The online flight tickets have always been a subject of concern among majority of travelers. Especially for Indian travelers, with increasing difficulty to get rail ticket reservations online and a ‘huge price gap’ between the train and flight ticket prices, an average customer drops her travel plans quite often, without much choice. Here are some ways you can use to cut down on the flight ticket prices, while you try to book them online.
1. Eat up the cookies- It ain’t that easy
While you might think that clearing off the cookies can be a game-changing eureka for you, it does not work all the time. The Google incognito mode can save you for some time, but not always. The websites are able to track you not by your online activities, but by the system you use – ‘your ip address’. So no matter how much you try clearing out the cookies, you will not escape the dynamic pricing once your ip address has already been identified by a particular websites’ cookies.
Try using a VPN service. There are many ways it protects your online signature. The only way to capture a customer’s id is to capture their system ip address, and a VPN service helps to mask it from the websites seeking your ip addresses. When your ip address cannot be detected, you are always a virtually NEW user to the website, starting with the ‘lowest prices’ every single time and help you save money every time.
Tip: Try not to register or logon into the website account. Just try to make a flight search as a non-registered user**.
2. Use the ‘Fare-Lock’ Strategy to Save Money
Ever heard of that before? The fare-lock allows you to approach and ask the airline directly to lock into the rates you have first seen, until you decide to buy that ticket. Use it to the best of your advantage. The airlines hold up the ticket price for you for as long as up to four to six hours until you can make your decision. You can use this strategy to your advantage and save money when book your flights tickets online.
Try making your reservations directly from the airline website. This allows you the flexibility to connect with the airline customer care directly. Also, it is up to the airlines to give you a fare-lock and no third-party websites have any authority over such decisions. Chances are, if you get the price that you are ‘willing to pay’, you can ask the airline to keep it on hold for you, until you can reach a final decision.
3. Search for the ‘Fare Charts’ on the Airline Websites
One costly mistake that every traveler does! When you are directly visiting an airline website, consider searching for their ‘fare-charts’. A fare-chart is a pre-defined price list across various destinations listed on the airline company’s website. This is a good idea to use when you plan to book early as you can get a tentative price schedule months in advance.
Download a copy of the fare charts from your preferred airline website. This will give you a wide comparison of flight rates from all the possible airports to your destination. This can help you to shuffle between the various flight options, when you decide to plan your trip, and choose the cheapest ticket price.
4. Change the way you shop – Shop with a purpose
If there is a way that you can convert your ‘necessity’ into ‘luxury’, will that not be a great idea? Consider this; every time, you make an essential purchase online, it gets converted into payback points which you can use for booking your flights next time. A website such as Payback.in allows you to convert your purchases into payback points which you can then use for booking flights online.
While you might consider it trivial, think about the time when you are in a critical situation and forced to buy that high-priced ticket with little or no choice at all. The cash-backs accumulated over time can help you just at the time when you need them.
5. Get Cheap Flight Tickets with last-minute Discount Offers
The last-minute discounted tickets are usually not helpful with your last-minute travel plans, but they definitely give out a vital piece of information – the time window. Your purpose of booking an online ticket ‘as early as possible’ might be defied by the paradox of last-minute discounts. They come and they go, often leaving you with less choice when you have made your plans already.
Here’s how you can deal with it. Firstly, while you choose to make a booking from the airline website directly, make sure you also subscribe to their newsletters. Once you do that, you will be the first one to get live updates on their offers; do not wait then and take that ‘first mover advantage’ to save money. There are four kinds of discounts or offers that you need to check when you make a flight booking:-
- Festival Offers: Festival sales are a great way to take discounts. If you are planning a budget trip, the best way to get low-cost flights is to look out for these festive sales. Even better, if you can sign up with your preferred airline website. These discounts have short time periods between booking and validity dates (usually till the festive period), and being on the airline email list will update you at the earliest.
- Global Offers: The Global sales are often massive discounts on international fares and you would definitely not like to miss out on them. These will have typically the shortest time periods and you need to act fast on them. These offers generally come on occasions such as beginning of the year, global festivals, or international sports events. When you see these offers in your mail box, it is time to act fast to grab the opportunity.
- Term End Offers: Term end offers are specific term offers such as weekend or month end. They generally have lesser percentage discounts, but available for longer time periods, such as a complete month.
- Year End Offers: As the name suggests, the year-end is the time when most travelers plan their trips and hence the discount offers generally start one month in advance. You can typically expect a flat rate discount of 10%-15% on the base fare prices.
A disciplined check on these insights will help you to change the way you make your online flight bookings next time. Combine the payback points strategy with the methods with your cheap flight tickets online search for a 6 month period and you can score enough payback points to buy you at least two short distance round trip tickets for FREE.