How to book cheap flights
Once the destination is chosen, the next step that officializes the trip consists in booking flights, and preferably cheap flights! I recommend that you do your online search some time ahead so you can find the best prices out there. And there are several ways to search for them: through Travel Search Engines, last minute deals websites or apps or through the airline companies websites. Below you’ll find some exact examples of each of these options so that you know how to look for those cheap flights.
Travel Search Engines
These websites (or apps) give you several flight options according to your chosen itinerary and dates. They are usually part of the first step of the cheap flights‘ search process. You don’t really book your flights through these Travel Search Engines, you do it through the airline companies or Online Travel Agencies that they recommend. There’s no cost for the user. Some people only use 1 Travel Search Engine for their searches while other people use several of them, because the results may vary between them. Here are 3 of the most used Travel Search Engines nowadays:
Jet Radar has been around since 2007. It allows you to look for cheap flights through different Online Travel Agencies and Airline Companies’ websites. And its app has actually been considered to be one of the best travel apps by travellers around the world.
Skyscanner is one of the most famous and most used Travel Search Engines out there. It has a really simple interface and it’s very user-friendly. It allows to chose from several different filter options such as the number of stops, number of airline companies, maximum flight duration or your preferred departure and arrival hours. In case you have some flexibility regarding your travel date, you can actually chose the departure or arrival date according to their price calendar.
Momondo is often included in the Top 3 Travel Search Engines. Here you also have access to a price calendar and on the top of your search results you are able to immediately check the more economic, fast or overall better flight option according to a price and flight duration criteria. It also allows you to check out flight results departing from alternative airports.
Kayak was one of the first Travel Search Engines out there. It works the same way as the other search engines mentioned above, but offers extra filter options like, for example, the duration of the stops, the price range or even the possibility to chose the amount of luggage or the payment method, which quite often influence the final price of the flights.
Last minute deals Websites and Apps
These websites, apps or Facebook pages are a great way to find cheap flights. So cheap that they’re almost surreal sometimes! We can be talking about special airline company deals or just fare errors that you can take advantage of. Most (if not all) of these flights depart from other main European or North American cities. In these cases, you have to keep in mind that, in addition to the return ticket to your final destination, you’ll also have to book another flight to the city where you’ll be departing from.
Holiday Pirates is available both in the web and the app versions. It frequently presents amazing deals on flights, holiday packages, hotels, cruise ships, amongst others. You can even set up alerts so you can always be up to date on deals to certain destinations around the world. You don’t actually buy anything through Holiday Pirates, it just shows you and redirects you to deals offered by other suppliers/operators.
The website Last Minute.com delivers exactly what it implies in its name: last minute deals on flights, hotels, holiday packages and so on. If you have flexible dates then this is a good website to visit regularly and to keep up to date with.
Airline Companies’ Websites
Make sure to frequently visit several airline companies’ websites so you don’t miss out on any special deals to several destinations. It’s also a good idea to compare prices offered by Online Travel Agencies and Travel Search Engines with the prices offered by the airline companies themselves. You can often find lower prices for the same flight through the airline company.
Don’t forget to also subscribe to their newsletters so you can keep up to date with every special deals they might put out.
Frequent Flyer Programs
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to save every time you travel. Sign up to as many frequent flyer programs as you can, to be able to earn miles every time you travel with certain airline companies. The earned miles can then be used to get discounts or, depending on the amount of miles, even free tickets! Here are some frequent flyer programs:
Airline Partners: Adria / Aegean / Air Canada / Air China / Air India / Air New Zealand / ANA / Asiana Airlines / Austrian / Avianca / Brussels Airlines / Copa Airlines / Croatia Airlines / Egyptair / Ethiopian / Eva Air / LOT Polish Airlines / Lufthansa / Scandinavian Airlines / Shenzhen Airlines / Singapore Airlines / South African Airways / Swiss / TAP Portugal / Thai / Turkish Airlines / United
Website: Star Alliance
Airline Partners: Emirates
Airline Partners: KLM / Air France
Website: Flying Blue
What to keep in mind when looking for flights:
- Try to look for flights departing from other main cities, like Madrid, London, Milan or Barcelona, for example (if you’re living in Europe, of course). Considering the large amount of flights departing from and to these cities, it’s more likely to find cheaper flights there.
- Try to be as flexible as you can regarding your travel dates. This way, with a difference of only a few days, you’ll be able to find much more interesting prices.
- Direct flights are always more expensive than flights with several stops. The more stops it includes, the cheaper it is.
There you go. Now that you have an idea of how and where to book cheap flights, you can start planning your next trip. 🙂