How to Search for a Cheap Flight
Searching for a cheap flight is not always an easy thing to do. Further down you will be able to see a presentation of some useful elements that can help travelers with the discovery of cheap flights.
There are two basic categories of travelers that search for cheap flights. In the first category we place those individuals with definite travel dates that cannot be changed in any way (business trips, conferences, etc.) whereas in the second category we place those individuals that are more flexible and can adapt and program their journey within a given time. There is always a rule regarding flights “If there is flexibility, there are definitely more choices in searching of a cheaper flight”. The meaning of flexibility is mentioned in the travel dates and the destination, for which more explanations will be given further down.
Non flexible travellers
The travellers that belong in the first category with definite and specific flight
dates unfortunately do not have many choices. Therefore they can search all airlines
for their destination and record the prices and the departure/arrival hours. A general
advice would be to search for flights at off peak hours (peak hours 10:00 - 19:00)
because flights during peak hours are usually more expensive. Many airlines that
have more than one flights for a specific destination offer the peak hours flight
tickets a bit more expensive, for example at the itinerary Athens - London you can
you find that a flight that departs at 12:45 is more expensive than the same airline’s
flight that departs at 06:00.
Another advice would be to make the flight reservation as early as possible. The flights usually follow an exhibitive distribution with regard to their price and in relation to the remaining time before the departure date. Therefore if the departure date is close to the booking date, the flight will be more expensive.
As it was mentioned above, flexibility is a basic factor during the search of cheap flights. If the destination has been decided then it would be a good idea to use the selection “+/- 3 days” in order to see the range of prices. After the first search you can record the lowest price and continue with the search. It is important to know that flights are usually more expensive when the departure is on Friday and the return on Sunday or on Monday. The reason is because the demand on these days is more increased than the demand on the rest of the days and because the prices are directly linked to the demand it is only reasonable that these days are more expensive.
After spotting the lowest price, from the first search, try to search different flight dates until a better price is found.
Another factor, as it was mentioned above, is the departure/return time. The choice of flights on off peak hours is definitely very important, because flights during these hours are less expensive.
If the search is based on city/airport codes do not write on the search field the accurate code of the airport but choose to write the city’s code because it includes all airports, e.g. if you are searching for a flight to London, do not choose the code LTN (IATA’s code for Luton airport) but LON (London’s code that includes all of the city’s airports). Hence the destination choices are bigger this way and there are more chances in finding a cheaper flight.
The flexibility is not only reported in the travel dates but also in the destination/arrival place. If for example you wish to travel to Bratislava you will see that there are not many flight choices and this makes the ticket relatively expensive· however you can travel to Vienna which is only 64 kilometers from Bratislava and from Vienna’s airport travel to Bratislava by express train or bus in less than 1 hour.
Generally direct flights are cheaper than that the flights with stops. This however
is not absolute because some airlines in order to attract customers that under ordinary
circumstances would not travel with their company (due to no direct connection) offer
low prices aiming to have complement of passengers. For example:
Athens - Warsaw (direct flight with LOT) price begins at €217.
Athens- Warsaw (Czech Airlines via Prague) price begins at €179.
The journey on the direct flight lasts approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes whereas the journey via Prague lasts 4 hours and 50 minutes with one hour stop in Prague. The flexible travellers can search for such types of offers and benefit from the cheap prices.
The last factor that we wish to mention and actually stands as the case of the non flexible travellers, is the period of reserving the flight. The rule is THE EARLIER YOU BOOK THE CHEAPER YOU FLY...
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