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Any tips on finding cheaper airline fares?

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I have been using Kayak to search out some cheaper airline fares. I am also looking at Jetblue which Kayak does not show for some reason. I am looking at doing more driving then I want to by flying out of a major airport into a major airport instead of using ones that actually go where I want. I hear that Tuesday's are the best days to buy airline tickets.

Any other tips here from the masses?

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Tuesday would be the cheapest day to fly not buy I would think.

I mean if you fly alot get a card with visa infinite perk and it pays for itself basically instantly

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If you’re close enough to drive to Canada, fly out of there. The exchange rate is saving us 25% for an upcoming European trip.

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Google flights is excellent

Lots of tools and I've found cheaper tickets using that than the common fight search engines.

ETA -- The Tuesday thing used to exist potentially but it's no longer a thing since the advent of online searching and purchasing.

Common myths

Edited by gianmarco
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Book 3 months in advance if possible.  I live near a major airport so flights are usually $200-$300 if it’s another major airport months in advance.  I just checked, to get to Boston is about $600 today but only $169 in July.  Book early if you can.

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I have never found any differences from one search service to another.  Google, Kayak, Travelociity, Orbit, etc...  They are all pretty much the same in my eyes.  They offer some convenience, I suppose, as a good place to search multiple carriers at once, but they aren't going to save you any money.  As Tom said, plan in advance as much as possible.  Find a few flight options and keep your eye on them for a while.  Check seat availability.  If they are filling up, you probably aren't going to see any price breaks in your favor.  If they aren't filling up, you may see the price start to trend down a little.   If you have flexibility in your travel dates or you are willing to fly the red-eyes, it usually makes it easier to find lower fares.

ETA: Jet Blue, Spirit, Frontier, etc...these guys are always cheap, but I have heard many horror stories.  I have no personal experience with them. 

Edited by Galileo

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1 minute ago, Galileo said:

I have never found any differences from one search service to another.  Google, Kayak, Travelociity, Orbit, etc...  They are all pretty much the same in my eyes.  They offer some convenience, I suppose, as a good place to search multiple carriers at once, but they aren't going to save you any money.  As Tom said, plan in advance as much as possible.  Find a few flight options and keep your eye on them for a while.  Check seat availability.  If they are filling up, you probably aren't going to see any price breaks in your favor.  If they aren't filling up, you may see the price start to trend down a little.   If you have flexibility in your travel dates or you are willing to fly the red-eyes, it usually makes it easier to find lower fares.

That's the case most of the time, but not always.

I booked a flight to Italy last year. It was an American Airlines flight. It was the same price everywhere, including on AA site except Google. I got it for $250 less because they listed it as a British Airways flight. I called British Airways, got it done over the phone, and sure enough saved $250 even though it was actually an American Airlines flight and everything about it was otherwise identical.

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I always book through justfly.com, and use the app Hopper when researching future prices...also send updates when the price changes.

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Thanks for the tips. I am doing this in advance and I have been looking at redeye's.

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I don't doubt that it's possible pricing can be impacted by searches, but the "a guy on the internet assures us" validation of the claim is :lmao:

Edited by Apple Jack

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15 minutes ago, Tin Cup said:

This is the engine I have used for a decade.  Google bought it out and developed their engine from it I believe.  But I only use it for research...it does not have SW or Jetblue

The best way I have found to get the best prices are the following:

Use itasoftware to find flights that would work...arrival and departure times...dates....nonstop, etc

Get the flight numbers of the flights that would work for your plans

Enter these flights into Yapta.com (setup a trip) and get email alerts on these flights prices - these alerts can be sent daily, weekly, %change, change in $$ amount sent to you

You will be amazed at the price fluctuations especially on longer flights where there are a lot of other flights - generally 30-45 days out is the best $$ but not always

 

Edited by Ksquared
grammer
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For family trips, having baggage included has resulted in Southwest being our airline on every trip lately.  $30/bag each way adds up for a family of 5.

Plus, if you find the rate cheaper later they will give you a credit foe the difference.  So book early and watch for price drops.

Edited by rascal
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7 hours ago, Glass Joe said:

If you’re close enough to drive to Canada, fly out of there. The exchange rate is saving us 25% for an upcoming European trip.

Interesting. in southern Ontario we drive to Buffalo or Syracuse because flights are way cheaper there than from Toronto.

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4 hours ago, Tin Cup said:

Bummer that you cant buy the tickets through this site. I was able to take the flight numbers though and find them at the airline website. Thanks for the link.

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Flexibility is important.  Put in the search +/-3 days on each end.   The flight prices often fluctuates by hundreds of dollars from one day to the next.  

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23 hours ago, gianmarco said:

Yeah, this is what I start with. Really allows you to see all options. Some additional tips...

- If I dont know exactly where I want to go, I enter the airports that I can fly out of and departure dates and then look at the map view to see where the flights are cheapest.

- Once I know where I want to go, I'll enter in multiple airports for both departure and destination (if possible). Helps you find the best (cheapest/most direct) flight options. 

- Look at departing/returning 3 days earlier/later to see how much it effects pricing. Its usually cheaper to fly mid-week than weekends.

- Look at booking (2) one-way trips instead of booking Round trip. Sometimes one half of the flight is extremely expensive and you can save money by using different airlines.

- Finally, once I find what I want, I go direct to the airline and see if I can get it cheaper.

- Before ordering, I usually take one last look at Expedia/Travelocity/Kayak to see what they have for my exact trip (sometimes they have flights available that dont show on Google Flights).

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3 minutes ago, E-Z Glider said:

Yeah, this is what I start with. Really allows you to see all options. Some additional tips...

- If I dont know exactly where I want to go, I enter the airports that I can fly out of and departure dates and then look at the map view to see where the flights are cheapest.

- Once I know where I want to go, I'll enter in multiple airports for both departure and destination (if possible). Helps you find the best (cheapest/most direct) flight options. 

- Look at departing/returning 3 days earlier/later to see how much it effects pricing. Its usually cheaper to fly mid-week than weekends.

- Look at booking (2) one-way trips instead of booking Round trip. Sometimes one half of the flight is extremely expensive and you can save money by using different airlines.

- Finally, once I find what I want, I go direct to the airline and see if I can get it cheaper.

- Before ordering, I usually take one last look at Expedia/Travelocity/Kayak to see what they have for my exact trip (sometimes they have flights available that dont show on Google Flights).

This is exactly what I do.

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Thanks for all the tips. I bought our tickets using the matrix and then going directly to the airlines to purchase. I looked at a lot of flights and I feel like I got a good deal. I am taking red eye flights but I am hoping people will sleep and that way we did not waste two days travelling.

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On 4/7/2019 at 7:19 AM, culdeus said:

Tuesday would be the cheapest day to fly not buy I would think.

I mean if you fly alot get a card with visa infinite perk and it pays for itself basically instantly

wife claims Tuesday us the say to buy.  seems to work I'm always surprised how cheap we fly.

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only thing I would add to the above is check Costco Travel (if you are a member).  They are usually cheapest provider for rental car and we've also got good vacation packages with them.  They are not good option for alerts/tracking. 

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So ####### frustrated right now!

Twice today I've been ready to book flights, both times after I've entered all the information and hit purchase, the fares were no longer available at that price. What kind of bull#### is that? I also checked the seats, neither time did anything sell... #### you Expedia, #### you Delta!

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I've found recently that fares with google flights changed when I went to book them, but if I back out and retried a few times they I could get them at the lower fare I originally saw. Odd something similar is happening with Expedia, too.

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