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Really Cheap Plane Tickets

The best place to buy really cheap plane tickets is online. We've tried travel agencies and they can't compete with the discount ticket sites. You can search for them on google ("cheap airfare south america", for example), or go straight to one of the well-known sites, like Expedia, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets, Hotwire or Priceline.

How to Get Them Really Cheap

Check several websites when shopping for plane tickets. I just checked for fares from Tucson, Arizona to Traverse City, Michigan on the five sites mentioned above. The quotes, using the same dates and criteria, ranged from $704 for the cheapest fare listed on one site to a low of $432 on another. Never mind which one was cheapest (oh, okay, it was Expedia), because you never know from week to week which websites will find the cheapest flights. That's why the number one rule is to check at least three places. In this case, it would mean a savings of $272. The flight durations are within minutes of each other, by the way, and the food is probably equally bad on all the flights.

Flexibility Gets You even Cheaper Airfare

The more flexible you can be, the better your chance of getting a really cheap plane tickets. Begin by trying several different departure and return dates if you can. The difference of a day or two can save you a lot. Check the boxes that say "any time" for departure and "2 or more connecting flights". Even if you aren't sure that you want to leave at midnight, see what your options are-the savings might change your mind. Whenever the search criteria allow you choices, take the ones that are the least restrictive for the airlines. Again, if the savings aren't enough, you can always book first class, direct flights, or whatever you prefer.

Courier Flights

A courier flight can be a really cheap way to travel. Courier companies ship material in the luggage space of an aircraft passenger because it can be quicker, cheaper, and more reliable than sending the shipment unaccompanied, since checked luggage bypasses many of the typical customs delays. The courier company begins by purchasing airfare, and then they resell the plane tickets to you. In exchange for your luggage space, they give you a discount on the airfare.

I saved $160 flying to Ecuador this way, and sometimes you can fly across the world for free. Since courier flights are almost exclusively for international flights, a fuller explanation and example can be found on the page, "Cheap International Plane Tickets."Even if you aren't interested in courier flights, you may want to visit The Air Courier Association Website, because they can help you get really cheap plane tickets by way of airline ticket wholesalers, discounters, last minute specials, and stand-by travel.

Other Ways to Buy Really Cheap Plane Tickets

Try buying two tickets-one for each leg of the trip. Airfare from Traverse City, Michigan to Tucson, Arizona costs $451 round trip for the cheapest ticket I could find just now. Las Vegas to Tucson is only $161, however, and there are regular $199 specials to Vegas from Traverse City. It is up to you whether a savings of $91 is worth booking two flights (It was a difference of over $1000, when we went to South America). There is the problem of timing, and whether you'll get a refund if your timing is off on your connections (you probably won't).

Package deals, where you pay for plane tickets and your hotel room, may save you money. I haven't had any luck with these deals, but it can't hurt to look into it.

Buying ahead of time usually gets you cheap plane tickets. Any thing less than a week away tends to be expensive, although you never can tell in the mysterious realm of airfare pricing.

Priceline has a "Name Your Own Price" feature that sometimes gets you really cheap plane tickets. You tell them what you will pay, and the airlines say yes or no, depending on whether they have empty seats to fill up. The way to use this, is to first search for the cheapest tickets you can find, then go to Priceline and bid lower than that. If your bid is rejected, hurry back to the website where you found the best deal and book it.

If You Are Really Really Cheap

When my wife and I went to Ecuador, we took a bus from Michigan to Miami, and then flew from there. At the time, saving a couple hundred dollars was worth a couple days on the bus, for us.There isn't as much to be gained on domestic flights using this technique, but a quick check just now showed that taking a bus from Traverse City to Detroit, and then flying from there to Los Angeles, would save about $70 (allowing for cab fare to the airport) over flying directly from Traverse City. I just wanted to let you know all the options for inexpensive plane tickets.

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