Get the cheapest flight ticket to your dream destination with our insider’s hack.
Frugal travellers won’t rest until they find the best deal for their flight tickets, and we can assure you it's not as hard as it seems. Instead of spending hours and hours scouring through flight listings, just follow these hacks to score the cheapest flight ticket possible.
The rule of thumb is to never book too early or too late as both might incur a high cost. Essentially, there is a sweet spot travellers should aim for when hunting for the best ticket price. An intensive survey by CheapAir.com found that the median best time to buy a domestic flight ticket would be about 47 days before the flight. Meanwhile, international travel will require you to purchase further in advance of your planned departure date, about 4 to 6 months before.If you’re flexible in terms of which day you could fly, opt for Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, which are relatively less busy and thus more likely to yield less expensive tickets. The reasoning behind this is that business travellers would usually travel on Mondays and Friday, while holidaymakers prefer to board flights on Fridays and Sundays for a weekend or week-long trips.
This is one important step that travellers often take for granted. You need to make sure that you pack lightly to avoid extra charges for checked luggage, especially when flying with budget airlines. Come up with a list of necessary items you’d need for the trip, just so you don’t end up overpacking. Pack only for the near future, and if you’re in doubt, leave it out. It’s also highly advisable for you to check the maximum weight and size limit for cabin baggage as it differs from one airline to the other. Make sure you’re within limits to avoid last-minute baggage check-in!
The great thing about the Internet is all the access to websites and tools available at your very disposal. For instance, did you know that you can analyse ticket prices and dates using websites with just one click? Skyscanner, for example, shows you the list of cheapest flights all around the world and will also send you price alerts. You can also check out Hopper, which is a mobile app that works using a convenient colour-coded, visual calendar. You can quickly filter through the cheapest and most expensive times to fly to your desired destination. Meanwhile, another useful tool would be Google Flight. The powerful metasearch engine displays price trends and allows you to track the prices of routes. You can also tweak the site’s extensive filtering options to customise your searches.
Always search for flights only in private browsing mode if you’re hunting for the lowest price. Although this is more of an anecdote, we can’t simply dismiss the fact that airline companies, in theory, could track your browsing behaviour. The cookies stored in your browser’s subfolder means that airline companies can identify you, should you return to their website to book a flight later. This results in the inflating price of the ticket, to nudge you into finalising your booking quickly before it increases again. To circumvent this, it is recommended that you search your flights using the incognito mode on the browser. You could also clear your cache before you visit the same airline website again, which does the job, too.
Another clever way to get your hands on cheap flight tickets (or in some cases, a free upgrade) is to convert loyalty points from various brands into miles. The mechanism is primarily similar across all airlines - the more you spend on a brand, the more loyalty points you’ll generate. You can then redeem these points for cheaper flight tickets. For example, every 2 Petron MILES points that you earn at the Petron pump station is equivalent to 1 AirAsia BIG point, which really comes in handy when you want to redeem Promo Flights or one-way flights from AirAsia.
You don’t have to break the bank just so you could make your dream vacation come true! These simple tips will help you get the absolute best price, whether you’re thinking of flying domestically or already planning for your next big holiday overseas.