Financial Travel Tip #67 – More Airfare Saving Hacks

by Nora on February 16, 2013

Airfare usually marks a big portion of any travel budget, so it pays to do what you can to ensure you get the best flights for your buck. Here are some airfare saving hacks to consider.

Some of the strategies we’ve discussed in the past include ways to fly for (almost) free, get the lowest price on airfare (even after you buy), and weigh the contradicting elements of route/connections/price to find the “best” flight for your needs.

But there are a few more tricks to finding the best airfare.

Airline Algorithms

Airlines adjust their seat prices depending on the date of the flight and how many seats are still available. Sometimes they release batches of seats at lower prices if they have a glut. Knowing when the airline resets their prices (many are rumoured to reset weekly on a Tuesday or Wednesday at midnight), and searching just after the prices are reset can result in you getting a better deal.

(The more passive strategy to this – but one in which you might still lose out if you’re not quick on the draw – is to set up price change alerts).

 

Choose the Right Search Engine(s)

Many of the major search engines don’t reveal flights for smaller budget airlines. Skyscanner and Which Budget will show you most budget airline options.

Kayak (and Kayak-based engines, like Yapta) also has a handy feature that searches for “hacker fares”; giving you the best price on a return ticket by combining one-way deals from different airlines.

 

Clear Your Cookies

Another rumour is going around that airlines will increase the price of a flight you’re searching the more you search it. I can attest to this: I remember stalking a flight and being unimpressed with a fare hike, but when I searched the same flight on another computer the price was different.

Play on the safe side and clear your cookies between searches.

 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bethaney - Flashpacker Family February 17, 2013 at 9:02 am

I’ve heard the Tues/Wed tip before but I’ve never tried it. I’m going to be booking a tonne of flights over the next few months so I’m determined to find all the hacks and get the best possible bang for my buck!

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2 theprofessionalhobo February 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Hey Bethaney – Good luck with all your flight bookings, and I hope these tips help! When do you leave NZ, and where to?

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3 Chanel @ La Viajera Morena February 18, 2013 at 8:14 am

Great tips. Thank you!

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4 Alexa February 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for all those tips! I was just wondering how you get rid of the cookies ?

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5 theprofessionalhobo February 20, 2013 at 11:00 am

Hi Alexa – It depends on the browser you use. But it will be in the settings of your browser somewhere….look for something along the lines of “clear history” and you’re probably on the right track.

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6 Nicole @ Suitcase Stories February 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Thanks for these tips Nora. The most expensive part of being a nomad for us is the cost of flights (house sitting cuts down our accommodation costs) so its great to get tips like these.

Ive heard a few people talk about the cookies thing lately – Its a bit cheeky – putting it nicely – of them to put fares up when they know you are looking for those particular fares! Ill remember to clear the cookies between searches from now on!

Booking mid week has saved us a far bit as well. If you are flexi with your travel days, flying on a Tues or Weds is much cheaper (not for every flight but we have scored quite a few cheaper fares with this).

Thanks again for the tips Nora!

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7 theprofessionalhobo February 20, 2013 at 11:01 am

Hey Nicole – You hit on a great point, making sure to be flexible with your dates. Doing “flex month” searches can really help you nab a deal where you might not previously have known there was one.

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8 Jessica December 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm

First of. your blog is super helpful.. Thanks for all the tips!! Ive never heard about the cookies, but now that you’ve mentioned it.. I shall clear my history 🙂 Thanks again!

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9 theprofessionalhobo December 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

Hi Jessica, – Yes, it’s a sneaky trick on the part of the airlines! Here’s to booking the lowest fares available!

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