Buying cheap airplane tickets seems impossible at times. There are just a few days during the year when these tickets are sold at lower rates. But if you apply a few strategies such as checking for discounts often, you can find better rates than on most websites.
Certain webpages specialized in finding the cheapest flights. Among them, Skyscanner is a popular name. I started using the website a few years ago. It was my first experience with such a discount website and I wasn’t impressed at first.
However, after coming back to look at the flights I was interested in a couple of weeks later, I found prices have dropped. I made my booking in minutes and I was able to fly at a lower rate. The total savings for me and my partner were of a few hundred dollars. We booked better accommodation with the money we saved on the ticket.
But the website also runs frequent promotions. As with other booking websites, you’ll get them straight to your e-mail address after making your first trip. For me, their offers might even prompt short city-breaks I don’t need a large budget for.
Finding cheap flights is never easy. You have to keep on looking and compare all the prices. But the website does this for you. It automates the process and it shows you the best prices from websites such as trip.com, travel2be, my trip and even from the official airline's websites.
It may take some time to navigate through all of these. On my selected flights, the biggest price difference can be closer to $1,000. However, the average difference as I find it is around $100 for intercontinental flights.
If you’re flying within the US, price variations are the same. I found that price variations in Europe are a bit smaller. However, since the website integrates most other flight ticket search engines, you are guaranteed to find the lowest price.
I’m not a professional traveler but I follow those who are on Instagram. Most of them give some valuable tips on how to maximize your efforts in finding the best deal. I had no idea the website uses tracking tools such as cookies to show me the flights I’ve already searched before.
Check Flights Every Day
Plane tickets have dynamic pricing. They can be sold for one price today and another price tomorrow. Close to the departure date, prices increase or decrease based on demand. I find it mandatory to check for plane ticket prices as often as possible.
I’m rarely buying plane tickets on the spot because of this. If before I never questioned pricing, things are different today. This is why I usually take a couple of weeks to search for the best prices.
Even if you use the website, you should constantly look for updates on prices on a daily basis or at least a few times per week. I’ve found prices might also change depending on the time of the day you browse through available flights.
Consider All Companies
I want to visit Marrakech this summer. I’ll only be there for a few days and I don’t plan on spending too much for the short stay. There are a few companies flying directly from London to Marrakech. Lufthansa, KLM, Iberia, and Air France have daily flights to Morroco.
The price difference between these companies is small for my selected date. The cheapest flight is $290 while the most expensive flight is $333. This means I’m saving $43 per flight and $86 in total considering the return flight. However, the price difference of $83 is going to pay for a night in a local hotel for me and my partner. Together, we save $172 on our flights and we can book a better hotel as a result.
These savings wouldn’t be possible without considering all companies flying to Marrakech. I’ve even found these to be a bit more interesting than the companies I’ve already been with. I want to have the full local experience and choosing either Iberia or Lufthansa is going to be a totally new experience for me.
Some of the travel influencers I follow on social media also advise users to delete tracking cookies from our web browser when buying airplane tickets. I think they automatically track your searches and they might keep you from finding the best deals.
You can delete your cookies from the settings menu in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. But you can also browse the website under the Incognito mode which automatically stops most cookies. I didn’t find this to be a problem for me, however.
The most I’ve seen from the website is advertising for the flight I was initially interested in. Even when logging in from work to see if prices are different, I haven’t found any difference.
This makes me believe some of these tips might not be applicable to how we shop today. But at the same time, it makes me realize just how important all of these small steps could be for frequent travelers. If you’re the type of person jumping from one airplane to another, you’ll need to consider these tips to save more.
You can also book hotels on the website. It aggregates information from websites such as booking.com or hotels.com. These websites show you some of the most comprehensive lists of hotels, hostels, and apartments you can imagine. But there are other smaller websites that are aggregated into the hotel bookings search tool as well.
If you want the best deal, you can also use similar filters to the ones you have on flight ticket searches. These tools are some of the best for seeing the lowest price accommodation first. The location might also be one of the filters you are interested in. You might only prefer hotels located within walking distance from the airport. This is certainly my preference.
If you’re planning a couple of days away from home, the weekend gateways section of the website is going to be your best bet. You can find inspiration and visiting plans for some of the most popular cities around the world. If you’re in Europe, you can tie multiple flights so that you can see 2-3 countries within a few days.
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The website is now one of the biggest names in the online industry. It has flawless customer service which is seen in the speed by which the company deals with user requests.
But finding the cheapest flight is not guaranteed. If you’re planning to buy a plane ticket, I would advise to go on the website and check the price at least for a few days before making a purchase. However, they have been times when hoping for cheaper tickets actually had me facing increasing prices, especially closer to the departure date.