Best Airfare Tips for 2020

 In Airlines, Travel Tips

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

January is nearly over and we have some airfare specific tips we’d like to share with you. We were at the NY Times Travel Show this past weekend as always, we soaked in a wealth of information that we think is worth sharing with our readers and clients.

Best Sites for Flights

Accordingly to Pauline Frommer of Frommers.com, the best sites for searching airfare (per independent research) are the following:

  • Skiplagged
    • Be sure to NOT select “hidden city” when searching. Hidden City fares are not only frowned upon but can also lead to airlines denying you the return leg of your trip if you purchase a hidden city ticket. Not sure what that means? Let us explain.
      • Hidden City fares show you fares that are cheaper if you purchase a ticket from say New York to Los Angeles, with a stopover in Denver (where Denver is your final destination). So you buy the airfare to LA, but you don’t board the second leg of your flight (Denver to LA). Skiplagged specializes in finding hidden city fares but neither Pauline Frommer nor Spirited Navigators recommend purchasing those.
  • Momondo
  • Skyscanner

Tips for Booking Flights

  • Book on Sundays
    • Most corporate travel agents are not working on Sundays, for this reason, flight prices tend to be cheaper on Sundays.
    • Note: BOOK on Sundays, not necessarily FLY on Sundays.
  • Don’t Book on Fridays
  • Fly on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday for best fares with exceptions to destinations that are primarily for leisure travelers (think tropical destinations).
  • Compare Basic Economy Fares to Standard Economy
    • If you are going to add luggage, you are more than likely going to pay more, so do the math before booking the cheapest fare.

Hide Your Identity

We are a little skeptical about this piece of advice because research shows that airfare actually fluctuates based on how many seats have already been sold on the flight, not how many times you search for it. However, there are enough people saying to hide your identity and we figured, it can’t hurt.

By the way, it’s worth noting that the ‘private/incognito browser” trick does not actually work. Here are some basic things you can do to hide your identity:

  • Clear Cookies
  • Use Different Browsers
  • Use Different Computers/Phones

Search/Book Three Months in Advance

The tip that we think is really worth focusing on is when you begin your search for a fare and when you buy it. As a rule of thumb, begin searching for flights three months before your (domestic) trip. It will fluctuate dramatically in those months. Check often and once you find a really good fare, BOOK IT!

Think searching frequently is a pain? Ask us to do it – it’s a service we provide. Just go on on our Travel Services page and select “Flights“. Alternatively, you can set up tracking alerts on several sites/apps such as Kayak, Google Flights, Hopper, Skyscanner, and many others.

This three-month rule does not apply to International Flights — that algorithm is not so simple. Generally speaking, you should search earlier than three months before your trip. However, how early depends on where you’re going. International flights go on sale 11 months in advance, so your best bet is anywhere from 11 months until the night before your flight. No really, we’re not joking. We’ve found amazing deals day before the flight, and we’ve booked them!

We hope you found these tips helpful. If you ever need any help curating a memorable trip for you, your family and/or friends, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We LOVE helping others explore!

As always, Safe and Happy Travels!

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