The first thing to know about finding a cheap flight is that there is no magic bullet or one secret ninja trick to doing so. There are a lot of myths online about how to find cheap flights. In fact, you’ve probably come across a ton of them on your search to find the best flight deal! They are all lies. They will lead you astray. Most websites hire terrible reporters who recycle common and outdated myths. Here are the most common that are 100% not true:
Secret Flying can be a winner, if you're flexible about when you travel. There's no need to sign up – simply visit its (free) site to view cheap flights. You can filter by destination and month. It will direct you to the airline's website to book. Some deals may be in euros or dollars – make sure you pay with a specialist card to avoid hefty conversion fees.
Use a ticket resale website.[7] Ticket resale websites, colloquially called "fan-to-fan marketplaces", have emerged specifically due to how much money there is to be made in ticket resale. Websites like StubHub will allow you to post your tickets in a trusted setting.[8] These marketplaces are helpful because they're relatively safe and the buyers on that site will be there specifically with what you're selling in mind.
Spotting fake tickets can be difficult, especially if the fake ticket is printed on the same material as that real tickets. This can happen when material is stolen from the company that prints the real tickets. The best way to ensure that a ticket is real, is to purchase it yourself from a legitimate ticket agency, such as Ticketmaster, or to take it to the venue before the event and ask the staff to scan it to see if it is real. Beyond that, there may not be a great way to tell until you get ejected from the event. If you have received a suspicious looking ticket, it is best to check into it before the night of the event.
Lots of us research our holiday plans during the week, then discuss the options with our travelling companions at the weekend. But if you go online on a Saturday to buy your tickets, you could be paying over the odds. Airline pricing models are fluid, so a price you see one day (or even minute!) might increase or decrease the next. The airlines keep their pricing model data close to their chests, so there’s no set rule about when is the best time to whip out your plastic.
But warning: You won’t be able to check any bags. Since you’re getting off the flight before it reaches its final destination, any checked bags would head to the next stop without you. You should also avoid using your frequent flyer account number; airlines frown upon this money-saving method, and might cancel your return flight if they discover you doing this.” —Mona Molayem
The Simple Moving Average is first on the list of scalping indicator that can be used to create a very simple strategy. The simple moving average shows the average price over a specific time period allowing you to know if the price is going up or down, thus identifying a trend. So for example, if you wanted to plot the 7 period on a 10-minute chart, you would add all the closing prices of the last 70 minutes and divide that number by 7.  If you want to learn how to calculate simple moving averages and other types of moving averages check out this post.

As an industry leader, with access to nearly limitless data, Ticketmaster can determine fairly precisely just how much fans are willing to pay for every kind of show. Generally speaking, Smith says, artists who charged a lot more for the best 1,000 or so seats would reduce the incentive for scalpers to buy these tickets; it would also allow artists to charge even less for the rest of the seats in the house. Kid Rock told me that on his forthcoming tour, he is planning on charging a lot more than usual for “platinum seating” so that all other seats — including those in the first two rows — can be around $20. “It’s a smart thing for me to do,” he said. “We’re going to make money; I’m going to make money. I want to prove there is a better way to do this.”
Shopping for an airfare bargain is akin to trading on the stock market. A shopper who simply buys the lowest price on offer on a particular day may pay more than she should. If the prices seem too steep, check again periodically. This tip was the first piece of advice handed out by Airfarewatchdog.com in their article for Frommer's. During the week, prices may be updated multiple times during the day, so checking at least daily is a good idea. This is a tactic best applied in the last few weeks before the departure date, when prices are most likely to fluctuate.
For instance, if you fly frequently with American Airlines and have the habit of purchasing your air tickets directly with them, you could consider getting the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, a partner card. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® allows you to earn a welcome offer of 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you've spent $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months and 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in the first 12 months. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible purchases from American Airlines, gas stations and restaurants. Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card year and renew your card. You and up to 4 companions traveling with you on the same (domestic American Airlines itinerary) reservation get your first checked bag free. Additionally, you get to enjoy 25% savings on your eligible inflight purchases on things like food and beverage and headsets on top of skipping the snaking queues via priority boarding on American Airlines flights!
When the pre-sale tickets for The Tragically Hip’s final tour went on a sale, many of the fans were shattered after realizing that the tickets, which were sold out instantly, appeared on reseller sites like StubHub at up to 10 times the original price. Similarly, in December 2015, the tickets for Adele’s US tour on Ticketmaster got sold out in a few minutes. Many of those tickets were up for sale on resale sites such as eBay, StubHub, etc., where even the floor tickets cost about $4000. These are just the tip of the iceberg as many such ticketing websites have fallen prey to ticket scalping attack.
It can be difficult to know at what point your error fare is confirmed, as airlines' terms and conditions don't always clearly spell out at what point your contract with them is legally binding, and therefore your ticket is guaranteed. For an example of an airline refusing to honour an error fare, see our BA cancels cheap tickets to Middle East MSE News story.
I never even considered the VPN bit. I’ve noticed a large difference between prices I can get here in South Africa and those a friend who lives in the States is able to get. It seems so unfair but it’s understandable. I think there’s actually a site that you can go to that gets you low prices by skipping middle layover routes, but cannot recall what it was called.
Springsteen’s style might seem more altruistic, but performers who undercharge their fans can paradoxically reap higher profits than those who maximize each ticket price. It’s a strategy similar to the one employed by ventures like casinos and cruise ships, which take a hit on admission prices but make their money once the customers are inside. Concert promoters can overcharge on everything from beer sales to T-shirts, and the benefits of low-priced tickets can accrue significantly over the years as loyal fans return. In part, this explains why artists like Springsteen and Petty are content to undercharge at the gate while others, perhaps wary of their own staying power, are eager to capitalize while they can.
I never even considered the VPN bit. I’ve noticed a large difference between prices I can get here in South Africa and those a friend who lives in the States is able to get. It seems so unfair but it’s understandable. I think there’s actually a site that you can go to that gets you low prices by skipping middle layover routes, but cannot recall what it was called. 

