Whether you’re looking for the lowest airfare prices to Orlando or New York, there are possibilities beyond what online booking engines pull up. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.
The tips below will help you find the lowest airfare.
- Book in advance but not too far in advance. The prime time to book a published fare is usually 2-4 months prior to the flight when the airline begins to lower its prices in order to fill seats. Many airlines follow a 21, 14, 7 day advance purchase structure for last minute tickets – 21 day advance purchase yielding the cheapest fares.
- Include a Saturday night stay. One way airlines determine if you are flying for business or leisure is whether your trip includes a weekend. Leisure travelers generally fly over weekends and business travelers during the week.
- Fly round-trip. One way travelers are placed at a higher price threshold than round trip passengers and airlines often increase one-way fares to greater than the cost of a round-trip ticket.
- Be flexible. Since the airline pricing model is based highly on supply and demand if you can change the date by just a few days you could introduce a flight with additional discounted inventory.
- Book a package. Try bundling air with a car and/or hotel with a tour operator. The packaged air discounts may bring down the price enough to offset the car and/or hotel nights you’ve added on. If you actually need the car/hotel, even better. If not, well, there’s a reason it’s called a throw away car/hotel.
- Avoid the holidays. This one might seem obvious. Discounted inventory is scarce around the holidays as everyone’s price threshold is a little higher.
- Stick to the big airports. Big airports have a greater number of flights, which means more competition and more discounted seats available for purchase.
- Search low cost carriers. New, low cost airlines like to play by their own rules. They often do not follow the traditional pricing structures of legacy airlines and sometimes their best fares can only be found on the airline’s own website. Try JetBlue, Virgin America and Southwest.
Stephanie Lee is the founder of Host Agency Reviews.
Subscribe to our Cruise News Updates.