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Flight Prices Are Sky High: 7 Ways To Find Cheap Flights
With the cost of gas and fuel increasing across America, all travel costs are going up. Yes, this includes flight prices. Domestic flight costs are up 36 percent since the start of 2022, with the average US ticket cost being around $300. Travelers everywhere are feeling the frustration of rising costs as fuel prices continue to skyrocket.
Traveling by air is not only a favorite but it is the fastest method of transportation to your select destination. However, hefty prices are causing travelers to revert to other modes of travel like driving or by train. If you still want to fit flights into your travel budget this season, check out a few of these tips to help you find the cheapest flights no matter where you’re traveling to.
1. Have Flexible Travel Dates
Most people have a clear idea of when they want to take a vacation or family trip. However, being flexible with your travel dates can save you a lot of money when it comes to booking flights.
Remember if you choose to fly when everyone else is flying, you’re going to pay more for plane tickets. Hot travel times like spring break and the summertime when kids are on break have higher flight prices than during the fall months. Travelers who fly around major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving also run into more expensive flights. So try to stay away from those dates if you don’t want to pay the hefty price.
If you want to find a cheaper flight, consider flying in the middle of the week instead of the weekend. Early morning and late-night flights are also typically cheaper, so you can save a few dollars by getting up early for a red-eye instead of waiting until lunchtime. Fridays and Mondays are the busiest days for business travel so avoid those days too if you’re looking for a cheap flight.
2. Fly Budget Airlines
Back in the day travelers had to fly on major airlines for international travel, but more recently budget airlines are making a major comeback after taking a hit when the pandemic started. Budget airlines are now providing short and medium-haul flights to places around the world at low prices. Airlines like AirAsia, Swoop, Easyjet, and JetBlue can take travelers to pretty much any place in the world with flights as low as $150 depending on the airline.
Keep in mind, there may be some vast differences between flying budget and a flight on a major airline. Some of the planes aren’t very comfortable and you may pay more in fees for things like checked bags, using a credit card, or even for printing your boarding pass, but if the pros outweigh the cons, take a chance on a budget airline flight to save a few coins.
3. Don’t Fly Direct
Sometimes it’s cheaper to make a stop in another city instead of flying directly to your destination from your place of departure. For example, it may be cheaper to fly to Australia and then hop on a budget flight to Thailand than it is to fly straight to Thailand from the US.
One traveler discovered this when traveling internationally to Paris. Initially, their flight to France from the US was $900. But they saved over $200 by booking a $600 flight to Germany and then taking a $60 budget flight to Paris. Although this does take more travel time, if you’re a patient person with a little time on your hands, do some research on indirect flights that’ll still get you to your destination.
4. Try Out Different Search Engines
Not all search engines yield the same results so it’s important to do a thorough search on multiple sites to find the cheapest flights. Google reigns supreme as the best place to go to see multiple airline flight comparisons at one time. However, other sites provide equally good results with more insight into cheap flight options.
Skyscanner is a traveler’s favorite for finding inexpensive flights and you also can find hotels and rental cars on the site as well. Considering that most search engines don’t always include budget airlines and booking sites that aren’t in English, Momondo.com is a great site to visit to see pretty much every airline and booking site under the sun. They also usually have prices that are cheaper 92 percent of the time than other search engines.
5. Mix & Match Your Airlines
You can use third-party sites like Kiwi.com to piece together flights from different airlines in order to get you the cheapest travel deal. Let’s say you’re flying from Chicago to Germany. You may save money by stopping in London and switching airlines on the way to Germany. Although this won’t save you time, it could possibly save you money as you fly to your destination.
6. Use Your Points & Miles
It’s no secret that loyalty will always earn you rewards when it comes to travel. If you have a favorite airline you prefer to fly with, make sure you sign up for their customer incentive program. Most major airlines have these programs and, after accruing so many flight miles, you can cash in for free and discounted flights. You also can earn other travel perks like free hotel stays, flight upgrades, and even Uber and Lyft credits that you can use while on vacation.
7. Don’t Buy Multiple Tickets For Multiple Travelers
When searching for airline tickets, be sure to only search for one ticket at a time if you’re traveling with a group of travelers. If you search for multiple tickets, the airline website will price each ticket as the highest price point. So if you buy three tickets individually priced at $100, $200, and $300, the airline will price all three tickets as $300 each. This will cause you to spend a lot more money in the long run so only buy one ticket at a time.