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Finding Cheap Airfare

Updated on March 27, 2011

One of the major obstacles to affordable travel is the airfare.  Airfare alone can run you thousands depending on the number of people traveling and the destination.  If you are trying to travel as a family this can put a stop to the European vacation that you have always wanted to do with your children.  I will give some advice on how to get the best deal on airfare.  Some advice will be good for the solo traveler that can travel at anytime.  Other advice will be for those that have vacation time and are somewhat restricted by dates. 

Online Search.

With almost everyone having a computer in their home this is very easy to do. There are a number of websites out there to help you buy airlines tickets. These sites handle the top carriers in the US. Though there are some that do not appear on these sites which I will talk about later. The one thing to watch for is booking fees. Sometimes a site will drop the booking fees during a promotion so watch for those. What I like to do is go through most of the process to get to the page that list the total amount with fees and taxes. Some sites will give you the lowdown on price right up.

One site that is a comprehensive site which will cover Hotwire, Expedia, Travelocity, and Priceline websites is Kayak. This is a good place to start with comparing airfares for the dates you want to travel. If you can move travel dates around a bit then do it. Good travel days are Tuesday, Wednesday, sometimes Saturday, so play around with days and time. With Priceline if you choose to "name your price" this could be a good deal. I would not recommend this for a weekend in Vegas. Why? Because you could end up leaving late Friday evening and coming back early Sunday. Also could have a layover that may be a few hours. I have done this a few times when I am going for a few weeks and traveling alone. For me I would not do this traveling with my daughter when she was younger. For those long layovers one needs a good book.

Other sites to look at when doing your search would be to check out Orbitz, Cheap Tickets, and Airline Consolidator which also handles International flights. You will find many similarities but occasionally you will find one that is offering a good fare on the dates you want to travel.

In the next section I will discuss airlines not found on these sites and worth looking into for good airfare.

Airlines Worth Looking At For Cheap Airfare.

Some airlines do not show up on Expedia and other sites like it. These are a few airlines that are worth looking into.

  • Southwest: this airline is well known in the states. There is some great fares to be found on Southwest.
  • Allegiant: big hubs are Las Vegas and Orlando/Sanford. There routes will not work for everyone but worth a look.
  • Jet Blue: operates flights in the US and some flights outside of US. Aruba, Bermuda and Cancun are a few of the destinations outside the the US.
  • Midwest: they do a codeshare with Delta and Northwest in accommodating desired flights. Their main hub is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Spirit: this airline has flights in the US, Central America and a few stops in South America.
  • Ryanair: if you need to find flights once in the UK or Europe this is a good one to take a look at. If one is traveling from London to Paris this airline would do.
  • Cathay Pacific: flights out of Los Angeles. Service to many countries.


Other Advice.

  • Check Sunday Travel section in the major newspapers for travel deals. Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, New York Times are a few newspapers that have good travel section to browse through for deals. Barnes and Noble does carry some major papers if you live in a smaller city.
  • Travel Magazines are another good source for deals.
  • Travel during the off season saves money, not only on flights but hotels and other travel necessities.
  • Join Frequent Flyer on the airlines that you fly. It's free.
  • Get e-mail alerts for fares. Airlines and online websites will e-mail you deals on fares for the destinations you are interested in.
  • Student fares. Need appropriate Id. Ages are usually 12 to 26. This website is a good one to check out, STA Travel. Saves your student an average $400 on their round trip ticket during peak travel time.
  • Senior fares. Usually 10% off ticket price.
  • Being a courier. Not for everyone. Good for solo travel. Must be able to pack light. Most operate out of Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and San Francisco to name a few.


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    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Good advice and I can personally vouch for Cathay Pacific. I'm linking this to my airline hub.

    • knowledgeispower profile image

      knowledgeispower 8 years ago

      Thanks for offering very useful tips on locating truly cheap flight tickets on the web.