eBay.com, a Web site that offers the auction-style trading of various items, has become a popular way for folks to buy event tickets. In fact, according to USA Today, ticket auctions on eBay are growing more than 50 percent a year. Within the last two years, eBay has had 100,000 tickets listed at a time, 90 percent of them for sporting events and concerts.
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!
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.
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.
Always check, and be discerning. Sometimes OTAs won’t include all of their fees upfront. Also, if you think you might need to change or cancel your flight, it’s better to book through the airline as aggregators add cancelation fees. Only book with an OTA if you are certain of your flight dates – and only if you’re getting a significantly lower fare. For example, on long-haul KLM flights there is only £15-£20 off if booked with an aggregator. With BA, aggregators could offer a discount of up to £60 on a long-haul economy ticket – a more significant saving. And most short-haul European flights are best booked directly with the airline as the price is often roughly the same.
At Texas A&M I was an ECON major, a sports nut, and gambling freak, so this ticket broker thing just about summed up every interest I had. My career did not begin at Texas A&M, though, but in New Jersey at Seton Hall University. I was in Grad School and I realized I was about 12 months away from having to find a real job. All throughout college I tried to get internships with various sports teams and I even worked for ABC Sports for a few years, but nothing fit. My ultimate career goal in life was to have my own businees but not have the type of business in which I had to work 100 hours a week.
Some think that aggregators such as Skyscanner or Kayak always lead to an online travel agent (OTA) with the cheapest flight price. But while they can help with some airlines, others are better booked directly. These include low-cost carriers such as Norwegian, and charter airlines such as Thomas Cook. Anything but a standard full-service international carrier will often have cheaper prices if you book through the airline itself.
If you wait until the last minute to book, airfare can be outrageously expensive. You might be able to save up to 60% by booking a Priceline Express Deal. You won't know the exact the flight times or carrier, but, if there are only a few available flights, you might be able to make an educated guess based on the travel windows Priceline provides before you book.
Unless you want to travel at the height of a peak travel season or over a holiday, you don't have to book months in advance.About one month from departure, prices tend to either drop or shoot up significantly, so you take some risk booking 6 to 8 weeks out, but you can also avoid paying more should fares go up 4 weeks from departure. There's no specific best day of the week to book, but booking Tuesday through Thursday tends to help you avoid the weekend rush and find more deals.
Sometimes the best bargains are made through the traveler's own improvisation. The budget airlines in Southeast Asia and Europe are famously cheap, but Americans can only rarely directly connect to them through major airline flights through the United States, as the budget airlines often operate at secondary airports that are rarely serviced by major airlines. Accessing those cheap flights requires some improvisation, such as transferring from London's Gatwick or Heathrow to Stansted. However, when doing this, it is important to factor all costs into the bill. Budget airlines like Ryanair are notorious for their nickel-and-dime approach to fees, and those airport-to-airport buses and trains aren't free. Also, the hassle of switching airports might not be worth it for travelers encumbered with heavy luggage. This strategy works, but it requires thorough research and careful consideration.
Unless you’ve got a no-brainer on your hands like front row seats to Justin Bieber concert or you were able to somehow land Super Bowl, it’s best to start with relatively inexpensive tickets and work your way up to the larger events. Even with a good amount of experience doing mock pulls, you’ll inevitably make mistakes at the start and you don’t want them to set you too far back right out of the gate. What you want to do is ease into it and only buy tickets that you are very confident you’ll be able to sell for a decent sized profit.
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:
My first ticket purchase (for resell) was four tickets to a show for the Eagles in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I had no idea why I picked this event to resell, and I had no idea what I was doing. I set up my first sale as an auction on eBay and lost about $25 on the first pair of tickets. Thinking this business was for the birds I put up the remaining pair of seats a few weeks later and ended up making about $50. Hmmm….maybe there was something to this. Next, I bought some tickets tickets for U2 in Detroit, thinking that any seats anywhere would make money because it was U2! I bought about 16 tickets at $90/each and had to sell them for $50! Ugh. I never thought I could lose money on a U2 concert, but that day I learned how important market size, day of the week, number of shows, supply of tickets, etc. were to the true market value of an event. After losing about $700 I was crushed and figured I would never make any real money selling tickets, so I had to start thinking about finding a 9-5 job.
