Airline fares will keep rising the closer you get to departure, but there is a sweet spot when the airlines begin to either lower or increase fares based on demand. Don’t wait until the last second but don’t book far, far in advance either. The best time to book your flight is around 6–8 weeks before your departure, or around three months before if you are going to your destination during their peak season.
Don’t expect the gate agent to scour the interwebs to find you a seat, though. There are likely 100 other people trying to get out as well, so if you make their job fast and easy you’ll get better results. Look up the flights you want, calmly stroll up to the counter with two or three options ready, and see if they can do anything for you. If those options include flights on their airline, all the better.
All information published here is personal opinion and comes from personal experience. The information published on this site/page should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal financial or professional advice. ESR Media, LLC, Miles to Memories and the author strongly recommend that you seek independent advice before you apply for any product or service, which is described on the site/page.

While the above search engines are great, they do not always include small airlines, especially in less popularly booked routes and/or in remote regions. If you’re flying somewhere obscure, Google search and ask around if there exists a local airline. While in South America we learnt that the LADE Air in Argentina (run by the military) has cheap flights to Patagonia, which is of course not listed in mass search engines online.

When I moved back to Texas after Grad School my parents were absolutely hounding me about getting a full time job. I swear, all I heard from them was “You have to get a job with a 401k and health insurance!” I finally dropped the bomb on them that I was going to use my college degree and MBA to be a ticket broker. I would not be getting any 401K nor would I have any health insurance…they were not pleased to say the least.
You can sign up for an airline rewards card that earns points with a particular airline, or a more general travel rewards card that lets you redeem points across a variety of airlines. As a beginner card, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The annual fee is waived for the first year, and you can earn up to 50,000 in bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after your account opening. That’s worth $625 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and more than enough for a domestic flight. You can compare this card with other top credit cards.
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). 

RAFI MOHAMMED: Right. Sure. Well, the classic example is that the San Francisco Giants did a test market for dynamic pricing a couple of years ago. And what they did is, in certain sections, they would lower and increase price. And what they found is that, in these sections, the revenue increased by 20%. So that sounds like a really great figure, doesn’t it?
So the best way to get a good deal on a ticket is to cut out the middleman entirely. Get there early and walk through the parking lot, asking if anyone has extra tickets. If it’s a sold-out event, there’s a good chance you might get the ticket for face value, as fellow fans are often looking just to break even on a ticket. If the event is not sold out, there’s a good chance you’ll get the ticket at a discount. Some fans will even fork over an extra for free if they didn’t pay for the ticket themselves, seeing you as an opportunity to pay a favor forward. Professional scalpers, however, never look to break even or give things away.

However, looking at three years’ worth of data (2015-2017), we found that travellers who bought their tickets on a Saturday paid on average 5% more than those who went online to make their purchase on a Monday. On a £500 flight, that’s £25. While it might not make a huge difference for the cheapest fares (after all, how much lower can a £9.99 flight go?), for group trips or pricey flights, it could be worth the wait.


Unfortunately, while the statistical data surrounding airfare prices can provide insight into when some people managed to land the best deals, it's sort of like playing the lottery. You may be more likely to snag a low price during these forecasted days and times -- the odds are technically higher -- but it's a bit of a long shot. There are simply too many factors in play to truly predict the prices at any given day or time.
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 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.
Let’s say you’re bumped from a flight, but the airline still manages to get you where you’re going within an hour of the original arrival time. You’ve got no cause to complain, really, other than just being a dick, and you’re not going to see any compensation. BUT, if you arrive between one and two hours past your original arrival time on a domestic flight (or between one and four hours for international), they owe you compensation of 200% of the one-way fare to your destination -- up to a maximum of $675. And for domestic flights arriving more than two hours later, you are entitled to 400% of your one-way fare -- the US Department of Transportation (DOT) requires they compensate you in cash, up to $1,350.
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 ;-)
The internet has revolutionized the secondary market in event tickets. Stubhub, Craigslist and eBay offer relatively safe and easy ways to buy tickets to concerts and sporting events from people who have previously purchased those tickets directly from the box office. If you plan ahead, buying online is the way to go. But when you make a spur-of-the-minute decision to attend a concert or a game, then you’re going to have to deal with the shady-looking guys in the parking lot — the scalpers.
Consider Another Departure Airport: If you live near more than one airport, make sure you look at all available flights from each airport. Chances are one will be much cheaper than the other, or offer better times and aircraft. A good example of this is the New York area, which plays host to three major international airports: John F. Kennedy (JFK), La Guardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR).

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.

