How to book cheap flights?(9 Posts)
Can I ask for any tips/tactics for booking cheap European flights? We're thinking of some sort of city break (possibly Italy or Spain) in early April. I think the cheap operators release their flights 6 months in advance. Is it best to pounce and book as soon as they become available or if the price fluctuates after they are released is there an optimum time to book? I'm in awe of those who seem to manage to book cheap flights and accommodation for exciting trips abroad on a shoe string. I should mention that unfortunately we are restricted to the school holidays.
Book as soon as the flights are released as the prices always I increase (IME)
We looked at Easter to Spain this year, prices seemed to be £250 pp which was ridiculous, £1k to Malaga. We waited until Xmas Eve and booked then as they'd dropped to just over £100pp.
A lot of travel and airline companies practice 'dynamic pricing' they monitor how many people are looking at a particular flight, and the price rises the more people who are looking at it. So avoid searching when everybody else will be, I.e Saturday and Sunday, when couples will be making travel plans together. They an odd time, like Tuesday evening for example. The poster above, booked on Christmas Eve. How many people will be searching for flights then?
Also, do a search on your work pc or smartphone before deciding. Once you start searching on your home PCs, the company will log your IPS (the identity of your wifi) and will know exactly what you are searching for the minute you type in the web address, and will probably raise the price because the program knows you definitely want that flight and wants to extract as much money from you as it can.
If you have a frequent flyer membership, log in using your profile, take the booking right to the payment level, then close the browser window. Within a week you will get a 'special offer' email from the company which looks like a mass mailing, but in fact will be tailored for you; they want that sale!
I will often go to my favourite airline in a fanciful mood, just to price up my dreams. I always get an email a few days later with 'special offers' to those destinations. This year when booking our flights, I left it a week after looking and lo and behold, I received a special offer email. DH and I saved £750 each on our flights, a tidy £1500 between us. They play on people's holiday excitement and desire for instant satisfaction.
Wow that's brilliant advice. Thanks very much. We've only recently renewed our passports and got them for our DCs so we are slowly rediscovering the joy of foreign travel . I suspected that airlines (and train companies) somehow exploited your previous search history so will make sure I search at work first (in my lunch hour, of course!)
Buxton......this may be a very silly question, but does searching on my iPad for flights using my home wifi alert the airline in the same way as my PC?
( sorry if this is obvious)
I've started using Skyscanner.net a lot. It gives you all of the flight options to your destination and means you can look at changing days, departing airport etc. quite quickly.
I got an absolute bargain to Tenerife as I didn't know - and nor did anyone else it seemed - that there was a direct Norweigan Air flight to their from our airport.
Brandy, using your iPad shouldn't unless you're signed in to an account on it that you also use on your other machine. It's tracking cookies, and the same applies to buying anything (esp on Amazon), not just flights. You can avoid it by using incognito mode in your browser, whatever device you're using. Skyscanner and Kayak are good because you're querying their databases not the airlines directly, so long as you don't click through (I think).
flights; you can set up alerts eg Tripadvisor who will advice when prices
drop. They use several companies so make sure you tick their boxes.
I get emails all the time for my destination.
When booking some way in advance make sure you book on a credit card
for companies eg going bust.
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