To see how ticket prices change as an event nears, we shopped for the best-priced tickets to two events on May 23: a Cincinnati Reds–Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game in Los Angeles and a Beyoncé concert in Minneapolis. For the ball game we started at the box office, then tracked ticket prices on the secondary market. For the concert we looked only on resale sites because the box office was sold out. We shopped for one seat, in the same general location, using seatgeek.com. Prices include all fees except for delivery.

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.

Sometimes you can buy tickets at the very last minute for a great price if the airlines have failed to fill their planes. You can find such fares at specialized sites like LastMinuteTravel.com, or sometimes on airline websites and online booking sites such as Expedia. If you can stand the suspense, and if you are flexible with your itinerary and dates, you can find cheap flights to very attractive travel destinations. For more info, see Best Bets for Booking a Last-Minute Trip.

One of these sites is Jack's Flight Club* (JFC), which is independently run and sends its members email alerts with details of cheap flights. If you're flexible about when and where you go, this can be a good way to grab a bargain – its basic service is free, though right now we've blagged a free 30-day trial of its premium service which spots more deals.
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.
The moment you figure out that you really can book $200 round-trip tickets to Europe, your life changes forever. The idea of travel becomes less a question of "how" and more a matter of "Where to?" Start spreading the news—it's never been cheaper to fly, and with a minimal amount of work, you can cash in. It's a matter of decoding airline jargon, doing some pre-planning, and getting acquainted with OTAs. Here, we answer all your questions about how to find cheap flights.

Swiss Air Lines Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Air Malta, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Egyptair, El Al, Germanwings, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways, Ukraine International, United Airlines.
Day in, day out, the airfare researchers at Airfarewatchdog.com (www.airfarewatchdog.com) use every method possible to find the lowest fare on any given route. What we've discovered from our years of playing fare detective is that instead of getting easier, the rules of the game keep changing and consumers really need to do their homework or they'll overpay. But if you follow our ten rules of low fare search, you'll have a fighting chance.

As their nickname suggests, discount airlines can save you a bundle, but they’re not always easy to find. Luckily for consumers, discounters are cropping up more frequently on aggregators and booking sites (Kayak now offers fares for JetBlue and Spirit, for example) — but there are still a few holdouts, such as Southwest and Allegiant Air, whose fares can’t be found anywhere but their own websites. If you’re traveling outside the U.S., don’t forget to check the international discount airlines as well.
The goal of reselling any product is maximizing profit.  Thus, you want to buy the product as inexpensively as possible, and be as certain as you can that a market exists for that product at a reasonable profit margin. The nice thing about sports (and some theater) tickets is that season ticket holders usually get a nice discount off of face value.  The amount of the discount can vary significantly, so this requires some research. More importantly, in today’s world of secondary ticket markets, you should be far more concerned with the discount (if any) you are able to buy the season tickets at relative to prices found on StubHub.com, Craigslist, and elsewhere.
Kiwi.com, on the other hand, will mix and match airlines (including budget airlines) in order to find you the very cheapest route. For long-haul flights especially, this can make a huge difference. The same search on Kiwi.com returns a route at $459.80 USD via JetBlue, Norwegian Air, and Vueling. That’s a savings of $171.40 USD, and the travel time is even shorter!
The cheapest flights are often basic economy fares, especially on domestic carriers. They offer travelers the chance to skip out on things usually included in a traditional fare, like access to the overhead bins, the cost to carry on, seat assignments, and even printing your boarding pass at the airport; each of those counts as an add-on, and comes with a fee attached. Each airline has a very different system, so read the fine print (or our guide to basic economy before booking. Google Flights will let you know whether or not you flight is basic economy, but not until you're right about to book, so keep an eye out for the gray label when you get to the pricing page.
Compare ticket prices at different venues. When Bruce Springsteen played in the New York metropolitan area, seats on the resale market were far cheaper at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., than at either Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center in Brooklyn, said Will Flaherty, SeatGeek’s vice president of growth marketing. When Beyoncé was on tour, the cheapest ticket to see her at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y., was $140, and that was for a lousy seat. Compare that with the cost of seeing Queen Bey at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh a week earlier, where tickets on the resale market could be had for as little as $28; $140 bought a seat close to the stage, Flaherty said. 

Any more time and you might want to consider a more unplanned trip that utilises budget airlines and cheap off-season one way tickets. It’s not unreasonable to be able to do an around the world trip using the buy-as-you-go method for half the price of a true RTW ticket.  And the freedom you get from having an unplanned itinerary is fun and liberating.
Day in, day out, the airfare researchers at Airfarewatchdog.com (www.airfarewatchdog.com) use every method possible to find the lowest fare on any given route. What we've discovered from our years of playing fare detective is that instead of getting easier, the rules of the game keep changing and consumers really need to do their homework or they'll overpay. But if you follow our ten rules of low fare search, you'll have a fighting chance.

Is it possible at all? A bullet-proof secure and transparent solution, at the same time streamlined and easy to use for fans, without extra hustle? A solution that would enable artists and promoters to control revenue and pricing both on the primary and secondary markets as well as provide flexible tools for ticket vendors, while helping maintain fair pricing for fans?


