How to Find Affordable Airline Deals throughout the Year?
Flying has ceased to be a luxury a long time ago. The development of many airlines brought to that. Today, people travel by airplane for business, leisure and many other reasons. And holiday traveling is on the most significant rise in this category. Still, traveling by airline remains unavailable for many people because of high prices. Or it seems so. However, with proper tactics and keeping several things in mind, you can circumvent even that type of problem. That said, this article tends to provide some useful tips about finding affordable airline deals.
Basics on finding affordable airline deals
At the first glance, most airline fares seem very high. But, have a look more deeply into the matter. You will realize at some point that most people that fly don’t have much different incomes than you. So what is the catch? In fact, there is more than one thing you should pay attention to. And these are the most important ones:
- Try to determine your destination(s) well in advance. For most people, this is the key to finding affordable flight deals. And when we say “well in advance,” we don’t mean a month or 45 days. It is rather 2 or 3 months, even more.
- Airline flight fares are variable. That means that prices fluctuate depending on supply and demand. You plan to go to a popular destination in the high season? If so, you can still lower the price to a certain extent with the right approach.
- Follow offers of multiple suppliers. As with everything else, different suppliers offer different prices. They may offer widely different deals depending on the services they provide. But, finding an affordable deal usually requires leaving out some amenity, right?
These points are just basic ones. Finding affordable airline deals is much more complex than that. But, the specified points are to begin with.
Let’s elaborate now
Try to determine your destination(s) well in advance
As with other important things in life, planning is essential for a successful holiday. And that includes choosing your target destination(s). The other important point is doing so several months in advance. With these matters settled, you are in a position to monitor changes in the airline market and act timely once a favorable deal appears. And they do appear, sooner or later.
Note that a universal rule about best timings for booking affordable flights doesn’t exist. For some destinations, it could be 3 months in advance, for others 6. It depends on many variable factors. But, the longer the span of time you have, the more likely you are to get lucky.
Airline flight fares are variable
If you start following prices more than 6 months before the planned trip, don’t expect them to be at their lowest just then. The scheduled flight is still far ahead and there is enough time for selling the tickets. But, as the date of the flight approaches, the airline is prone to lower the price. Know that empty seats cost the company the most. And by lowering their deals through special promotions, they ensure the full occupancy or close enough.
Whether or when the promotion will appear depends on the popularity of the destination, time of the year and some other factors. Even when the special offer appears, there could still be room for additional discounts. But that could be a long shot. Then, the question is whether the provider will sell enough seats or not. Hence, calculate wisely if you should take the risk.
Tip: Some risks definitely aren’t worth taking. If you plan to fly for Christmas or to a popular summer resort in summer, don’t take it. At these times, most people travel and airlines are sure to sell all seats on the plane.
Follow offers of multiple suppliers
Low-cost airlines are the first resort for finding least expensive deals. But, they don’t have to be the last. At times, commercial airlines tend to offer surprisingly good deals that nearly match those of the low-cost ones. So, always keep in check multiple providers.
If such an offer appears, you can benefit even if you pay a somewhat higher price of the ticket. Usually, commercial airlines have more favorable timetables than low-cost airlines. They also land at airports closer to the final destination. Hence, if the flight fare is similar, you are likely to travel shorter and save on transfer expenses. Not to mention avoiding lodging costs for staying overnight to catch a connecting flight.
Other options for booking affordable flights
As stated above, booking affordable flights is much more complex. In that regard, keep in mind the following:
- Flight fares tend to be different, even if offered by a single airline. That depends the most on the day of the week the flight takes off. Statistically, Tuesday is the least expensive day for flying while Saturday is the most expensive. For the flight on Tuesday, you save 11% of the price of the ticket on average.
- If you have options, choose evening flights over those earlier during the day. You can save around 9% of the full price.
- Always contemplate the possibility of additional costs during the trip. Sometimes, you might have to stay put for a half of the day or longer at the airport. So, calculate whether a cheaper flight deal is worth it.
- Try to find out when flying to the desired destination is affordable the most. For example, a trip in the 1st week of the month may cost you a few dozen percent less than in the 2nd. Or vice versa.
- Albeit the statistics vary widely, the chances for finding best deals are 2 months before the scheduled flight in most cases.
- While a direct flight is usually a preferred option, connecting flights can ensure you big savings. Depending on where you fly, you can save up to a few hundred USD or EUR this way. But, don’t forget that certain inconveniences could occur. Flight delays and long transfers may take you a lot of time. Hence, see to book a connecting flight that takes off at least a few hours after the scheduled landing.
Online search engines for finding best flight deals
There are several reputable flight search engines on the web. Some of them are Skyscanner, Google Flights and Priceline. Keeping an eye on more than one flight booking engine can be a good strategy. This is because prices of a specified flight tend to be somewhat different from one search engine to another. However, keeping in check multiple booking websites may be more complicated than it appears. So, if you wish to choose one particular flight search engine, we suggest you to choose Momondo.
