached so you will have to search for them afresh once a fare is found, upon which it may transpire that the particular fare you first saw is no longer available. 

 

43.) Use Momondo Price Calendar 

momondo price calendar

As soon as you a do a search for flights on momondo a graph appears at the top of the page showing you if there are cheaper dates to fly on within the month. You have the option of scrolling though the months to see the absolute optimum time to fly.
The only downside once again is that the calendar is populated by legacy prices found by other users of momondo. Therefore you will find less data for less well travelled routes.

  

44.) Use Google Flexible Price Calendar 

lastminute flights 

Google flight search is simply the quickest flight search available on the planet right now. Results show up almost instantaneously. With powerful maps to show the cheapest flights from your destination and a powerful flexible flight calendar, it is an excellent resource to discover optimum times to fly.

The only downside is that sometimes Google flights can be beaten by other aggregators - our best advice would be to use Google to find the best days to fly using their flexible calendar tools and then plug those dates into other search engines to see if you can get an even better deal.

 

45.) Use CheapFlightsFinder Flexible Meta-Meta Search

cheapflightsfinder flexible search

As mentioned above we recommend using Google to discover the best times to fly - after which we advise you to head on over to www.cheapflightsfinder.com and plug those travel details into our search engine. After that you can quickly compare the leading flight search engines which will often beat prices found by Google flights.

Alternately you can use CheapFlightsFinder's calendar function found under flexible dates. Please note that this calendar is powered by Skyscanner's API and only shows fares found by other users in the last 15 days.

 

The next five entries are the cheapest airlines which you should follow:

 46.) Follow AirAsiaX

airAsia X

Unbeatable Prices for - Asia Pacific Region flights
Follow for the best prices - Twitter - https://twitter.com/AirAsia - Facebook - https://en-gb.facebook.com/AirAsia/ - Promo page - https://www.airasia.com/sg/en/promotion.page

47.) Follow JetBlue

JetBlue

Unbeatable Prices for - USA Domestic, Caribbean and South America
Follow for the best prices - Twitter - https://twitter.com/JetBlue - Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/JetBlue/ - Promo page - https://www.jetblue.com/deals/#/

48.) Follow RyanAir

Ryanair

Unbeatable Prices for - Europe

49.) Follow Easyjet

Easyjet

Great Prices for - Europe plus 130 destinations

50.) Follow SouthWest Airlines

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