So there’s the two ways of doing it, one, a market research type, which we discuss on the Amazon by varying prices. Or second, I feel that the front line really has a lot of intuition on what customers are willing to pay. And that front line has a lot of market research that they can share with the people who set prices to help set the right price.


In order to promote tourism in their countries, many national airlines offer air passes at reduced rates for tourists. If you’re planning to do extensive travel in one country or region, an air pass might be your most cost-effective option. For more information, see our guide to air passes. Planning an even bigger trip? Look into around-the-world tickets and fares.
Especially during peak travel periods, making reservations late in the game can cost you a lot of money. Airline ticket prices typically go up in the last two weeks before flying, so if you’re planning ahead, try to make the call before this deadline. And if you’re traveling internationally, you’ll want to book even earlier — from three to six months in advance — for the best deals. For more on specific booking deadlines and recommendations, see Want the Lowest Fare? Here’s When to Book.
Choose a "home base" aggregator like kayak.com as your frame of reference. Kayak will do some comparison shopping for you, among sites like Travelocity, Orbitz, and Priceline. Once you have your best fare from your home base aggregator, you can start your own comparison shopping. No aggregator gives you all the information, so be prepared to use more than one.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to save money on flights and lodging that don’t involve eschewing them altogether—life hacks I didn’t even realize existed until I began reporting this story. Like, did you know you can download apps that will alert you the moment the price goes down on that flight you had your eye on? Or that hotels will often offer you better deals on rooms you’ve already booked if you find that room available for a cheaper price after the fact on some other site? The list goes on. And here it is:
Once you find the 'error fare', you must quickly decide whether to buy it or not. Often, it happens that they eliminate the error within a few hours. Also, this kind of information is spreading around very quickly, so the key is to react promptly and never ever call the airline to obtain a confirmation of whether the price is valid. Of course they will say no and correct the mistake in the very next minute.

I’m kind of a relative newbie to the points/miles hobby (just ask Shawn). My sorry little blog is truly an endeavor targeted at friends and family who would (sorry Shawn) never come to MtM (or even the pure “deals” websites). I haven’t done a conference of any sort, but I would love to go to Trevor’s ResellingDO. (Just too far away! come out West, Trevor!) Maybe someday I will expand on this brief introduction (and sure there’s many other folks far more experience than I am!), whether on this blog or at a conference. I’m glad you found it an interesting topic.


I just came across your post, very useful :-) for booking separate flights, I found a site called Tripcombi some weeks ago. I hadn’t bought with them yet, but I found a flight from Costa Rica to Amsterdam for $400 ($80 less than the one I already had). The downside? They don’t offer yet any kind of guarantee in case you miss a leg of the flight, but still worth checking it ;-)
Whether you know exactly where you’re going or you just want to find to the cheapest possible country to fly into, Kiwi.com is a great tool to get the wanderlust going and save some big bucks. Hop on their site and enter your departure city, then select a date range to fly. Approximate costs then appear over hundreds of countries around the globe from your departure point, while the list of destinations is sorted by price, allowing you to see the most cost-effective place you can fly. 

One danger you face by buying from scalpers is that you may be getting counterfeit or bogus tickets. That danger is even greater today as a ticket holder can sell a “hard copy” ticket on Stubhub by entering the bar code number. The person who buys the ticket gets an email with a new bar code that they use to get into the game. This leaves a perfectly legitimate looking hard copy ticket that can be resold to an unsuspecting fan just outside the arena.  
Several great comparison sites help you find the best tickets. The AARP Travel Center powered by Expedia aggregates most airlines and prices, and you can narrow your search according to date flexibility, number of stops and so on. Kayak is particularly good as an aggregator of airline fare sites. It will open several windows to show you what Expedia, Priceline and others offer. Once you know these prices, check the airline websites; occasionally, airlines have sales they don't post on comparison sites. Also, check the sites of discount airlines like Southwest, jetBlue and RyanAir, whose fares aren't necessarily included on comparison sites. Finally, be sure each quoted fare includes taxes and fees, and read the small print on any "sale" price for your ticket.

Location, location, location. Speaking of low cost carriers, many of them fly into alternative airports (like Burbank or Long Beach instead of LAX or Stansted instead of London Heathrow) and what they save in airport fees they pass onto you. You may also appreciate the added benefit of less traffic, cheaper rental cars and fewer people at the airport bars, too. Whenever you search with KAYAK, we can automatically show you rates from nearby airports.


In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”. This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search. Note: if you’re using an older version of OS X, open Safari then click “Safari” in the menu bar, and select “Private Browsing”.

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.
Knowing which tickets will sell out is exactly what we do here at ticketflipping. We look at hundreds of shows to select which will most likely sell out. By understanding the ticket scalping economics, we examine each shows popularity, venues capacity, location, etc... There are hundreds of factors which can influence how much a show will sell out and how much the tickets will increase in price. If you want to learn how select these tickets check out these 4 training videos which explain the overall ticket scalping economics.
×