Pick a seat as early as possible. Most airlines let you choose your seat when you book, and most charge extra for roomier seats. If your first choice is not open, select another seat and try to change it later. If seat assignments aren't available at booking, ask about the earliest possible date that you can request your seat (for example, 90 or 30 days before your flight) — and put it on your calendar. A week before your flight, airlines will sometimes release extra seats or change equipment: Check to see if you can get a better seat. And try to check in online exactly 24 hours before your flight, when even more seats may be released — including bulkhead and exit-row seats.

Two of the best travel rewards cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred and American Express Platinum Card. Both cards earn let you redeem your purchase rewards points through their respective credit card travel portal, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards, for award travel. Or, you can also transfer your points to an airline travel partner on a 1:1 basis for an even better deal and to also give you those last few points that you need to book a flight directly through the airline.

“Hostelworld.com is my go-to site for finding somewhere to stay. It has a huge inventory of hostels, bed and breakfasts, and hotels, giving travelers tons of affordable options to choose from. The site also includes reviews from other travelers, so you can see which options are the safest, cleanest, and most welcoming.” —Trang Pham-Nguyen, 29, a travel blogger who used to live abroad and now takes full advantage of her vacation days


It looks like both scalpers and ticket brokers are here to stay because neither show any signs of slowing down. About 30 percent of concert tickets are sold on the second hand market, according to USA Today, who says scalpers and ticket brokers take in more than $1.5 billion a year reselling concert tickets. So make educated decisions when dealing with scalpers and ticket brokers.
Although it is arguably quite tough to save up enough miles to get a free flight, using the miles that you've accumulated to offset ticket prices or upgrade seats can still help you save some serious money. Taking advantage of the bonus offers you get when you sign up for top travel credit cards is definitely the easiest way to collect enough miles for 100% free flights.
Let me be right up front.  Ticket reselling is not for everyone.  There is a risk of losing money and the potential for wasted time and frustration.  Also, you will find that some people (maybe even you!) simply view ticket reselling as some sort of horrible or inexcusable activity (“how dare you sell a ticket for more than face value you scalper!?!”).
Some airlines let you check one or even two bags for free. Because baggage allowances and fees vary across airlines, the cheapest ticket price isn’t always the cheapest flight option. Take into account how much you’ll end up spending on checked luggage before clicking the lowest number in sight… or avoid the math altogether and keep it carry-on. I’m looking at you Ryanair…
You can even book your own multi-day layovers, essentially allowing you to see 2 destinations for the price of 1. Rather than spend a day sitting in the airport, you can spend multiple days exploring the city you are laying over in. AirWander is a specialized search engine for doing exactly this. Put in your origin, final destination, and number of days you want to stopover. AirWander will return a list of places you can visit on your stopover, often even cheaper than a regular flight search engine! To learn how to do this, read our guide on How to Get Free Extended Layovers & Hack One Trip Into Two.
Timing is everything. You may be tempted to wait for the weekend to sit down and book your dream getaway, but experts say that flight prices are actually lowest on Tuesday afternoons when all the major airlines post their pricing updates for the coming week and before they can edit them to match their competitors rates. A tool like Google Flights and their price tracker can help greatly when searching prices on Tuesday afternoons!
Consider budget European airlines. A few of Europe's low-cost carriers have flights between the US and Europe; these don't normally show up in the search results of most US-based airfare comparison sites. Check this list for carriers with hubs near your European destination, then find out if they fly to any US airports. Be forewarned that passenger reviews of these budget carriers' trans-Atlantic flights are mixed regarding their legroom, onboard services, and overall comfort — all of which are more important on a long overseas flight than a quick intra-European hop. Do your homework before committing to a lengthy flight.
Create an account with Ticketmaster. You can register to receive information on upcoming events and ticket sales for your favorite performers, teams, and shows. It can also save you precious minutes when a sale starts by freeing you from having to enter login and payment information, during which time bots and more savvy fans can swoop in and grab your seats. Ticketmaster also has a free iPhone and Android app that provides notification about every presale and breaking news about added shows.
Buy your tickets at the right time (to the extent possible). Airfares flex like crazy, but in general it's wise to start looking for international flights at least four months before your trip, especially for travel in spring, summer, or fall. Good deals on winter travel (November through March) can usually be purchased a month or so in advance, with the exception of winter breaks and holidays, which require even earlier booking. Year-round, it's generally cheaper to book midweek.
