The airline business is brutal. Airlines have to deal with seemingly ever rising fuel prices, rise in material costs, shifts in Geo-politics and increased personnel costs. Add to that the fierce competition among airlines and you can see why airfares seem as volatile as the stock markets.
Why is that relevant you ask? Because the costs get passed onto your the traveler. An airline has to consider all those factors into the price of your ticket.
Let’s face it, airfare forms the lion’s share of all your travel related expenses. The good news is, you can still get cheap airline tickets even when the airline cards are stacked against you. It will just take you some time and a bit of flexibility. It’s as simple as that. So let’s explore some of the ways you can land some cheap airline tickets.
Sign Up For An Airline Miles Credit Card
Frequent flier miles program allow you to accumulate points for each mile you fly. Additionally, you can earn miles for purchases charged to the card or earn points from partner programs. You can then use your miles to get upgrades on a flight or a cheap airline ticket to your destination depending on availability. You can even redeem your points for free hotel stays and meals.
How do you accumulate miles faster?
- Shop at your program’s member stores. Most airline miles programs have partnerships with major retailers to allow you score miles for each purchase.
- Charge everything to the airline miles card. Whether groceries or mortgage payments, simply charge it to the card. These are expenses you would have incurred anyway, you might as well earn some points while you are it.
- Sign up for airline mailing lists and watch for deals, offers and bonuses. Sometimes airline offer super cheap deals on flights or easy ways to earn miles that you can take advantage off. Sign up to receive the alerts.
Fly Budget Carriers and Secondary Airports
Airports charge airlines landing fees among other charges. The bigger and busier the airport, the more they charge. Smaller airports on the other hand charge lower landing fees and the savings are passed on to you, the consumer. You can get a cheap airline flight by flying a budget carrier to a cheaper secondary airport.
Budget carriers are “no frills” airlines. Don’t expect the normal perks offered by the major airlines. To make up for that they charge lower fares. You get to travel more for less, albeit not so much comfortably 🙂
Additionally, ensure the secondary airport isn’t too far out from your ultimate destination. In some instances, the savings on airfare might be swallowed up by cab fares.
Be Flexible On Routes
You can land cheap airline flights by flying indirectly to your route.
How does that work? You take a flight to another city or hub near your destination and from there either take a train or opt for a budget local carrier for the remainder of your journey. International long distance flights are expensive. Domestic flights tend to be cheaper. So you break down your journey and enjoy the local travel benefits.
There are drawbacks to this method. It takes more time to get to your destination. It also takes time to put together you cheap airline flight itinerary. You have to research and compare various flights and ensure you are getting the best deal for the slight inconveniences.
Be Versatile On Travel Dates
Data collected over time by airline data outfits point to some cheap days to fly. For example, airfare tends to be more expensive in August when more Europeans travel and when North Americans wrap up their summer vacations. You can get a cheap airline flight immediately after a major holiday or smack in the middle of the week. Hello Wednesday 🙂
Did you know that you can land a cheap airline ticket if you travel early in the morning or deep into the night? It turns out that people love convenience and those awkwardly timed flights attract less takers making them prime for you, the budget traveler.
Getting onto a cheap airline ticket is an art. It requires flexibility on when, where and how you are willing to travel. Research and planning are essential in getting the best deals and stringing a smart itinerary. It calls for patience and comfort sacrifices at times. But it is possible. At the end of the day, you end up being the guy or gal who paid the lowest for that ticket. But more importantly, you get to travel more for less.
Here are some more ideas on how you can reduce your travel related expenses:-
Be smart, fly cheap!