This week it’s all about fare play. How to play around online and get the best airline deals possible.
Relatively speaking airline prices have not risen dramatically in the last decade. It’s just as easy to find a transatlantic business class fare for about $2500 as it was 10 years ago.
But you have to look and have to be flexible. So here are some tips on how to find the best fares and where to book them.
Always try and book with the airline direct
Normally when the special last minute fares come up on travel sites, they are also still available through the airline even if you see them on a website like Expedia or Travelocity.
The reason you don’t want to book with a third-party is simple, as the airline cannot change the reservation in any way. It has to be done through the place you booked it with and trust me this can make changing a reservation or even selecting seats a nightmare.
I made this mistake in Bali last year when there was a volcano eruption. The airport was closed for many days and I had to change my flight many times. Not going through the airline directly I had to pay a change fee every single time I went through Expedia. Never again.
Airlines sometimes waive this fee especially if you are a frequent flyer or there is a situation like I had in Bali. Sometimes talking to a person and not a computer can make a big difference.
Research using Google flights
The best way of searching for a flight by far is Google flights.
This website allows you to type in your departure city and not even be so precise as adding a destination city and still get fares.
For example, you can search Los Angeles to Asia for the month of October, look at economy, premium, business or first class and see what deals are there.
Their entire month calendar will show you the best days to choose for the best fares.
Even if you pinpoint a destination city with exact dates, Google Flights will even still give you the opportunity of going a day later or prior with a better fare. It just suggests it if there’s a better deal.
It is quite an incredible website to search for flights.
Timing still matters
About 30 days to 40 days out is normally the time when you will see the best deals.
Further out than that they don’t release special fares and closer to travel dates they usually go up not down in price. That is unless a route has excess capacity. So timing can be tricky.
Then it’s all about what days you want/need to travel.
If you can stay Saturday night you will get the best prices possible.
If you can’t be away for a weekend you are best to travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday and back on a Thursday. On Monday or Friday you will always have the business traveler that is either just arriving or just leaving and as such rates are usually highest.
So keep these few tips in mind and go find that great deal then pack your bags and get going.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.