Momondo online flight booking engine
What makes Momondo stand out from other similar search engines is its Flight Insight. It is under the “Search” button, which is by the end of the flight details on top of the page. This useful option allows you to predict the most favorable time for booking affordable tickets and more.
The Flight Insight analyzes the defining factors that influence the price of the flight. In general, these are airlines, seasonality, days to departure, days of the week and times of the day. So, when you insert the details of the intended flight, make sure to consult this handy tool before proceeding further. It could make a difference from a few dozen to a few hundred $ or €.
Besides simply listing factors, the Flight Insight reveals the share of each of them in the structure of the final price. For flights to certain destinations, seasonality plays the major role in determining the flight fare. For others, most important factors are days before the departure or airlines. Usually, these three determinants influence the price of a flight to the largest extent.
More so, by selecting a specific factor, you get further useful details for planning. If you select “Airline,” you get the details about the prices charged by airlines that operate between the destinations. The “Seasonality” diagram reveals flight fares week by week.
Additional tips you should know about booking flights
Besides pros, traveling by plane brings cons, too. Until the flight market changes, the airlines are in a position to set certain rules. Some of those that concern passengers the most relate to compensation in the case of delayed or cancelled flights. Expenses that aren’t instantly obvious are also among them.
So, take some time to check out what you can count on if it comes to overbooking or delay of any kind. It can save you a lot of time, nerves and money, after all. Albeit airlines usually have the upper hand, certain regulations protect travelers in some cases.
While cancelling the flight by a passenger usually involves a big penalty, this doesn’t always stand for the airline. Certain regulations, however, such as Flight Delay Compensation Regulation EC 261, oblige airlines to compensate travelers if certain inconveniences occur. These include partial, full or even upgraded compensations depending on the duration of the delay and the mileage of the flight. Your current destination may also play a big part in the reimbursement process.
There are many variables in the game, so take a moment to read through the regulations before you complete the booking.
To determine the real cost of the intended flight, you need sometimes to open eyes for so-called “hidden expenses.” In most cases, you will encounter these with low-cost airlines. Their fares usually look very attractive, but you will need to pay additional fee for the luggage more often than not. Sometimes, the additional price for the luggage could be larger than the price of the flight! This usually occurs with very cheap flights.
Also, choosing a specific seat on the plane can inflate the total amount you have to pay. This stands for a choice of a meal, as well. Finally, completing the transaction with the specific type of payment can also somewhat enlarge the total amount on the payment page.
Useful tips for traveling to Paris by airline
As we have mentioned, every destination on earth is different from others when it comes to affordable flying. Paris is no exception. Hence, examine the following data to learn when you are most likely to fly to the French capital for a little money. The data relates to the return trip.
- Vueling and Air France usually offer most favorable deals.
- For non-stop flights, you should book 14 days or more in advance for the best prices.
- For connecting flights, you should reserve the ticket between 20 days and 2 months or 3+ months in advance for the lowest price.
- The period from January to June is the most affordable for flying from Rome to Paris.
- Low-cost airlines easyJet and Vueling offer the most affordable fares most often.
- For direct flights, the best time to purchase your tickets is between 3 weeks and 2 months in advance.
- The same time frame is the best for booking connecting flights.
- January is the month when you are likely to pay the lowest price for a trip from London to Paris.
- Air France and Aegean airlines offer the most affordable fares in most cases.
- You are likely to book the cheapest tickets for direct flights at least 1 month in advance.
- For the least expensive connecting flights, secure your tickets either between 1 and 2 months or 3+ months before the trip.
- February is the most affordable month for flying for budget travelers.
From New York:
- Air France and Norwegian Shuttle usually offer the most favorable deals.
- The best period for booking direct flights is between 3 and 4 weeks in advance.
- Book 3 weeks in advance or earlier for the best prices for connecting flights.
- January is the most affordable month for the flight.
- Jet Airways and Saudi Arabian usually have the best deals.
- For direct flights, purchase tickets between 1 and 2 months in advance for the lowest prices.
- Buy your ticket 3+ months in advance for connecting flights to secure the best deals.
- You are likely to find the most affordable deals for flights scheduled from February to July.
- Air China and Vietnam are usually the most affordable airlines operating between Sydney and Paris.
- For the best deals (connecting flights only), book your flight between 2 and 3 months before the plane takes off.
- March is the least expensive month for flying on this relation.
From Rio de Janeiro:
- Iberia and Royal Air Maroc offer the best fares most often.
- To fly directly for the lowest price, book the flight between 2 and 3 months in advance.
- For the most affordable connecting flights, buy your tickets over 3 months in advance.
- March, May and June are usually the most affordable months for flying between Rio and Paris.