Flight booking hacks to help you save big bucks

 Flight booking hacks to help you save big bucks

Alok K Singh

Flight travel is costly but convenient. All of us are privy to the age-old myths for booking flights at pocket-friendly prices, due to technological advancements the system has become smarter to deal with these myths. Advanced algorithms are used by airlines that cannot be predicted by us. However, some loopholes are discovered which can help us avail cheap air travel. These tried and tested flight booking hacks will definitely help you save big bucks. Let’s take a look at these hacks:

Avoid booking group flight tickets
If you are planning to travel in a group, never search for multiple tickets in a single purchase. Group tickets are always more expensive if booked online, unlike tickets booked by travel agents. Even if you are a group of 5, the algorithm will try to find 5 seats together and show you the sum of the highest priced ticket multiplied by 5.
For example, there might be only three seats left in a fare bucket for 4000 INR, and the next higher bucket might be 8000 INR per ticket. When you search for multiple tickets in  a single purchase, every ticket would fall into the 8000 INR bucket. That’s why you should always search for a single person ticket and during seat selection you can add more passengers to your search.

Mark the cheapest days to fly
As per users opinion and some research, it’s been found that Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday are likely to have lower airfare as compared to the other days of the week, especially if you are making an international trip. This time is also known as ‘off-peak travel’, so if you are flexible with your travel dates, book your flight for these days.

Use incognito mode
You might have noticed that flight prices change after you are done searching and comparing them a few times in your web browser. The cookies in your browser are the reason behind this; when you search the flight prices repeatedly over a particular route the prices get increased. This is a trick to make you book the flight ticket quickly. To avoid falling into this trap, always search for the flight tickets in incognito mode to get the best possible deals.

Clear your cookies
As discussed above, prices of flight tickets fluctuate based on the cookies in your browser. Cookies store your search history information, which is often used by airlines’ websites or travel search engines to determine the price shown to you. To play with them at their own game, one should always be careful to delete the cookies and browse flight tickets only in incognito mode.

Opt for non-refundable tickets
It has been observed that non-refundable tickets are cheaper than refundable ones. If you are very sure of your travel dates, go for non-refundable ones and save some extra bucks for your other expenses.

Keep an eye for the frequent flyer program
As per a famous saying, loyalty goes a long way; you can enroll yourself in a frequent flyer program to get great discounts. A loyalty program brings you points if you travel frequently with a particular airline. These points are added to your account and can be redeemed to book flights at discounted rates. Sometimes, the credit card companies get tied up with certain airlines that would help you build up such points more quickly.

Follow airlines on social platforms
Social media platforms have changed the lives of many, be it general people, businesses, or influencers. Now the consumers are reaping more benefits and amazing deals. Just like the way other brands update their consumers about their deals and discount on social media, airlines too notify travelers about flash sales and special air discounts. All you have to do is follow airlines on social media and keep an eye on their updates. If you are lucky, you can save big bucks.

Don’t be opposed to layovers
While direct flights may be more convenient, especially if you’re strapped for time. Connecting flights can help you save big bucks. If you are not in a rush, try booking a connecting flight. The search engines facilitate this search by letting you know a list of connecting flights by the number of stops and travel time.

Use flight search engines
Before booking a flight ticket it is always advisable to search for better deals on flight search engines. Search engines help you to compare prices offered by different sites for different flights and dates. An added benefit is price drop notifications/alerts, they do not let a great deal pass.

Fudge your location
Flight prices differ widely from country to country, fake your computer’s IP address and see the difference. Open one window with your current location and currency, and a second window with a different location and currency where that airline is based. After comparing the price you may find you can save quite a bit by booking in the airlines’ home currency or location. Remember, it is a hit and miss hack, you might need to try this across different search engines to hit the jackpot.

7-8 weeks before departure is the cheapest spot
If you do a quick search, you will find that prices are slightly on the lower side between 7 to 8 weeks before the departure date and then gradually climb. There are certain flights whose prices are dropped closer to the date, while others hike it – all this depends on the demand at the time, which cannot be predicted earlier. There is a delicate balance between waiting too long or booking too soon, this can you’ll perfect over time and experience.

Alok K Singh is Co-Founder & CEO, Travomint




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