Holiday season especially for travelling families and individuals takes a great deal of planning. Planning for a holiday entails among other things finding the money, choosing a holiday destination and choosing the mode of transportation. For those who prefer flying, getting an affordable ticket is high on the priority list. Here is how you can buy the cheapest possible flight ticket.
It’s always a good idea to book as early as possible because airlines sell their cheapest tickets first. For domestic flights Saturday afternoon travel is generally cheaper. For international flights leaving South Africa on Sundays to Thursdays and returning Tuesday to Thursday is generally cheaper. If you are travelling towards the end of the year, flights on the 25th and 31st are often cheaper and the new year flights on the 1st of January can be much cheaper.
It’s always advisable to search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices. This is because based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. In Google Chrome, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”. This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search.
No single search engine can be described as consistently perfect. All search engines have inflated flight costs as part of taking a cut from the airlines. However some search engines consistently inflate prices and are much higher than others. It pays to familiarise yourself with sites that offer the best prices.
Keep track of the oil markets or the Rand price of oil. Depending on the airlines’ pricing system and power, these might filter through into prices. So if there’s been a sharp fall in Rand oil prices in the last week, prices may fluctuate downwards, but if there’s been a sharp increase in the Rand price of oil you may want to accelerate the purchase of your ticket due to a possible imminent upward increase in ticket prices.
Mix it up
Long gone are the days when it was always cheaper to book a return flight on the same airline. You can save some money by flying out and flying in with totally different airlines. This also extends to flying into and out of different airports.
The tips provided above should assist you to save on flight tickets this holiday season.