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Cheap Airfares made easy

Date Added: September 07, 2007 01:58:51 AM

This article shows you how to find cheap airfares, making domestic and international travel easy. You'll find easy to follow tips to finding the lowest airfares on the web.

Everyone is looking for Cheap Airfares!  You will great information here if you take the time to understand the tips below.

I've been in the travel business for over 20 years so I know what I'm doing!  The travel business is more complicated than in the past.  Previously, there were a few airfare choices.  If you bought a ticket early, you got a deal.  If you waited till the last minute, you paid a lot.  Travel agents had access to last minute discounted airfares, the origination of consolidator airfares.    Now there are student fares, cruise fares, missionary fares, web sale fares, airline fares, wholesale fares, consolidator fares, frequent flyer airfares, credit card discounted airfares, and some others not worth mentioning.   Online booking makes everything seem simple, but only if you use a good website. 

Let's compare apples and oranges!    Different airfares display airfares differently. Remember, talk is cheap!  Just because a website promotes itself as a steal of a deal, doesn't mean they are.  All airfares are not created equal.  All websites are not created equal.

Some websites display an airfare based upon actual seats immediately available (that's a good thing!).   Some websites display airfares based upon cached fare results for recent requests (caching = a fancy word for short term memory).  These caching sites don't look up rates every single time that route is requested.  If they have received 10 requests for a specific date/ route recently they simply average them together for you (that's bad).

Additionally, some websites display the total fare up front (that's good).  Some websites display airfares not including taxes.  As you move through the booking screens each successive fee, fuel surcharge, service fees, and taxes start getting added.  The end fare is drastically different than the fare they 'hooked you' with (that's very bad)!

First tip... find a website that combines as many different types of fares as possible; airline fares, consolidator fares, student fares, etc.  (that means skipping those airline websites).

Second tip... find a website that displays the total fare initially.  Make sure you check the website to see that all taxes, fees, and surcharges are included initially.  You might have to read the website a bit to determine if this is their policy.  Test a couple of websites; you should see some similar fares.  If you find a website that starts adding fees after your initial quote... run away fast!

Third tip... Always look to see if airfare is sorted lowest to highest.  If they are not, the airfare display probably biased to 'promote' an airline.  If the website is biased, be very careful.  You probably won't see the best deals there!

Let's learn common sense about the world!  Airlines are smart!  They know how to take your money.  They have computers that store every bit of data from every traveler.  Airlines know when people like to travel and they charge extra for the popular days, weeks, and months.  

Every destination has a peak travel time (high season), an off - peak travel time (low season), and two in between seasons (shoulder seasons).   When is the most popular time to go to the beach?  In the summer when it is warm, of course.  (This would be peak season.)   When is the most popular time to go skiing?   In the winter when there is snow, of course. 

There are peak travel times (summertime when the kids are out of school) and there are peak destination times, like winter for skiing.  There are also peak days to travel (weekends when you are not working), and there are off peak days to travel (like Tues and Wed).   Usually the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Middle East have similar seasons.  If you are traveling to the Southern Hemisphere things will get a bit confused.

Generally the Peak/ Off Peak/ Shoulder times correspond to the seasons.

   Peak Season is the most EXPENSIVE TIME: JUNE - AUGUST   (summer)

   Off Peak Season is the CHEAPEST TIME: NOVEMBER - MARCH (winter)

   Shoulder Season is a CHEAP TIME: SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER (fall)   and APRIL - MAY (spring)

Again, let's apply that common sense!  The weeks around Christmas/ New Year will be an exception. The weeks around Easter/Passover will be an exception. Those long weekends and holidays like Presidents Day, Valentine's Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, etc will be exceptions.

First Tip... Try to travel on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.  These are the cheapest days of the week to travel.

Second Tip...  If you have to travel in the summertime, be prepared to pay twice as much as winter period. The only way to get a great deal is to book early, early, early! Get that reservation made 6-8 months prior to your trip, 10 months early is even better.

Third Tip...  If possible, try to have a bit of flexibility in the day you travel. Think outside the box.   If you are traveling near the edge of a season it might be cheaper to adjust your travel by a few days. Traveling 3 days earlier (even if it falls on a weekend) may be significantly cheaper if your fare changes from a Peak season fare to a Shoulder season fare. Remember, the first day of your travel determines the seasonality of your fare. You don't get brownie points (and a cheaper fare) by leaving in Peak season but returning in Shoulder season. OUTBOUND date determines your season.

When should you fly?  Fly when you have to, but a little planning and flexibility will reduce your costs.  So if you’re looking to find the cheapest airfares following the rules above is the best way to do that. Websites such as and offer Cheap Airfares on international flights along with Cheap Flights and International flights. They apply the above rules and allow you to book your next airfare online, fast and easy. These websites combine all types of fares; you simply choose the fare and flight schedule you want. 

Happy Traveling
The Travel Jerk