TRAVEL PLANS CAN quickly become expensive, making budget vacations extremely desirable. But such trips aren't possible if you pay too much for airfare. And unless you know where to look, finding cheap flights can be a huge hassle. "For the airlines, it's about getting you to pay the most you're willing to pay, which is the opposite of what the consumer wants," says Joe Brancatelli, publisher of the travel website JoeSentMe.com. On a single flight, he adds, there can be more than a dozen pricing categories. "On a 150-seat plane, there could be 50 different prices," he says.
Thank you! It’s Tuesday and they still haven’t dropped. I’m still seeing lots of T and S fairs, etc. even when I search other places keeping my origin the same, not even to Hawaii, it’s only giving me W fares (even though other tickets are available to the other destinations). It’s weird, but I guess I’ll wait. Worst case I’ll have to drive 4 hrs to a big airport, but then the ticket is only $450, not United though. Thanks again!
Important: Because you don't want to flash your whole supply of currency, it helps a great deal to have your money arranged beforehand. For example, if I expect to spend $20-60, I will have $40 in one pocket, and $20 in another--all outside of my wallet, ready to go. This also makes using the tried-and-true line "I only have X dollars" work much more easily. A floating $5 bill somewhere isn't a bad idea, either, for negotiation purposes.
If you don't want to put in the leg work, you can let the deals come to you. Condé Nast Traveler shares many of the best flight deals on social media, but for those even more obsessed, it's hard to beat the convenience of flight deal blogs like Scott's Cheap Flights, Airfarewatchdog, SecretFlying, and TheFlightDeal, which are constantly posting deals from around the world. Follow them on social media or sign up for their newsletters.
Delete your cookies and history. When searching for fares, it may help to regularly delete your Internet cookies and search history if you repeatedly search for the same itinerary. Cookies remember what you've searched in the past. So if you're looking again and again for the same flights on the same website, the site becomes aware of your search habits…and increases the prices. To delete your cookies, look under "content settings" or "browsing data" in your browser's privacy settings.
However, past trends do tell us a little about when the right time to book a flight is. The website CheapAir.com completed a study that determined 47 days in advance was the cheapest time to book domestic fares. And as for international fares, they concluded that the time frames varied wildly based on where you are flying to with the number of days ranging from 46 to 318 days in advance.
Despite persistent (and conflicting!) myths, there really is no one magic day to book plane tickets. But reliable studies show that one of the best days to buy tickets is Sunday, especially if it's more than 21 days before your trip, and prices on domestic flights dip mid-week, around Tuesday or Wednesday, because there's less demand for business travel.
Fly out early. The cheapest flight is typically the first flight of the morning. "Yes, that means you have to get up at 4 a.m.," says Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com. The next-cheapest flight times are during or after lunch or at the dinner hour. "There's a general rule of thumb, which is 'fly hungry,'" Seaney says. That's because flyers tend to not want to travel at inconvenient or uncomfortable times, he says.
One time I bought lower bowl center court just one ticket since my friends already had 3 tickets for themselves and I tagged along last minute. I bought for $40 from a scalper. I get to the lady telling you where your seat is at near center court and she looks up at me and says,"This ticket says your disabled!" I immediate grabbed the railing fallin to one knee yelling aloud,"Ooohhhh my leg, it hurts, get me to a seat quick" as everyone in the vicinity just died laughing including the ticket lady. She gave me a good seat for the game.
If you have status with an airline -- or even if you don’t -- ask for exit-row seats when you arrive at the gate.  Those seats cost extra, and are most frequently the only ones left empty, even on so-called “extremely full” flights; they’re often filled by traveling flight attendants and pilots (known as Dead Heads or Non-Revs) assigned available seats at the last minute. If you ask nicely and are super polite (which, frequent flyers will tell you, is a big factor in getting free stuff) the gate agent has the power to give them to you.
Here is a breakdown of how original sellers calculate the cost of face value tickets: face value tickets are the cost of the ticket, plus any service charge plus tax. This is all printed clearly on the ticket. Face value tickets are sold by the original ticket provider. When you buy tickets from a ticket broker or scalper, you will likely be buying them for more than face value so they can make a profit.
Hello. Nice article. Lots of great tips. I am going to be flying into Orlando in February, 2/11-2/18/2017 and have some concerns in the flight cost. Right now spirit is the cheapest well under $200 but all of the other airlines are well over $200. We want to stay as close to $200 as possible but DO NOT want to fly spirit. Do you think that the other airlines will be dropped down at least closer to $200 mark within the next month or so?
“I always set alarms on Skyscanner to places where I need or want to visit in the near future. It lets me know when prices go down, so I can take advantage of great deals and save money on flights. It also lets me know when prices go up, so I can either catch them before they increase any further or put that trip on the back-burner for now.” —Inma Gregario, 34, a travel blogger who takes at least one trip a month

