- Purchase your tickets on Tuesday afternoon; airlines generally release their sale fares on Tuesdays at 3 pm EST.
- Discounts for domestic travel start 3 ½ months prior to departure date.
- Use the consolidators, such as Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Cheap Tickets, Kayak, Hotwire, etc. for research purposes only. It’s usually best to book directly on the airline’s site since most of the consolidators charge a booking fee. Also, keep in mind that some of the airlines that offer inexpensive fare, such as Southwest, Allegiant, etc. are not listed on the consolidators’ search engines. It’s also harder to get a refund or change your tickets when using a consolidator.
- Be patient, airfare fluctuates. Compare the rates of several airlines.
- Discounts for international travel start 5 to 6 months prior to the departure date.
- 21 days prior to departure is considered advanced purchase, once you hit 15 days before the flight, the price begins to increase.
- Try some of the small-scale and charter airlines, such as Air Jamaica, Allegiant, Bahamas Air, etc. When purchasing these tickets be aware of the restrictions on refunds and cancellations. Many of these airlines have limited schedules and if you miss your flight or connection, you may have to use another carrier.
- Research the airlines’ luggage fees, many times you get a great deal on the airfare, but is it really a great deal when luggage fees are ½ the rate of the ticket? Don’t over pack!
- Be flexible with your dates, sometimes flying out or returning a day or two later or earlier than your originally scheduled date, can save you money. It’s usually best to travel on an early morning Tuesday or Wednesday flight.
- If all else fails, book with a Travel Agent. Travel Agents are trained and experienced to research reasonable flights, customized for your individual needs.