Whether you’re looking to make the most of the last few weeks of summer or if you’re already planning a winter escape, we’ve put together a few tips to help you get the cheapest airfares.
Buy flights on the weekends
Friday is the most expensive day of the week to buy a plane ticket. Prices can be inflated by more than 10% compared to those bought on a Sunday. Regardless of where you’re flying to, you’ll likely be able to get the cheapest tickets when buying on a Saturday or Sunday.
Buying on a weekend also means you won’t compete with business travellers trying to get last-minute flights for work.
If you’re looking at buying flights within Europe, the American Aviation Data Group recommends making the purchase 140 days before your planned departure. Those flying within the US should look at shopping 57 days ahead of departure.
On the opposite side of the scale, booking too early can also cost you. Anything ahead of three months for a domestic flight, or six months for an international trip, will likely see you handing over more money than you need to.
Be careful on price-comparison websites
While they offer a useful snapshot of prices across various airlines, they will often not show the most up-to-date fare. Use them as a guideline, but always cross-check against what is being offered by the airline’s website.
Price-comparison websites also can’t account for all the parameters that affect cost – including whether you have check-in baggage or not, as well as all debit or credit card-related booking fees. So use these sites as a starting point, but not necessarily as a comprehensive guide.
Flying midweek, outside the school holidays, at more unsociable hours will almost always be cheaper. It’s also worth using a filter that looks for cheaper flights on the days before and after your ideal date when booking.
Minimise your luggage
Excess baggage fees are usually exorbitant and are an unpleasant reason for handing over your hard-earned money. Measure and weigh all your luggage before you head off to the airport, and make sure it adheres to all restrictions.
Watch for extra hidden costs
Before you click “book”, check for any hidden extras you might unintentionally be signing up for. This could be anything from insurance, to extra hold luggage and more.