Many of the large online travel booking sites have been bought and owned by the same companies so the prices they yield are almost the same. The Frommers organization did a study of all the major airfare booking websites and Skyscanner consistently reported better airfare deals.
• For International airfare deals: Airtrek.com books a substantial number of flights and they do deals with airlines for volume deals. We have been using AirTreks for years now. After searching fares and coming up with goods deals, we then called AirTreks and they always had as good or better rates – and AirTreks includes travel insurance fromTravelguard.
• Be flexible – Dates, Times, & Airports – It is amazing that just changing your flight timing a day or so, different hour, or even to a nearby airport will yield great airfare deals. Again, Skyscanner offers a “Whole Month” option where you can see cost of flights on days around the day you are interested in and an “Everywhere” option to evaluate possible savings to nearby airports.
• On the average, flying on these days offer the best airfare deals: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
• Again, on the average, these are the best days to purchase for airfare deals: Saturday through Tuesday afternoon.
• Booking ahead can yield good airfare deals – 8 weeks Domestic (average 19% savings) and 24 weeks International (average 27% savings). If you are flexible in your travel plans, waiting to book the last minute can also yield airfare deals if you can risk not finding a flight or possible higher prices.
• Basic Fares – The major airlines need to compete with the budget airline and are offering low service ‘Basic Fares’. They can be good airfare deals but be sure to read the details. Regularly they are non-cancellable with fees such as luggage and possibly other fees. But if that is OK, go for it.
• Airfare alerts are a good way to find airfare deals. You can go to the following websites and enter in your flight plans and when good fares come up, they will notify you – Yapta.com, Skyscanner.net.
• Airfare deals in Europe: Many booking websites do not include flights from budget airlines. You can use Flycheapo.com when searching flights in Europe to locate the budget airlines that service your needs and then you can go to their websites to book your flights.
To benefit from more of Wayne’s excellent tips, check out his brilliant blog.