It’s one of the most comment travel questions I get asked time and time again and no matter where, when or how you travel, it’s likely to be a question you’ve asked someone too.
That question is, of course, how to score cheap air ticket booking.
And it’s a good question that attracts a lot of different strategies as answers.
Having worked in the travel industry however, I do have some insider knowledge about how some great ways to find the cheapest flights and here they are…
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#1 Book as Far in Advance as Possible
My first rule when it comes to cheap air ticket booking is to buy flights as far in advance as possible.
Many people dream of getting last minute deals but, in reality, such great offers are few and far between.
Generally speaking, airline prices work on a tiered system, so the more tickets available there are, the cheaper the prices will be.
And of course, there’s more tickets the further ahead of time you look, so the sooner you search for flights and book, the better.
This is why last minute flight decisions rarely get you the best airplane deals.
#2 Use a Comparison Website
There’s no denying it, the rise of the internet has been an incredible invention for us budget travellers.
Now, in just a few seconds it’s possible to search a huge array of flights from the comfort of your own home!
You don’t have to pay anyone and you’ll have more options than you’re likely to be able to comprehend!
Comparison sites, like Skyscanner, really are my go-to when it comes to cheap air ticket booking.
With the ability to review routes, different airlines, different airports, flight times, prices and more, why you would ever go to a travel agent now and pay a commission is beyond me!
#3 Search other Airports
If you want to really score a flight bargain, then the key is to search around and get creative.
Yes if you’re happy to put in a bit of extra legwork, then you can usually score yourself a better deal.
One of my favourite tips is to search for different airports, rather than the main hub airports.
This works particularly well in European cities, where many capitals and tourist spots have several airports.
Take London for example. In this city alone, you have Gatwick, Heathrow, City, Stanstead, Luton and Southend-on-Sea.
The smaller airports (namely the later 3) generally have cheaper taxes than the big players (namely Gatwick and Heathrow), so getting a flight from a more regional airport can sometimes really pay off when it comes to bagging yourself a deal.
It’s for this reason that many budget airlines, such as easyJet, use these smaller airports and you’d be wise to check them out too when trying to find a flight bargain.
#4 Consider Non-Direct Flights
Another great tip when it comes to finding cheap flight prices is to look at all your options, so as well as departure and arrival airports, think about your flight route too.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more time travelling, it’s quite common that flights involving multiple stopovers will prove cheaper than direct routes.
If time is on your side, but money isn’t, I strongly consider expanding your search to take in non-direct flight routes – you may well get to see some interesting places as part of your journey too!
#5 Stick to One Frequent Flyer Programme
There’s been a lot of discussion lately about whether frequent flyer programmes and the resulting Air Miles you earn are really worth it for travellers.
In my opinion they definitely are and I’ve received huge discounts off many flights by using them.
The key however is to stick to one programme and always try to fly with that airline company – or its frequent flyer partners – to earn as many points and therefore discounts as possible.
For example, I’m a member of British Airways’ Frequent Flyer programme, which is part of the One World Alliance.
This means anytime I fly with BA, Iberia, Qantas, Qatar and many more airlines, I get frequent flyer points.
Whichever frequent flyer programme you belong to, my tip is always to try and source flights with airlines that sit under that Air Miles umbrella – that way you can be sure that each flight you take is contributing to cheaper tickets in the future.
So there you have it, my top 5 tips when it comes to cheap air ticket booking, I hope you found them useful.
And please, do let me know if you have any to add to the list – I’d love to hear them!