“I make sure to use incognito mode on Google Chrome when searching for flights to keep my computer from tracking my history. Sites like Kayak, Expedia, and Priceline can raise the price of the same flight every time you search for it, and incognito mode keeps this from happening.” —Mona Molayem, 28, a travel blogger who takes five international trips a year
While there are many other third-party ticket resale websites, the other most common place you can sometimes sell is via the place where you bought the tickets.  The best example is Ticketmaster, which allows for reselling tickets to some but not all events for which it is the primary ticket seller.  Many season ticket holders have the ability to sell their tickets through the sports team’s website, which is sometimes run by Ticketmaster (or sometimes StubHub for resale purposes, as is the case with Major League Baseball).

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.
For the Major airlines and for most long haul routes (e.g. across the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans or between any 2 continents) search first in Vayama.com, Kayak.com, travlocity.com, or Expedia.com then take the best 3 or 4 prices from the cheapest airlines and search those individual sites for similar dates. Occasionally they will have better prices than the consolidators.
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 ;-)
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.

To give you an idea of how much the states differ in their laws, here is an example of what Florida and New York permit when it comes to the resale of tickets, according to eBay. In Florida you cannot sell or buy a ticket for higher than face value, including fees plus $1 for tickets to events taking place in the Sunshine State. In New York, you cannot sell or buy tickets that are more than face value, including fees plus 45 percent of the ticket price for venues that seat more than 6,000 people and face value including fees, plus 20 percent for smaller venues.

Finally, in many cities, legit ticket resellers have store fronts close to the venue. They are always a worth a visit before you turn to a scalper as they often have deals on last minute tickets. The rule with them is never take the price they first offer unless it is within $10-15 of face value. If it is more, being willing to walk away never hurt anyone and usually net’s a price cut.


But there are ways for the passengers to save on increasingly pricey air travel. You can do the obvious stuff, like book flights that are on a weekday, at an odd hour, or headed to a non-hub airport. You can be diligent in comparing prices through sites like Priceline and CheapAir. And then, of course, there's the well-worn Tuesday trick, which is, simply: Book your flights on a Tuesday. (Airlines typically release sales on Tuesdays, and then end up competing against each other to offer the most enticing price. It's a rare moment where the consumer actually wins, for a change, in this cutthroat market.)
For the Major airlines and for most long haul routes (e.g. across the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans or between any 2 continents) search first in Vayama.com, Kayak.com, travlocity.com, or Expedia.com then take the best 3 or 4 prices from the cheapest airlines and search those individual sites for similar dates. Occasionally they will have better prices than the consolidators.
The last tickets I had to sell were Dave Chappelle in NYC. I said to myself, “get rid of these and start acting like an adult and find a real job.” Low and behold these tickets were hot, I made some good money, and I was hooked! I started buying and selling everything in site. All I had was $2,500 in my bank account and about a $2,000 limit on my credit card, so I had to find a way to buy tickets and continually sell them before my credit card payment deadline occured, for I was not paying interest, and not lose more than $2,500! Somehow I made this work, and I was literally doing this credit card dance for 2-3 years (with a higher credit limit). There were plenty of times that I bought tickets that were barely worth the paper they were printed on, but that is how I learned the business. Through trial and error. Over time I just made less errors.
If it looks like the delay is going to cost you more than the airline is offering -- like if you had a non-refundable hotel reservation, or miss a private helicopter ride (look at you!) -- you’ve got 30 days to try and get as much money out of them as you can. But once you put a check into your bank account, you’ve essentially agreed to accept whatever you were offered.
And the second thing that you have to do, and I haven’t seen anyone discuss this, is that for low demand events, you have to have a way to let consumers know that, gee, we’ve lowered our prices. So if I’m interested in going to a rock concert, I’m not going to go to the website 10 or 12 times to see what the prices is. But if I know, much like on Broadway, that the day of, that they lower prices for some Broadway shows, there has to be an event that consumers will know, oh, maybe I should go back and check and see what the price is. So those are the two ways to think about dynamic pricing when demand is high or demand is lower than expected.
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?

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.
On your way to a game/tailgate/car park/on the highway, you'll probably hear people yelling "need tickets." He's not asking for one—he wants to sell them. More often than not, the tickets you buy are copies of an original ticket—which means that as soon as you get into the stadium, you're screwed. I've heard the story a number of times. It's not fun.
Scalping indicators, while very helpful in identifying entry and exit points for your trades, can never replace the human factor in trading. You still have to carry out your trading duties and be aware of other events that may influence the market. However, the best indicators are designed to help traders make sense of price movements and simplify a trading strategy. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned trader, scalping requires a lot of your personal time, but using the right indicators can make trading a whole lot easier.
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