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How to get the cheapest flight

If you’re tirelessly trawling the web in a bid to find the cheapest flight, you’re not alone. There is an endless amount of search engines, booking agents, comparison sites and brokers right at your fingertips. With ever changing prices, it’s hard to know where to start. But, we are here to take you through our top tips, that, hopefully, won’t only save you time, but also money, when booking your next flight.

Search incognito mode

Ever noticed the more you search for a certain flight, the higher the price goes? You’re not crazy for thinking so, it’s true. Based on the cookies in your browser, you’ll find that the more you search for a certain flight via a particular route, the price will increase. This happens as the site wants to lure you into thinking that if you don’t book the flight right there and then, it’s only going to get more expensive. So, the best way to avoid this and get a true representation of the price of a flight is to always search in incognito mode. This way, the search engine can’t follow the cookies in your browser.

Added bonus, each time you close your incognito window and re-open a new one, your cookies are reset, so if you want to search for the same flight via a different route, close all your windows and open up a new incognito window and you’re good to go.

Find the cheapest day to fly

Although you may have heard rumours that Tuesdays are the cheapest days to fly, this is unfounded. Weekdays, historically, have been the cheapest day to fly, but I wouldn’t be so quick to rely on this knowledge, as there are some insane deals to be had on weekends, if only you put the leg work in.

You’ll need to get a quick visual of the prices across a whole month to see which days are the cheapest via a specific route. You can do this relatively easily via SkyScanner. All you have to do is enter your departing airport and destination, select one way (even if you’re returning, do this, as you are only trying to determine the cheapest day to fly at this stage.) In the departing tab, click whole month and hit the search button. This will bring up a table of prices for the whole month, so you can see exactly which day is the cheapest to fly on. Repeat these steps for your return journey. (In a new incognito window.)

Find the best search engines

It really does pay off to find your way around the best search engine sites when it comes to booking flights. Some booking agents add higher inflation costs than others, which is why you see the price change when you search across different platforms. Below we have listed some of the top booking agents we believe provide the most cost-effective flight prices, with low inflation costs.

SkyScanner (https://www.skyscanner.net/)
Travel Supermarket (https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/flights/)
On The Beach (https://www.onthebeach.co.uk/)
Fly (https://www.fly.com/uk/)

Budget airlines really are your saving grace

You may not love to admit you’re flying long-haul with EasyJet, but if you’re after a cheaper alternative to a full-service flight, budget airlines are the jackpot. The price of a ticket flying budget is considerably cheaper than their full-service counterpart. Now, that’s not to say it doesn’t come with its downsides, obviously there’s less leg room, no free food, no reserved seats, no luggage included… you get this gist. So, you really need to weigh up the pros and cons of this option, if you’re choosing to fly budget, but then need to add 22kg of luggage at an additional cost, does it really work out cheaper?

Top tip – check out budget airlines’ social media on the regular, they’re always posting special offers and discount codes. Ryan Air are especially good for this.

Check out the list of budget and low-cost airlines here

Fly to the cheapest destination

Not fussy about where you fly? Then the world’s your oyster, and you’re ultimately going to get the cheapest flight on the market. Again, SkyScanner is a brilliant source to find the cheapest flights worldwide. Head over to SkyScanner and pick your departing airport, in the destination tab, pick flexible and in the dates section click cheapest month – you’ll then be presented with a list of countries in price order, flick through and pick one that tickles your fancy.

Another brilliant tool is kiwi.com, it works on the same principle as SkyScanner, where you pick a departing airport and it presents you with a list of places you can fly to, what’s better, you can sign up and add a price alert, let’s say you’re on a really tight budget, put in your max price of £20 and whenever a flight from your chosen airport comes up at £20 and under you’ll be notified.

Don’t wait to buy

If you know you’re planning a trip on a certain date, don’t wait to book your flights, airlines rarely decrease the price of their tickets close to the departure date, especially budget airlines. They will always start off selling their tickets at a baseline price and as these begin to sell and the plane fills up, the price of these tickets will increase. Most of your biggest savings will be from booking your flight in advance, so chop-chop!

Check for fare errors 

It doesn’t happen as often as we’d like, but that’s not to say it isn’t worth trying. Every so often airlines upload error fares, this basically means someone’s made a mistake and you’re getting the price of the flight at a fraction of the actual cost you should be paying.

Holiday Pirates is a website that scours the web to find the cheapest deals, flights, hotels and so on, not to mention error fares. You can sign up to receive notifications via email or WhatsApp from Holiday Pirates, that means whenever they find an error fare, you’ll be one of the first few to be notified. You’re not going to get a flight cheaper than an error fare flight, so really keep your eyes out for these. We’ve seen error fares for a return flight from Gatwick to New York for only £299.

Use a travel agent

Finally, and that’s not to say least, is booking through a travel agent. They like to keep it under lock and key, but it’s a little-known fact that travel agents have special undercut rates that are inaccessible to the public. So, it’s definitely worth a shot heading into your local travel agent and seeing what they can do for you. Make sure you do your research ahead of time and have some prices to show the travel agent so they are able to work from the information you’re providing them with when looking to find you a better deal. 

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