Finding the Cheapest Plane Ticket

Let face it nobody flys the same airline twice these days. When it comes to airlines we all look for the same thing which of course is the cheapest plane ticket.  Most of us don’t look for frills we just want to get from point A to point B and still have money in our pockets for activities, food and lodging wherever the journey.

I don’t see the purpose of using real live travel agents.  Dealing with a human feels laborious when all you want is the cheapest plane ticket right?  They are a thing of the past. There are also a lot of online travel websites but really who is the best online travel website for the cheapest plane ticket?  Who gets you the lowest cost flight every time?  Should you use them or go directly to an airlines website?  Due to having the Orbitz credit card, I check Orbitz first.  I don’t get airline points for buying my ticket with them but it does help me build my hotel points.   If the flight looks expensive I move on to flight search engines or other travel websites.

There have been all kinds of rumors in the past about flight search engines and travel websites leaving cookies on your devices to track pricing.  Rumor has it keeps flights cheaper if you search for them in incognito mode or delete cookies.  I tried this for the past couple flights I have bought recently and I did not notice a huge price difference.  Please give this tip a try and let me know in the comments if you have found it effective or not.

If you fly a certain airline a lot then get their credit card for the points. I currently live the Greater Salt Lake Area which is a Delta Hub. Due to it being a Delta Hub the cheapest flights out to numerous locations tend to be with them.  I have their American Express Card but don’t use it much because it gives so little points compared to some other cards. Still, it gets me occasional discounts on my daughter’s European flights or some quick free flights to Vegas.   Who has the cheapest flights out of your favorite airport?  Check out their credit card and start putting all your purchases on it.  Still, ensure to pay it off every month so you don’t get hit with the standard ridiculous credit card interest which cuts in to travel plans.  If you get one free trip a year isn’t this hack worth it?

I often use flight search engines.  I use to always use kayak.com .  Kayak is still pretty good.  Search with them if you feel that the flights on Google Flights are expensive.  Google Flights is pretty good with pricing but they are not perfect so check both of flight search engines.  Kayak has this little tip on a flight on whether it should get cheaper or not if you wait.  It seems to rarely ever say hold but it does sometimes.  Still, tickets rarely ever get cheaper right?

Kayak Photo
Kayak Photo

Finding your right day can be everything. I use to fly in the middle of the week because I usually found the cheapest fares then.  See my pic below, look at Sep 13th and see how the flights have dropped from the high 600’s all the way to 289.00.   Still, I don’t pick the middle of the week as much anymore as Google Flights shows you which day is the cheapest.  Look at the flights below it shows you when are the best days to fly to New York for the least cost.  See how Sep 30th is just as cheap as Sep 13th and it let you fly on a Saturday.  Of course, travel hack 101 picking your flight at least 2 months out usually gets you the cheapest fares.  Also, another Google Flights hack is to click on explore destinations to see which locations are the cheapest to fly to.  This can be great if you are not tied down to a single location and your goal is just to travel.

Google Flights
Google Flights

Use low-cost airlines when you can.  Let’s face it I have flown to Ireland off season for 50 Euro with Ryan Air. I have also had Ryan Air not be the cheapest so find out when their seasonal boost for a location happens.
Also some of them nickel and dime you to death for even checking a simple bag … oh wait never mind Delta did that to me just the other day.  Sometimes I feel like some of them, yes especially Ryan Air would charge you for air once you have taken off.   I have found being aware of low-cost airlines route maps and season pricing changes helps me to get the best price.

When should you avoid a cheap airline?  Let’s face it we have all fallen for American Airlines ultra cheap fares.  They may not be a low-cost airline, but they are a cheap airline in every sense of the word.  One time I was flying from Europe and AA ditched me in Dallas.  They had the lazy excuse of it being a weather issue.  They made me rebook my own flight with them at a phone bank.  I also had to find and pay for my own lodging.  I will pay 100 USD extra on a flight not to fly with AA these days.  Instead of losing a day of vacation it’s worth flying with someone that will actually get me there right?

We posted most of our cheap flight hacks but there is always a new one.  Maybe paying in local currency is cheaper?   Maybe flying that new Icelandic airline WOW is the cheapest way to see Iceland?  We read about airfarewatchdog.com and hipmunk recently both of these have some neat features also.  Please post yours in the comments below.