ABC News had the CEO of FareCompare.com do a list of the ten best ways to get a deal on a flight. And there’s a lot of stuff on it you probably didn’t know about. Here it is . . .
#1.) DON’T BOOK TOO LATE, BUT DON’T BOOK TOO EARLY. If you wait until the last minute, it costs a fortune. But you won’t get the best price if you book too EARLY, either. Airlines keep the rates high until about four months before the flight.
#2.) BUY ON THE RIGHT DAY. Each airline announces its newest deals every Monday. And by Tuesday at lunchtime, all the other airlines have matched those prices. So Tuesday afternoon is usually the best time to buy.
#3.) FLY ON THE RIGHT DAY. The least popular flights have the cheapest tickets. So if you fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday, you’ll almost always pay less.
#4.) FLY AT NIGHT. Red-eye flights take off at night and land the next morning. Most people don’t like traveling that way, so those flights are cheaper. And flights that coincide with mealtimes are also less expensive.
#5.) COMPARE AIRPORTS. Flying out of one airport might cost twice as much as flying out of another. Generally, the biggest airports have the most flights, so they offer the best prices. Just make sure you don’t have to drive too far to get there.
–If it’s three hours away, it won’t be any cheaper, because you’ll have to spend more money on gas to get there.
#6.) PAY ATTENTION TO “PEAK TRAVEL SURCHARGE DATES.” Just before the holidays last year, the airlines came up with a new way to make money . . . they added a surcharge for the most-popular holiday flights.
–So if you’re flying somewhere for Valentine’s Day or Spring Break, check FareCompare.com to see what each airline is charging. The surcharge is usually ten or twenty bucks each way.
#7.) TRAVEL DURING THE OFF-SEASON. Hawaii is nice all year, but the spring and fall are technically the off-season. And that’s when flights are cheapest. The same goes for Europe too. You pay one price to fly in March, or $200 more to fly in April.
#8.) SIGN UP FOR AIRFARE ALERTS. Most of the websites let you sign up for email alerts that tell you when the new deals are posted. And you can even have them sent to your cell phone or Twitter account.
#9.) KNOW WHEN TO JUMP ON A DEAL. When you see a good deal, take it. It’s the Internet, so you’ve got A LOT of competition. And it’s not unusual for a deal to disappear while you’re trying to book it.
#10.) KNOW WHEN TO GAMBLE. If you book a flight at the very last minute, you can get a great deal. When the airlines see that a flight isn’t completely full, they slash the prices.
–But gambling on a flight deal only makes sense if you’re flexible. If you HAVE to fly that day, don’t risk it.