When it comes to buying a flight there are several things you can do to make sure you’re A. getting the best deal, and B. avoid trickery and exploitation by numerous travel websites out there looking to pounce on any vague Google searching you do.
Websites like Kayak and Expedia can be useful tools, but they are big companies worried just as much about their bottom line as they are about their users. Many of them talk about the ability to compare hundreds of flights in an instant, however, most people will only buy from the first ten results since most of these websites sort by price, or if the selection is changed, by flight time and a number of stops.
Always Search with Incognito Mode On, or with a VPN
The farther away your destination is, the more important this fact becomes. If you’re flying from Reagan to LaGuardia, the process will be a lot quicker, but generally speaking, multiple searches and comparisons of the same flights, cities, and dates, have actually been found to trigger an INCREASE in the ticket price. However, using incognito mode on Google Chrome, or a VPN will help protect your browsing history from being exploited.
Find Out Baggage Policy Before You Book
Sites like Expedia or Google Flights have no obligation to provide up to date information on things like baggage fees and permissions, for instance, a free checked bag or weight restrictions. A flight costing $30 dollars less may cost more in the end if their checked bag fee is $50.
Again, flight websites will often reroute you to the websites of the airline you’re booking with. As a result, the listed price on Google Flights often does not include additional fees and sales tax.
Say you want to get to New York, but the flight which has a layover in New York and a final destination of New Hampshire is cheaper or at a more convenient time for you, Skiplagged is an expert in finding these sorts of deals. “Hidden City flying” as it’s called is mildly-frowned upon by airline companies, but even after Skiplagged received six lawsuits, it beat them all and still offers unique ways of getting around the world. If you are striking out on conventional websites, there’s always Skiplagged. Another great reason to use Skiplagged is if you are trying to get to an out-of-the-way place like say, Botswana. Any flight that will go to Botswana will likely require a transfer in Johannesburg, but a flight directly to Joburg that stops in Zambia will likely be cheaper.
Sometimes Short-Notice Flights Are Cheaper
Sometimes airlines will get cancelations and tickets will become available 5 days before a flight is scheduled. While one’s immediate thought maybe that buying a ticket many weeks in advance will be cheaper due to less demand for it – thereby reducing the price – airlines want every seat filled, and will often cut prices if short notice or last minute seats become available.