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Airfare myths could be costing you hundreds of dollars
Published Tuesday, August 13, 2019 6:00AM PDT Last Updated Tuesday, August 13, 2019 6:59PM PDT
Searching for a flight can be both exhausting and frustrating, but there’s a certain satisfaction in finally book a flight, and for a great deal too.
If you’re thinking of taking to the skies in the coming months, there are several things you should know about first in order to get the best deal possible, because no one enjoys overpaying for airline tickets.
But before you hit “book,” there are several air travel myths that could be costing you money.
So what are the most common airfare myths?
First, Tuesday’s aren’t actually the best days to find the cheapest deals. While “Travel Tuesday” used to be the case, experts say it no longer is.
“This myth started when airlines used to load fares at the beginning of the week. But now airlines are much more sophisticated in the way that they price tickets, changing the price 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and for consumers that means they can find a deal any day of the week,” said Consumer Reports expert Octavio Blanco.
Experts say that airlines increasingly use flash sales to stimulate business, and those often pop- up at any time.
So you don’t end up missing out on great deals, experts recommend following airlines’ social media accounts and setting up email alerts so you’ll receive a notification when there’s a sale. It’s also helpful to use Google Flights to simultaneously compare prices across a range of different airlines.
The second myth, it’s always better to book your flight as far in advance as possible.
“Airlines don’t start actively managing inventory until five to three months before departure, so if you buy your ticket too earlier, you’ll probably pay more than what you would if you’d waited to buy in that period,” said Blanco.
Experts say that having flexible travel dates and times can also provide you with a great deal on airline tickets. When it comes to airfare, timing is everything, and experts say the golden time to book a flight is approximately two to three months in advance, depending on whether you’re travelling domestically or internationally, and in peak season or the off season.
Another recommendation is to travel during less popular times. Flights tend to be cheaper during the early morning and late night, and during the middle of the week, as opposed to weekends.
Finally, a round-trip airline ticket is a better deal than two one-way fares.
“On-line booking sites have gotten really good at finding travelers money saving one-way flight combinations,” said Blanco.
Kayak and Hopper offer something called “hacker fares”, where a flight search will look for two one-way tickets which together make a round-trip flight. You might have to use two different airlines for departing and arriving flights, but you could also get the best deal.
Experts at Consumer Reports say that another way to find good deals is to look for flight and hotel packages. You can find plenty that include a business class seat and a five- night hotel stay by visiting your favorite airlines’ websites.
What is the best advice to travellers? Shop around first and compare prices before you book.
So no matter where you’re flying to - happy travels!