If you're flying to your cruise port you'll want to take notice of these tips. They could save you a lot of money.
Here’s our tips for cheap airfare:
1. Book in Advance
Airlines like to have an idea of how many people will be on their flights as soon as they can, and they don't like everyone booking at the last minute. Therefore, they offer better deals to people who book long ahead of time. Try to book at least 1 month in advance.
2. Buy Outside 9-5
Most people that fly for business trips are flying somewhere between 9 am and 5 pm. These people's companies can manage to pay higher fares than most of us would want to spend. Therefore, usually flights at more extreme times of the day (not 9-5) are cheaper.
3. Pick Days Carefully
Also going back to the schedule of most business travelers; they're more likely to stay somewhere during the weekdays, and not as often over the weekend (the most common day to fly for a business trip is Monday). Because of this, airfare is higher on a Monday or Friday, but cheapest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Airlines are more likely to give you a better deal if your stay includes a weekend, because that's most common for people traveling for personal purposes.
4. Keep Holidays in Mind
Don't book your tickets right before a big holiday. Instead, try to book after, because that's when airlines lower their airfare. Also, one of the worst times to book a ticket is between 12/21 and 12/31, so just don't do it unless you have to.
5. Watch For Price Drops
Many people don't realize that if the price of your ticket drops after you've already bought it, sometimes all it takes is a call to the airline for them to refund the difference. Occasionally, airlines will even offer free vouchers toward future tickets if you ask them.
6. Kids Can Be Cheaper
If your child is under 2 years old, they can qualify to travel for free by sitting on your lap instead of having their own seat, so if that seems like a good option, don't pay for a ticket you don't have to! However, many airlines are changing these rules, and instead of free, they're flying at 10% of a regular fare, but that's still much better than full price. If you're flying internationally, ask for a "lap child" ticket instead of an infant ticket, it will cost significantly less.
7. Explore Airport Options
When booking airline tickets, don't forget to explore alternate airport options. Many cities have a few different airports, and checking all of your options can potentially save you on your airfare. Just make sure if you're looking at an airport a bit of a distance away, that you factor in the cost of gas to get there to make sure the ticket difference is worth it!
8. Check Alternative Routes
Don't forget to check for alternate routing. It's easy to forget that there are almost always options when researching for a trip by air, but if you can find a route that isn't at the top of the list on an airfare website but is cheaper, consider going for it. For example, if Miami is too expensive, try flying into Fort Lauderdale .
9. Compare Ticket Sellers
Try to buy your tickets online, because if you do it through an airline's representatives, often you will be charged more for taking up their time. When online, 3rd party websites are great sources to look for the best deals because they can compare multiple airline's fares, and give you an idea of which airline you'll want to go with. Some good sites are Travelocity, Cheaptickets, Priceline, and ITA Matrix by Google.
10. Work Discounts
If you're traveling to a meeting or conference, let the airline know because they may offer you better prices. Also, if you're a member of the military or a clergyman, many airlines offer reduced rates for those as well.
11. Call The Airline
Before you book a flight, always call and ask the airline if they're currently offering any discount programs. Often these special discounts aren't highly publicized and you won't know until you ask.
If you have any tips, please leave them in the comment section.
Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015. She’s been on eight cruises so far, and her favorite onboard activities include trying out the water slides, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, eating lots of food, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her over on her Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.
Since 2009, Cruise Radio has provided the latest cruise news and industry analysis through informative articles, videos, and weekly podcasts. You’ll find expert advice for experienced and first-time cruisers, as well as port and destination guides.