Most people have at some time in their life been hunting for the cheapest flight tickets on the market. After searching and searching the internet, you will realize that it can take quite some time and science to find the very best price – especially if you’re not sure where to look or when.
There are plenty of factors that plays a part when airlines set their prices for their tickets. Many people have asked me about how they can find the cheapest flights available, and therefore I have made this little guide to get you started!
What are the price factors?
To better understand how the airline companies set their prices of their airline tickets, it’s important to know the factors that are affecting the ticket price. These factors can either lower or raise the price of the tickets.
- The price of oil
- Competition / variety
- Taxes and fees
- At what price the airline believe they need to fill the plane with passengers
All these factors are one big combination of what will affect the price or your airline tickets. The airlines will depend on these factors, either raise of lower the price to maximize their profit.
I will explain to you with an example, so you completely understand what I’m saying.
Example 1: If the price of oil drops, then maybe a competitive airline lowers the cost of their tickets to Barcelona from Stockholm. Then the second airline company, will likely, also reduce their price because of competition between the different airlines that are flying to Barcelona from Stockholm.
Example 2: If the airline offers a flight to Berlin and only 10% of the seats was booked 15 days before departure. Then the price will probably drop, as the airline, obviously, want to fill their plane with as many passengers as possible. If it’s instead contrary, and 90% or the seats were booked 15 days before departure, then the price probably would increase, as it’s a high demand for that particular flight.
My Best Tips and Tricks on How you Find Cheap Flights Worldwide:
As the prices fluctuate a lot, it’s best to be as flexible as possible with your dates. The more flexible you are, the better chance you get to find good priced tickets. This way, finding cheap airline tickets will be so much easier. It can distinguish hundreds of dollars between one day to another. Just a small thing as being flexible with what time of the day you can fly will make a huge difference.
According to statistics, it’s almost always cheaper to fly on a weekday instead of a weekend, as that is the time most people want to depart. Also make sure to check bank holidays, different kinds of celebrations and if it’s high or low season where you are traveling. It is usually more expensive to travel during holidays, celebrations and high seasons.
Catch flights from/to a nearby airport
Larger airports mostly mean that it’s a higher cost for the airlines, which in turn results in a higher price for your airline tickets. Therefore, it may be a good idea to check and see if there is a smaller airport nearby instead of the bigger one. This tip is especially good for you who want to travel within Europe, as many of the low-cost carriers fly to the smaller airports.
Ryanair is a great example in this case. Ryanair usually doesn’t fly to the main airports and are instead landing at the smaller airports such as Gatwick or Stansted in London – instead of the main airport Heathrow.
My hometown Stockholm is another great example of this. Ryanair does not fly to Arlanda Airport (the main one), but they do land at Skavsta Airport. Sure, Skavsta Airport takes approximately 30 minutes more when it comes to the journey to the airport, but the price for the airport bus tickets are almost the same. However, this serves you quite quickly though as the flight will be (in many cases) much cheaper.
Try alternative routes
Alternative routes to your final destination is another good tip when it comes to the art of finding cheap airline tickets. For example, it may be cheaper to make a quick stop on the way or even stay overnight and fly the following day, than flying with a direct flight. It can also be cheaper to book two single tickets with different airlines, instead of booking a return ticket with the same company at the same time.
Remember that all search engines are not the same
If you have been comparing flight tickets before, you’ve probably stumbled upon that it can differ hundreds of dollars between different websites. The reason for that is that all the sites use a unique search engine, which means that they sometimes get various offers as they use different kinds of search engines. This means that they will not get the same result like the other websites – which in turn means that they will offer different prices for the same tickets.
Foremost, many of the trips that the sites are selling are identical, but you should still compare between them if you want to find the cheapest flight.
My personal website is no doubt Skyscanner, as it offers some of the cheapest airline tickets on the market and it’s very simple to use. One of the best sites when it comes to finding cheap airline tickets!
See if there are discounts or promotions available
Before I book my flight tickets, I always look if there’s any discounts or special deals available. Sometimes, there are great discounts for students, new customers or different kinds of member discounts. If you are a frequent traveler, it may also be a good idea to sign up to newsletters so you can receive weekly promotions and deals from your favorite airlines.
Figure out how much you’re willing to pay
Before starting your search after cheap flight tickets, it’s always a good idea to figure out how much you are willing to pay.
Example: A flight ticket (round trip) to the US costs 700 dollars. Your first thought would probably be that the price is a little high, and if you a few hours or a day later check again and see the same trip for 400 dollars, you may think that this was cheap indeed. But, maybe the price will drop even more?
Yes, this might be true, but you also have to be realistic. If you are OK with paying 500 dollars for the trip to the US and are satisfied with 300 dollars. Why not book it in time and be sure that you get a good price? Just as the prices can drop, they can also increase! Therefore, it is important not to wait too long.
Always ask yourself – How much is acceptable to pay and what is a good price for me?
Book flight tickets early, but not too early
This tip of finding cheap airline tickets involves a bit of gambling with the airline companies, and to find the most inexpensive flight tickets it’s important to book in advance, but not too early. So what do I mean with “early, but not too early”?
According to statistics, the websites tends to show good prices about 90 days before departure. Before that 90 day mark, the airlines want as much money as possible. When it’s about 60 days from departure, it’s common that the prices are dropping even more, because they want to sell as many tickets as possible. Statistics have also shown that it’s the very cheapest exactly 53 days before your trip on a Tuesday evening.
If you are flexible and can travel on different dates, then you should keep track of the prices from the time of 90 days until it’s about 50 days left til your departure date. During this period, you will most likely find the cheapest tickets.
It’s also common to find good prices tickets when it’s 30 days left. After this, the power advantage will be in the airline companies hands. When it’s less than 30 days til departure, then the only hope of finding cheap airfares is if it would be a low demand.
Checklist before you book your airline tickets:
- Compare different sites
- See if the airline has better price on its website
- See if there are any current discounts or good deals
- Delete cache and browser history