5 Insider Tips for Finding Rock Bottom Airline Tickets

We fly for all sorts of reasons; business and pleasure. Finding the best airline prices can be difficult if you simply start searching and don’t consider some insider rules for finding the best fare rates.

1. Search More than One Website

Description: Search more than one airfare website

Image via Flickr celine nadeau

There are so  many websites out there promising the lowest fares. The problem is many of these sites are either owned by an airline or exclude discount airlines. For example, Southwest Airlines doesn’t appear on many of these searches for the best fare websites.

Check at least three but when you find a fare you like, also visit the website of the airline. Often, the fare on the airline’s website will be cheaper—or they will offer alternative travel times based on changing the days of travel by a day or two.

2. Sign Up for a Travel Miles Credit Card

Description: Use Airline Credit Cards for Mileage Credits

Image via Flickr 401(k) 2013

Those who travel a lot will tell you they can’t remember the last time they paid for an airline ticket beyond the fees and taxes. All airlines offer credit cards to help you rack up mileage points to receive discount or free airfares.

The trick to these cards is using them—for everything or at recommended merchants. The more you use them, the faster the miles will pile up. Just remember not to overspend or you’ll find yourself deep in credit card debt. Be sure to enroll in the ones that have the least blackout dates.

3. Search for Discount Airlines

Description: Fly discount airlines

Image via Flickr saaby

JetBlue and Southwest are two airlines in the U.S. that offer discount fares. Sign up for destination low-fare email alerts to places you plan on or want to visit and take advantage of those times.

There are also many discount airlines in other countries—especially throughout Europe. These airlines are able to offer the discounts they do because they fly into nearby cities and skip the major airports. Because airlines have to pay landing and take-off fees, larger airports charge more. Consider using these and take a bus or train to get to your final destination.

4. Include Different Types of Travel with Air Travel

Description: Drive one leg and fly another

Image via Flickr timo_w2s

The shorter the flight, the lower the airfare. Use the affordable vehicle you purchased from Sports Durst Millennium Automotive Group featured specials for the first leg of your trip and fly the rest of the way.

For example, if you’re flying from Santa Fe New Mexico to Las Vegas Nevada, don’t take off in Santa Fe but drive to Albuquerque, park in long term parking and then catch a plane with a more affordable rate to Las Vegas.

5. Find a Travel Agent

Description: Use a Travel Agent

Image via Flickr Highways Agency

Due to the ease of searching on the Internet, many skip using travel agents these days. In reality, they may be privy to special discounts or destination packages you won’t find by searching on your own.

Travel agents dedicate their time to searching for the perfect price so why not leave it in their hands? They can also offer alternative or similar travel destinations with airfare you can afford and have quick access to airline schedules based on day and time of travel to help reduce your airfare.

The secret to finding the best airfare isn’t really a secret if you follow these tips. Above all, don’t be enticed by a fare that sounds too good to be true—call the airline and inquire.

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