Avoid Paying Too Much For Your Airfare
Consumers planning their summer getaways may be experiencing sticker shock when it comes time to book airfare. With oil prices holding steady above $100 a barrel, many airlines are raising tickets prices. According to Hotwire.com, prices for round-trip tickets are up 7% to $381 in April compared to the same time last year. Here are eight ways to land great airfare prices, according to Consumer Reports .
Be Flexible About Dates, Times
Having flexibility to travel two or three days before or after your desired travel date as well as being open to fly at different times during the day can harvest huge savings.
Consider Other Airports
Look beyond big-name airports: According to Consumer Reports, many low-cost carriers (who tend to have cheaper fares) fly in and out of “secondary airports.”
Check the Airline's Site
While travel booking sites provide numerous fare options, once you find a flight you want to purchase, Consumer Reports suggests going directly to the airline’s site to book to avoid any potential fees. You may also be able to land an extra discount by finding a “special code” or signing up for frequent flyer points
Mix and Match
Travelers should take advantage of the local low-cost airlines that have recently invaded the industry. Consumer Reports suggests overseas travelers use a major carrier to get to a big city and then switch to a local carrier at the stopover to get to their final destination.
Know When to Buy
When’s the best time to get cheap airfare? Well, there really isn’t one anymore. With the plethora of deal Web sites and daily deal e-mails, a good deal can pop up at any time. However, according to Consumer Reports, securing your tickets 21 days in advance will get you a decent fare.
Consider Multiple Carriers
Traveling with different carriers on the same trip can cut costs. Consumer Reports recommends using travel search sites to figure out the most economical travel strategy.
Waive Change Fees
Consider purchasing refundable airfares in case your plans change. According to Consumer Reports, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, and Southwest will give you a credit to use on your next flight-free of charge.
Trying Bidding for Your Tickets
Sites that offer an opportunity to bid on airfare can be good for your wallet, but beware of the drawbacks: You don't choose or know important details like the name of the airline, airport, or time of departure and all sales are final.
Rising oil prices have forced airline companies to increase ticket prices, which can put a damper on summer vacation plans. Here are tips from Consumer Reports on how to save money when booking airfare.