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How to get a bargain plane ticket

Airlines tickets often cost more than travel, but travel is not always expensive. You can use this guide to find the best airline deals for your next vacation and find the cheapest flights.

You can find cheap flights if you know how to book them.

Additionally, there are a lot of different airfare search engines and comparison websites available these days, along with newly established airlines and others that disappear suddenly.

If you plan to book a flight online, you should first search multiple flight search engines. There is no telling which site will offer the best price for flights.

Whenever I search for my next flight, some sites provide better deals than others, so here are my top five that I use (in order).

Some good flight comparison sites:

  • Skyscanner

  • Momondo

  • Kiwi

  • JetRadar

  • Google Flights

In this blog post, we're going to debunk some myths and share some real tips; enjoy!

Debunking the lies

First, let's go through some things that aren't going to help you:

 - Shopping on a Tuesday does not affect your plane fare.

 - Searching Incognito will NOT get you a discount.

 - You can NOT predict airline prices-websites that promise to do so are fanciful.

These tricks might have worked in the past, but airlines are now using advanced algorithms to determine prices and offer sales based on the time of year, passenger demand, weather, events, competitor and fuel prices, and more!

We know how to work the algorithm, and we're willing to share it with you!

Be Flexible

Probably not what you wanted to hear, right? But it's key. Try to be spontaneous and be flexible about your dates or destination, ideally both. Regardless of anything else, travelling during holidays like Christmas or New Year will cost you extra, even at a bargain price. You should also be wary of August, most schools have holidays then, and the demand is much higher for travel; if you can work around it, you're going to save!

The solution to must pricing issues is to travel off-season. You're probably going to have an easier time asking for time off since you won't have as many colleagues asking for time out. Did you check airline prices for Japan around the time the Olympics were scheduled? Tickets that could usually be found for as cheap as £400 were up to £12,000. If airlines can charge excessive prices and still sell, they will.

Being flexible with times can help too. Flying during the middle of the week is the cheapest. The weekends are populated by people trying to escape for Saturday and Sunday, and Monday and Friday seem to be prime days for business travellers. Travelling early in the morning or late at night is cheaper, even if it can be inconvenient.

Alternatively, if you're tied to specific dates, try mixing up the destination. Sites like Skyscanner, Google Flights and Momondo can show you different destinations and price tickets within a specific range of dates. This can ignite the spontaneous spark in you, and you can be inspired to fly somewhere you hadn't thought of before. Embrace the random search filter!

Smaller/ Budget Airlines

There are plenty of budget airlines that will get you to the same place in (hopefully) one piece. If you're travelling between countries, it might be good to check with their local airlines; they're usually more reasonably priced.

Bear in mind that smaller/ budget airlines ask you to pay extra for some things we take for granted with larger airlines. Checked baggage, meals and reserved seating can also add to your tickets. If you're okay preceding these, then click pay, but if you're not sure you can do without, then do some quick math. It might be the case that going for an all-inclusive ticket is cheaper overall than adding on extras to a lower-priced ticket.

Currency Exchange

Look for your ticket in other currencies! This isn't a very widely known or used trick. Try searching for your airfare in a country where the money is weaker than yours. 

Make sure that you're saving through exchange fees! If you're purchasing your ticket in another currency, use your Kixy multi-currency card to avoid getting charged high exchange rates or transaction fees for no extra cost.

Travel Alone...Ish

Airlines can be very lazy with their ticket pricing. So, if you're booking in a group of six, the airline will try and place you sitting together. In this case, all tickets are priced at the price-point of the most expensive ticket. For example, if you're booking tickets for seats A-F and seat E is priced at £300, even if the rest of the seats are priced at around £100, you'll be charged £1800!

Look for the ticket prices for an individual and then go from there. It might work out better to book individually, even travelling separately.

If cheap travel is what you're after, you should always travel with a 'borderless' bank! You'll save on exchange rates, transaction fees, using your card abroad and paying locally. You happen to be on the website for a bank that does all of the above!

Booking 2-8 months in advance will land you the best airline deals for international flights. It is cheapest to book between three and six months in advance when it comes to domestic flights.

Another way to save money is early morning flights, play around with flight time. Try booking tickets by flying during the off-season, off-peak times, when there will be less demand. For example? When kids are back in school.

If you need to travel during a particular month, you can also search by searching that month to see which day has the best price.

Somehow airlines seem to love offering cheap flights at the beginning of the year, though people are probably out of money after the holiday season.

It's good to keep this in mind when planning your travels for next year and set aside some money to book your holiday flights during the early months of January or February.

Information in this publication is provided for general information only, and it does not purport to include every aspect of the topics with which it deals. You should not take it as advice. Prior to taking, or refraining from taking, any action based on the content of this publication, you should seek professional or specialist advice. Kixy LTD or its affiliates are not rendering legal, tax or other advice through the content of this publication. A similar outcome is not guaranteed. The content in the publication does not represent, warrant or guarantee, either expressly or impliedly, that it is current, accurate, complete, or up-to-date.

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