When you want to save money on air travel, the first thing you need to decide is whether you’d prefer to fly with a Low Cost carrier (LCC) or, with a “full service” airline. If you prefer an LCC, click here for tips. For advice on finding the lowest fare with “full service” airlines, continue reading below.
I recommend visiting ITA’s Matrix. Once there, select a “Month Long” search, enter your departure and destination cities, enter the earliest date you’re likely to travel, change the “Sales City” to be the same as the departure city, leave the other options as they are and click the “GO!” button. Matrix will then return the lowest fares found departing on any date during a 30 day period. It’s not possible to actually book flights through this site, but it will give you a very good indication of the lowest published fares available, which you can then target nearer to the dates you actually want to travel. (Tip: If you’re asked for log-in details when you arrive at the main page, just click the “Log-In as a Guest” link.)
Head over to Zuji and then Expedia and check if they can match, or even do better, than the fares ITA Matrix found. Zuji gives you the option of doing a +/- 3 days search but Expedia only offers exact date searches on flights originating outside the US. (Be aware that fares on Zuji are in Australian Dollars whilst Expedia’s fares are in US Dollars.)
If no joy with the previous step, try using the “+/-1 day” search feature of the following sites:
If you have the time and inspiration, also check the following websites, since they occasionally return an even lower fare than the above methods. If you’re serious about saving money on flights, you should check them all. I’ve personally tested all of them (as in I have actually booked tickets through them) and can vouch that they are genuine. In no particular order, they are:
Sure it’ll take a little while to work through all the above, but you’ll likely find it’s worth it.
Last updated 28 December 2010
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