And finally, (see two previous posts) here’s what you should do to book the best-priced airline tickets, according to FareCompare.com:
- Shop on Tuesday afternoons: Generally, an airline will launch a sale either late Monday night or early on Tuesday and the other airlines match to stay competitive; this matching process is generally completed by Tuesday afternoon about 3pm eastern time.
- Compare prices to nearby airports: A big hub is usually cheaper than a smaller regional airport. The additional drive-time to or from a farther airport can be worth it.
- Be Flexible: Overnight or red-eye flights and flights at dawn are usually cheaper, as are connecting flights. The cheapest days to fly are most often Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
- Use Airfare Alerts: FareCompare has airfare alerts which let consumers know when prices drop. The key to following an alert to a successful conclusion is a lightning-fast response since such deals can and do disappear quickly.
- Social Media Deals: Airlines have offered deals on Groupon, LivingSocial and Facebook. There are no guarantees but if an airline is trying to unload unpopular seats, it could be a shopper’s lucky day.
- Vacation Package Deals: This can be especially useful for the procrastinator since airfares and hotel prices in package deals are generally pre-negotiated set-prices. They may not be the best deals for early-birds but they can seem cheap compared to last-minutes prices.
- Use Your Miles: Summer vacation can be a great time to use up miles in rewards programs. A good rule of thumb: if airfare costs somewhere north of $400 or $500 round-trip, pay for it with miles.
- Pack Light: Use a carry-on bag. Lighten its load by buying toiletries at your destination. Exception: JetBlue and Southwest offer free checked-bags, while both Allegiant and Spirit now charge for carry-on bags; if you wait to pay for your carry-on at a Spirit airport gate, you’ll get socked with a $100 charge.