If you take the time to look around, you’ll discover that there’s a fare war going on between airlines, travel agents and Internet sites all offering discounted airfares. With some patience and some research, you’ll be able to find a site offering the best discount airfare. Plus, if you travel regularly, you’ll soon discover the best places to visit and cut down your research time enormously.
A great place to start is at the airline websites. It helps if you know which airlines fly to your intended destination, particularly smaller airlines. Most airlines offer a discount if you buy your tickets from their site. Often you can get the best prices direct from the airlines, but not always. Check out the types of fares being offered around your intended travel date, and make a note of them.
Some sites take the travel information that you input, then head off and search the databases of all the major travel sites to find the best fares. They often search airline sites as well. This is much easier than visiting each site individually. So check out Kayak.com and Sidestep.com and see what they come up with. The only problem is that some of the bigger sites, such as Travelocity.com, have been losing to traffic to these search sites and so have refused access to their databases. So you may need to visit some of the bigger travel sites such as Expedia or Orbitz and check out their discounted airfares.
It can also be helpful to check fare prices over the period of a couple of days, and at different times of the day. So you might check at 8am one day, 4pm the next and 10pm at night as well. Sometimes a flight that was at normal price in the morning will have been discounted by as much as 50% that evening. The only problem is that you have to spend a lot of time checking fares, and there’s an element of luck involved. This type of discount fare usually gets snapped up very quickly, so you may find it’s a lot of work for nothing.
Another great way to get the best discount airfare is to be flexible in your travel dates and times. There are certain days of the week when fares are generally cheaper, so if you can search across a range of dates you have a better chance of finding a discount airfare. You can also try traveling during the off peak or lean season, when airlines are struggling to fill seats. It’s also a good idea to book as far ahead as possible, to have the biggest range of discount airfares to choose from.