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.
Hi What a fabulous site! Love it! I am planning a trip from London to Denver in July 2017 to visit family. I enquired with my local travel agent as to prices who told me that they weren’t out yet, but as soon as they were, I needed to book as we wanted to go in peak season. I have just looked at British Airways who fly direct and the price is £4883(family of 4 – 3 adults 1 child ). After reading your advice I am tempted to wait – it is 9 months away – and just keep an eye on prices. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks. Sara
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.)
Getting a cheap flight is really about timing. Prices fluctuate heavily and often on all routes. Booking a flight today from London to Bali could cost £600, but tomorrow it could be £300 on the same airline. These unannounced sales – when an airline suddenly drops its prices – are triggered because airlines release tickets 11 months in advance and predict what percentage of tickets will be sold as time moves on. For example, after five months they may expect to have sold 30% of the tickets but if sales are not as high as anticipated, it will announce a flash sale. Prices will plummet (by up to 60% on occasions) for a few days until demand catches up.
We’ve all experienced the tiresome, repeated searching when trying to book the cheapest possible flights to any given destination. With endless search engines and continually fluctuating prices, the approach to frugal flight booking is overwhelming. Here’s some key tips that will save you time, frustration and most importantly money when booking your next flight.
Ticket brokers play a very important middleman role for fans wanting to score premium seats to concerts, sporting events, award shows, or theater productions. Instead of having to stress out about playing the ticket lottery and settling for seats in the nosebleeds, services like StubHub give fans the option of choosing exactly where they’d like to sit for the show—no surprises, no disappointments.
Just think about it for a second. At any given time, you’re going to have tickets on sale for dozens of different shows, all at different purchase prices, all at different sell prices, all in different seat locations, and all on different dates. If you think you’re capable of keeping all this information in your head, think again. You’re going to need a system.
As with many companies, sales reps and executives are their most frequent travelers. Many times a sales rep will know exactly when they are leaving on a trip but are uncertain as to when they will actually return and have a need for an open-ended ticket. This means the purchase of a full fare ticket or at the very least, changing an existing ticket with a penalty of $75 or more. Each fare bucket offered by an airline comes with its own set of restrictions and many times purchasing a ticket that is not the lowest fare available (but not full fare), will allow flight changes without penalty and provide maximum frequent flyer points.
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.
Southwest offers daily "Ding" (southwest.com/ding) deals that pop up on your computer (announced by an audible "ding," thus the name) that can save a few bucks off their already low fares. Frontier Airlines has begun sending out similar fares by e-mail. In both cases, the fares expire the same day they're announced but they're often good for travel far into the future.
Airline credit cards generally lure you in with promises of free bags, but other credit cards offer this perk, too -- take five minutes and call your credit card company to see if this applies. Many companies also automatically offer travel insurance, which means you won’t need to buy that from the airline either. Just remember travel insurance isn’t “I decided to sleep in” insurance, and only applies in situations stipulated in the policy. So maybe read up on that.
Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. No matter how often you fly, you should be signed up for the airline’s reward program. I stick to US-based airlines since they are involved in all the major alliances and you can earn miles on their partner flights. For example, if I fly Singapore Airlines, I can earn United Airlines miles because they are partners. Likewise, if I fly Air France, it’s credited to my Delta rewards account.
If you are uncertain about the routes that these low-cost carriers fly, check them out online. For instance, JetBlue serves many of the major U.S. cities, particularly on the East Coast. It also has numerous vacation destinations in Central and South America and the Caribbean; Southwest serves most major U.S. cities as well as a few in Central America and Puerto Rico; Frontier serves most major U.S. cities as well as vacation spots in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic; Allegiant Air's focus is transporting leisure travelers to warm vacation destinations like Punta Gorda, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles and Phoenix.