In a world with a troubled economy and where travel costs climb daily, getting the cheapest ticket for your flight home can be a scary task. Before you buy, check out this guide to help you find the best deal.
Step 1 Follow the 21-day rule.
For a good priced normal retail ticket, follow the 21-day rule. Buy your ticket at least 21 days before the flight. Once inside the 21 days before takeoff, airlines begin to raise their prices. Also consider flying on low-traffic days such as weekdays.
Step 2 Book in advance.
If you are traveling for the holidays and want a steal of a deal and don't care if you get there late or really early, try buying for the day of, or a week in advance. For example, try booking your flight for Christmas day instead of Christmas Eve.
Step 3 Shop around online.
Go online. Search in all of the travel search engines and compare prices. Try changing flight dates as well as airports to get the best prices. Instead of flying into San Francisco airport, try the nearby airports of Oakland and San Jose.
Step 4 Use aggregators.
Now search in the aggregator search engines like Mobissimo. These sites search the other travel search engines as well as the airlines sites themselves. Because not all airlines do business with the travel search engines, the aggregators may find you a better deal.
After finding the best deal online, go to the airline's website to purchase the ticket directly. This will help avoid extra booking fees, provide you with better customer service and extra offers.
Step 5 Bid.
Try out the bidding sites like Priceline. You name your price and wait for the auction to end. Make an informed bid by finding the best deal online first and then bidding a little bit lower on the auction site. If you bid too low, don't expect to win.
Step 6 Book last-minute flights.
If your departure day is flexible check out 'last minute' flight websites that correspond to your region. When a last minute seat becomes available the agency will notify and put you on that flight at a deeply discounted price.