How to Save on Airfare
The Internet has provided a revolution in the way people shop for airfares. What used to be the province only of connected travel agents is now the province of every Internet connected traveler. Recent studies have shown that online airfare shoppers visit more than three sites on average to shop for airfares.
What many of these online shoppers fail to realize is that simply comparing prices on different websites is not necessarily the best way to find reduced rates.
There are many tricks to finding lower rates that go beyond finding the right Internet sites.
First, all air travel should be booked more than thirty days in advance if possible. There are ways to get great last minute deals, but overall, the best way to get good deals on air travel is to purchase in advance.
Another way to get reduced airfares is to book all your trips during down seasons. The end of summer is a perfect example of a down season when. When possible, always book a trip during down times, regardless of when the trip occurs. Many people fail to realize that the price of a trip can be related to when it was purchased, not just how far in advance, but what the seasonal prices were at the time of purchase.
Many airfare shoppers are now using the Internet where various airlines rates and times are compared and contrasted. What they aren't aware of is that these rates do not always represent the lowest rates an airline provides. Currently, the best way to assure the lowest price is to call the airlines and ask them directly. Many times they will have deals that are only available to those who call in. Also, it is worthwhile to call just after midnight, as any specials for the day that have not sold out could still be available.
Generally speaking, prices in the middle of the week will be cheaper than prices at the end of the week, so trips from Wednesday to Wednesday are ideal.
When considering different airports, many people fail to take into account smaller airports serviced by players such as Southwest Airlines. Southwest flies into many ports that sound off the beaten path, but are in fact within close driving distances of major destination. For example, Southwest does not fly into Boston Logan or JFK, but they fly to Providence, RI, Manchester, NH and Long Island. Many times these airlines can get you nearly as close for a lot less money.
Finally, careful analysis of rewards systems and travel patterns will be the ultimate determining factor in whether an individual airline deserves your loyal patronage, or whether rate shopping makes most sense for you.