So, you are a frequent flyer, and you are always backpacked and ready for the move? You are that man on the ground that generates business for your company and shaking hands with stakeholders across the country is a regular affair? Or are you that person who travels for leisure once every year? Are you one of those who like to make his travel plans on his own rather than relying upon anyone else? We travel for many reasons and most of the times. No matter what kind of traveller you are or whatever your travel needs, it is important for you to remember these little things while you book your flights next time.
How early do you plan?
Planning your tour is important. If it’s a matter of haste, then its unlikely that you will be left with much choice to book a flight, however you can still save some money while you book your flights. For example, you might have to book a costly ticket while you have to attend a meeting in urgency or you are late for that function, but you may consider the return flight to be a hopping one. Generally, the flights get revised on the systems every fortnight. If you check regularly, you may find that booking a flight 15 days before your decided schedule may prove less costly. Not one day more, or less. Give it a try and just see!!
Do you book from the airlines website or from a tour website?
Agreed that tour websites do have packages and discounts; but consider this! The tour websites just compile the rates from multiple agencies and are bound by the terms and conditions of those agencies. Also, they have their transaction charges in place. Booking directly from the airline website often cuts out on those hassles straight away and helps you to plan better. Plus, if you cancel your booking, you pay twice, once to the airline and second to the agency in between, and that amounts to almost one-third of the ticket price. The airline companies however have the mandate of following the government policies and clearly outlining them on their website. While there may be lesser prices available from a tour website, often they come with the tricks of non-refundability, that means on cancellation, you lose the entire money. So, while you book your next flight on your own, try to check that carefully.
There is another good option and that is Jetradar. It collaborates a database of more than 800 flights and airline resources to bring you the cheapest modes of travel. Reach out and get the best of the offers available for saving money.
Do you check the off-season rates?
Often, we miss out on these offers and they are really cool. The off-season discounts result in low occupancy of the flights and the airliners try to sell them out by lowering the prices. While they cannot lower it so much that they can’t cover up for the fuel surcharge, usually, they try to cover it up by lowering the prices. It’s only about striking your timings with that of the airliners’.
What’s your travel route?
Most airlines offer cheap prices from the Metropolitan cities as these are the places where there is maximum movement. Hence, the chances that the flights are fully occupied are more. When you consider booking a flight from an airport with lesser flights, the occupancy is also low, resulting in increase of flight rates. Try this instead. Check the flight rates from your station to the nearest metro city and then to the place you are trying to go. For example, if you want to go to Bangalore from Indore, the nearest city is Pune or Mumbai. Try checking the rates ‘individually’ from Indore to Pune/ Mumbai and then from Pune/ Mumbai to Bangalore. Can you see the difference??
Have you tried the wallet services?
E-Wallet services such as the Paytm allow you to get good cash backs on your purchases. While you make a purchase for other services, you can use the travel services and save them for future discounts. Paytm offers upto Rs. 6000 cashback on purchase of DSLRs. You can use that cashback for your ticket purchase.
What is the time of your travel?
Have you seen the flights during odd hours? Well, the flights during the wee hours of the day get booked first, leaving lesser scope for the flights to be booked during the non-busy hours. Again, the prices fluctuate based on the occupancy. If the airline has to make sure it remains above the breakeven for every flight that takes off, it better reduce the prices to accommodate passengers at the last moment. Tip: Try buying the ticket when its Security check in time for the flight. There are always tickets left. You might get lucky some day.
Concession Passes, a big Bargain for all
While this may not be available on the tour websites, you can always avail this facility if you book your tickets directly from the airline. It may be government concessions, senior citizens concession, LTC, students concession etc. But make sure again that you book your flight directly from the airline website only.