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.
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
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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