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8 Ways to Save Money On Airfare

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Whether you regularly travel for business, travel only for the holidays or are an international jetsetter, flying can sometimes be a nightmare. If you have to deal with screaming kids, armrest hogs, and cramped legroom, you should at least be able to take comfort in knowing you saved money on your airfare. The good news is, there are dozens of tips and tricks that can help land you great rates if you’re patient and willing to put in the time. Below, we’ve listed some of the best tips and resources for saving big money on airfare, no matter where your travels may take you!

Clear Your Browser Cookies

In most cases, the use of cookies makes browsing the Internet easier and hassle-free, since you don’t need to enter your information every time you visit a website. Unfortunately, cookies can also result in what many view as a form of price gouging, since airlines know that if you re-visit their website to look at airfare, you’re likely very interested in purchasing a ticket, even if the price goes up slightly. So, let’s say you browse an airline website on Tuesday and see a flight from Boston to Phoenix for $319, but decide to wait a bit before purchasing your ticket. On Saturday, you go back to the website to make your purchase, only to find the price for the exact same flight has jumped to $369. What happened?

In all likelihood, what happened is the website remembered you from your previous visit, based on cookies. Since you’re a repeat visitor, you’re more likely purchase the ticket, and will probably make the purchase regardless of a slight price increase. After all, most people do.  To avoid this type of online price gouging, simply delete your browser cookies before returning to a website to finalize your airfare purchase. The rates will stay low and your wallet will thank you!

Opt for a Package

If you’re planning a vacation, consider using one of the many packages offered on websites like Kayak and Expedia. Oftentimes, these websites will offer deeply discounted rates on airfare if you also book your hotel and/or a rental car through them. In some cases, package deals may be significantly less expensive than ticket prices alone, so always check package pricing before booking your vacation. Not only are vacation packages a great way to save money, you’ll also save yourself a lot of time and hassle by having everything booked at the same time.

Go Straight to the Source

More often than not, you can find special airfare sales if you go directly to the airline’s website, rather than using websites like Expedia or Orbitz. You don’t have to sign up for frequent flyer programs or email newsletters to do this, and most airlines advertise great deals online or through television commercials. If you’re not opposed to giving over your email address, however, frequent flyer programs can land you some excellent deals and promotions right in your Inbox, and you may even be able to rack up frequent flyer points to use the next time you fly!

CheapOAir

CheapOAir is a website much like Expedia, where you can easily search for flights and compare prices for different airlines. CheapOAir does offer significant savings over what you’d find even through Expedia or Orbits, but there is a catch. The trade-off for ultra-low pricing is that you can’t choose your own seat. If you’re happy to sit wherever they find a spot for you, you should definitely take advantage of the savings you can find on CheapOAir. If you’re only comfortable when you’re in a window seat, however, you may want to stick to more traditional options.

Kayak

Searching on Kayak for a flight can be useful in a few ways. For one, you can always find a good deal on Kayak, and you’ll be able to compare different airlines and flight times for the flight that perfectly fits your schedule and budget. Kayak also lets you select which other websites you’d like to compare your results to – Priceline, Orbitz, or Expedia – to verify that Kayak really did find you the best price available.

Yapta

Ever buy something only to find the exact item on sale a few days later? Thanks to Yapta, you can say goodbye to that ever happening with airline tickets again! Yapta is a handy website that tracks airfare price changes even after you’ve purchased your ticket. If the price drops on an airline ticket you’ve already bought, Yapta will send you a refund alert. You can even claim your refund through the Yapta site, making everything simple and seamless.

Hipmunk

Like other travel sites, Hipmunk lets you search for flights and sort your results by price, flight duration and stops, but Hipmunk takes things a little bit further. Hipmunk takes a look at the number of stops, departure time, length and price of each flight, and then assigns the flight an “Agony” rating. Your goal on Hipmunk is to find the flight with the lowest Agony score, while still staying within your budget.

Google Flight Search

Google Flight Search offers a fast, no-fuss way to search for the cheapest flights available on your requested dates. When you find the flight you want, click the ‘Book’ button and Google will instantly link you to a website where you can purchase the tickets quickly and easily. No fancy search menus or filters, just a simple, efficient way to find the flight you want as quickly as possible.

As a freelance writer, Kyle enjoys writing and editing diverse content for several businesses across the United States. Find Kyle on LinkedIn!

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