Whether you’re used to it or not, finding a cheap plane ticket is always a Chinese puzzle ! In this article, you’ll find some tips to help you save time (and money!).
1. To do before
Navigate incognito :
Indeed, when you make research online, files, called cookies, are saved on your computer and it anables websites to recognise you every time you go on them. The risk of being «detected» as potentially interested to buy a plane ticket is seeing their price go up.
To avoid this, we advise you to regularly delete your cookies using for example the famous Ccleaner, which is a very easy software to use, erasing all that kind of data on any navigator ; all this in a few seconds.
It’s therefore essential to navigate incognito because it avoids all the cookies and other informations that could anable websites to detect you. Nothing easier : this option is available on every navigator via the menu on the top right of you internet tab.
Keep yourself updated :
Airlines sometimes offer reduced prices for some destinations, including maybe yours ! To miss none of these, you can subscribe to the airlines newsletters linking your airport to your preferred location. For instance, Volotea airline offered, for any booking before June 3rd 2018, a free child ticket (less than 12 yo) for any adult ticket purchased for the summer period.
Know the ticket average price for your destination :
To know if you came upon a good deal or on the contrary a scam, it’s important to know what’s the « normal » price ! Algofly offers to do it for you. First, by typing in your departure and arrival airport, the curve indicates you the different practiced prices and when it’s an exceptional, good or average price. Then, you’ll find an other curve with average prices depending on the departure month.
Ask yourself the right questions :
This one we put on the side for long and yet, it’s now changing our lives ! Before starting your research, you need to study your level of flexibility : from which airport could you accept to depart from and arrive to ? Are you departure and arrival dates flexible ? Is there a national holiday during your trip that might explain prices rising ?
2. If you’re not flexible
When to buy your ticket ?
First of all, the myth is not true : buying your plane ticket in the middle of the night and more precisely between Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 to 6 am won’t give you reduced prices ! Juliette works during the night and has thus tried it multiple times without having any discount ! (it’s by the way confirmed by recent articles).
For starter, no matter which flight, it’s better to buy your tickets during the week days and more precisely on Wednesday and Thursday.
Then, everything depends on the type of flight :
– For domestic flights, it’s better to book 7 to 8 weeks in advance.
– For long-haul flights, prefer to buy it between 3 weeks and 5 months before the departure date.
Compare prices :
At the time we’re writing this article, there are about 1397 airlines in the world, it’s thus impossible to look at all the prices on each of their websites to find the best option for you.
This is why a lot of price comparator for air-ticket exist : Liligo, Kiwi, Kayak, Cheapflights… They are very practical to quickly give you an idea of which airline offers the best prices and times, by adding your departure and arrival location, and your dates.
We insist on «give you an idea», because sometimes, when you directly go on the airline company in a new tab to go to check out, you end up realising that buying via the comparator actually makes the price go up : administrative fees, management fees, credit card fees… Whereas on the airline company website, there was no extra expenses.
That said, sometimes we make an exception and use the website Kiwi because it automatically checks you in on booked flights… Which can be useful if you forget about it, lack time or that you’re not sure to have internet access there.
Airlines offer a sort of loyalty programme : for every purchase you can accumulate points by subscribing to it. Even if you do not travel often, it’s free and it could be useful one day.
When you’re booking, you often see 2 prices for the same flight : the normal price and the price if you use a certain card to pay : some airlines offer special cards like the youth card, the frequent flyer card… You have to pay to get these cards and prices are fluctuating. But it’s still worth a look, as it already could be refunded just by buying a round trip !
Individual purchase instead of a group one :
It could seem logic that the more people to buy tickets for, the more the price would be advantageous… Well, not really ! If it’s a few of you, think about simulating an individual booking and a group one because it’s said (we’ve never tested that yet) that the price could go down. However, if during your research you notice that you don’t see the same time for the individual and the group bookings, it means that there isn’t enough seats in this plane (for example : for a 1 person booking you see the 8h05 am flight, but when you search that same flight for a 4 person booking it doesn’t appear : there’re only 3 available seats left in the plane maximum… So don’t book the seat one by one!!)
3. If you’re flexible
On the destination :
You know you want to leave, but you don’t know where to exactly ? The website Skyscanner is the one for you ! Indeed, it has the particularity to offer you destinations anywhere in the world ! All you have to do is enter your departure airport and dates, and you’ll be able to compare the prices, for all destinations available !
Other option, if you’re flexible but you still want it to be hot weather at your destination, use the « Where to go ? » on Liligo. It allows you to choose accordingly to your preferred temperature there and your budget.
On your travel dates :
Something happening often : you have 2 weeks off work but you only want to leave for 8 days… You might as well leave on the cheapest dates ! You can use the website Flexivol which, we have to admit, has a basic design but of a formidable efficiency ! Enter all your data and your available dates (the margin is of 5 days) : there you are with the simplest chart indicating the lowest price according to the days selected.
If you are 100% available and you think about getting more days off to go on holiday, use Kawak explore, which indicate you when is the preferred time to go to a certain destination to save you money on the ticket.
On the departure and arrival airports
This option is ideal for travelling to near countries : we went to London a few times and as we live in Montpellier, we’ve always looked for Montpellier-London flights, but for some reason we’ve ended up seeing a Béziers-London flight 3 times cheaper !
Which means you have to think about cities surrounding you. Because even if you have to park your car or take a bus, sometimes you’re saving more money this way ! Nothing more simple, every flight comparators offer the option « near airports ».
If you want to push it to the max, go on Skyscanner and choose « France » for departure. This way, you’ll have the list of all the cities and their prices.
4. If you’re ultra flexible
Last minute tickets :
It might be the hardest option for us to talk about as it overcomes our flexibility.
However, we heard about last minut tickets. To write this article, we made some research to advise you on that… But we were quite desappointed as nothing really met all our expectations… Indeed, websites like Lasminute often have nice offers, but they’re only about packs : flight + hotel with a pool etc… Which, even with a discount, considerably makes it more expensive ; when all we ask for is the cheapest flight and rent an Airbnb nearby…
Anyway, what seems like the best option is Voyages Pirates website which, above all, has a « Last Minute » section, including only flights.
Auction sales :
We don’t know about it but it’s possible to buy your tickets during auction sales ! « Air Ticket Arena », which came out in February, does that. We wanted to try it out at this time, therefore we can’t assure its reliability but it can be quite an interesting option.
Careful on these 2 last possibilities : be aware about necessary formalities for the destination country (visa, vaccine…) because you might not be able to do it all in time !
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