A couple of sites are better for flights to Europe than flights within Europe, and some nice features make their results easier to navigate. Expedia is easy to use and consistent at finding good fares. CheapoAir offers pricing tables for mixed-airline flights to and from Europe. Vayama specializes in international flights, with cheaper fares that might not show up elsewhere — but beware that its customer service doesn't have a stellar reputation for handling cancellations and changes. (For cheap flights within Europe, I prefer Skyscanner.)


Almost all search engines, airlines, and OTAs allow you to sign up for price alerts. You simply enter your departure and destination cities and when ticket prices plunge, you’ll get an email immediately. You can even set-up your alert to notify you only when an airfare drops below a specific amount. A favorite among travelers is Kayak Alerts and Airfare Watchdog.
Choose a suitable price.[3] There is much debate as to how much a scalper should charge for an upmarked event ticket. Ultimately, it depends on the original price, quality of seat, and predicted demand for the ticket in question. Generally speaking, if a show has sold out, it becomes a seller's market. Many professional scalpers tend to upmark resold tickets by 50%.[4]
Flights between Europe and Asia and between North America and Asia are more complex but generally increase for December, January, July, and August and are cheaper throughout the rest of the year. There can be huge differences between a New York to Bangkok flight and a New York to Singapore flight, so if your travel plans are flexible be sure to check every possible route.
Almost all search engines, airlines, and OTAs allow you to sign up for price alerts. You simply enter your departure and destination cities and when ticket prices plunge, you’ll get an email immediately. You can even set-up your alert to notify you only when an airfare drops below a specific amount. A favorite among travelers is Kayak Alerts and Airfare Watchdog.
Rarely ever do airline tickets get cheaper as your departure date approaches, especially if you need to fly on a certain date. Budget airlines typically offer low rates as a baseline price, and as these tickets sell, the remaining ones increase in cost. This is very typical in Europe and Australia. If you know when and where you’re going, don’t wait on an unknown sale. More often than not, your biggest savings come from booking far ahead when you can. 

If you book a flight and realize it's not what you want after all, don't worry. If booked more than seven days ahead of departure, all flights out of the U.S. offer a 24-hour hold or cancellation policy. In plain English: You'll get all your money back if you change your mind on that trip to Zanzibar within 24 hours of booking. With this safety net, you can jump on the very best deals without fear, knowing that if plans crumble, you'll get your money back—at the very least.
However, you can earn a lot of miles through credit card sign up bonus, online shopping, surveys, special offers, and more. I earn over a million miles a year – without flying or spending extra money. That translates into dozens of free flights (often in business class) for myself and my family. If you are smart with your money and collect points and miles (the art of “travel hacking”), you can travel around the world for very little (and often free). Here are some articles on travel hacking that can help:
If your flight is canceled because of something the airline did (as opposed to the weather), they are required by law to feed you and put you up in a hotel. You also receive a full refund for a canceled flight within seven days. The EU has its own set of delay compensation guidelines as well, ranging from 250 euros for short flights delayed under three hours up to 600 euros for flights between EU and non-EU airports that originate in Europe. That means if your flight home to the US is delayed, you’re still entitled to compensation. These rules still apply for many European-held islands in the Caribbean, like Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Don’t go lugging an oversized suitcase filled with a whole semester’s worth of clothes (or weird contraband) through TSA, but if you’ve got a small- or medium-sized bag you’re willing to part with for a few hours, taking it to the gate and volunteering to gate check it can save you a bag fee. It also earns you goodwill with the flight crew, as you appear to be sacrificing something for the good of the plane, even though you’re just being cheap. Of course, this doesn’t apply to airlines that charge for carry-ons to begin with, and you’re probably out of luck (meaning, there’d be an administrative fee of around $50) if you’re flying Economy Plus on a legacy carrier, too.
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