Booking an air ticket can be one of the most agonising experiences. Most of us are harrowed while searching for the best fare or even the best deal. With a plethora of online flight booking search engines, comparing flight tickets gets tedious. For a common man, who is not from a travel industry, staying up-to-date with airline deals becomes difficult. Going to an agent, standing in queues, bearing a high commission is as good as prehistoric. But, now the bigger question is ‘how to get the lowest flight ticket for your next vacation?’
We have some 15 hacks for you that will help you plan your trip parsimoniously. These tricks are not exhaustive, neither are they exclusive. Depending on the situation, you may have to use multiple tricks together.
1. Choose an off-season date for your travel
There is really no rocket-science behind this. If you make reservations during peak-seasons, you might really be charged a bomb. Off-season charges are always less.
2. Set a fare alert
Say you want to fly Mumbai-Amritsar, but never buy a flight ticket because the air fares are always high. You can actually set up an alert on most search engines, wherein you’ll receive an email everytime the price increases or decreases.
3. Check for hidden charges
Some search engines may show you lower fares initially, but later as you proceed to payment, convenience fees or taxes may be levied. Therefore, your comparison must include the total cost, otherwise you’ll feel cheated.
4. Book for a flight and hotel combo
Booking for a flight and hotel can help you save big on your journey. This technique of bundling works most of the times
5. Book round trip
Booking a round trip ticket will be cheaper. Whether you're going on a vacation or a business trip, booking a round trip ticket from the same airline means you'll end up saving a few bucks.
6. Watch out for special promo codes and discount codes
Many online travel companies offer discounts in various slabs to entice customers to book with them. You may get the cheapest deal on your flight ticket, if you are smart enough to use a promo code.
7. Sign up for newsletters
Never miss an update, always check your emails to keep a tab on all the deals and discounts that come your way. From airline sales offers to latest travel updates, you will receive almost everything in your inbox.
8. Follow social handles
Airlines and online travel portals always talk about these deals and discounts on their social channels. If you follow them, you will always receive an update on your feed. This is not it, new routes, additional frequencies and free giveaways always find a platform here.
9. Use frequent flyer miles
Travel often by a single airline? Then this is definitely for you - special fares, special seats and special redemption points. Most of us book flights depending on who gives us the cheapest fare. However, if you have a frequent flyer program, you will actually end up saving more. You can always redeem the accumulated points for your next trip.
10. Keep flexible travel plans
You’ll generally find flight tickets priced higher on weekends and public holidays. Since the demand on other days is lower, these fares are naturally lower.
11. Consider an alternate airport
Take an instance where Mumbai-Dubai flight tickets are priced at Rs. 2X, but Mumbai-Sharjah fares cost only Rs. X. In such a situation, you could opt alighting at Sharjah rather than Dubai, because it saves you huge bucks.
12. Consider the inclusions and exclusion on your flight ticket
Some airlines charge extra for food, check in baggage and other services. If you are the one needing them, then you should definitely look for such inclusion in the ticket.
13. Look for flight cancellation and reschedule charges
At the time of booking you may not feel that you’d cancel or reschedule a trip, but you never know. It is always wiser to check these options while booking a flight, especially if the tickets are on sale.
14. Consider unusual hours
Sometimes late night flights and early morning flights can be cheaper than other flights. So, if you’re ready to compromise on your sleep, then you might end up with a lighter pocket.
15. Consider booking with a low cost carrier
It may sound dim, but low cost carriers in India are doing big. They may charge you for that meal or extra baggage, but you’ll receive great service. Airlines like IndiGo, Air India Express, AirAsia India are great to travel with.
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Author : Winnie Karnik