The airline departments that create fare sales usually do so on Monday afternoons. These sales are then distributed to travel sites such as Expedia.com and also posted on the airline’s own site. Competing airlines see these sales the next morning and adjust their fares accordingly, and final sale pricing hits reservations systems at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. “This is when you get the maximum number of cheap seats,” Mr. Seaney said. Most of these sales last only for three days so don’t procrastinate.
Not only does it help to be flexible with dates and destinations but being flexible with the route you take is another way to get a cheap flight. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly to London and take a budget airline to Amsterdam than to fly direct to Amsterdam. There are so many budget carriers around the world that taking advantage of a good deal to another city and then hopping on a budget flight to your destination is sometimes the best way to go. I had to go to Paris once; the flight was $900 USD, but I could fly to Dublin for $600 and get a $60 flight to Paris. It meant more flying time, but the $240 I saved was worth it.
I am planning to book an open jaw ticket San Francisco-Paris, Mykonos-San Francisco leaving in late May, returning in mid June. The cheapest I have found using every site I know are around $1800. I was thinking a good price would be around $1300 – $1500, but it may be too late to get these fares. Do you think prices could drop some? Should I wait until January to book? Kayak is not able to give me a buy/wait recommendation.
Some sites offer the option to purchase a discounted ticket without knowing full details about your airline and flight times. For example, Priceline allows you to suggest a price for your itinerary if you're flexible about your airline and flight schedule. Hotwire offers discount "hot rates" that provide details of your airline and flight time after you have purchased the ticket. Just keep in mind that you're just as likely to stumble upon deals on the airlines' own websites — particularly if you sign up for their email alerts.
Some low-cost airlines do not allow their prices to be included among the meta-search results because they prefer you to buy directly on their website due to already low prices. Information about their campaigns and discounts are usually communicated directly through their e-news and social channels. Therefore, it makes sense to subscribe to their e-newsletter (if you use Gmail, you can create a filter that allows you to collect all low-cost mail in one folder. Here it is explained how to do it).
When you do find small airlines, even if they are listed in a search engine results, it often pays to check the company site which may reveal exclusive online offers not found in a regular search engine. For example, when flying in Western Canada, I found that Hawk Air, a small and local company offers weekly deals on certain days. Be sure to double check!
The investigation, whose findings experts say are indicative of ticketing practices nationwide, revealed that 54 percent of tickets are reserved for the artists, production companies, venues, promoters, radio stations, and presale customers such as fan club members or people who carry a particular credit card. Schneiderman’s probe found that when the remaining tickets are finally released to the general public, profiteering can be rampant.
RAFI MOHAMMED: I always ask people on the front line, because they deal with customers. And oftentimes people on the front line can tell you a lot of people would have paid a lot more, or we’re getting a lot of people who are very interested, they take the product off the shelf. They’re interested, but once they see the price, they put the product back.