5 Cost-Cutting Tips That Frequent Fliers Use To Save On Air Travel
Keeping finances in check on your next flight
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there around how to get the best deal when flying. With airlines controlling a lot of the conversation and trying to get you to shop with them the waters have become muddied even further.
Every frequent flier has their own unique methods to save a little bit extra on each trip, and thankfully a few of those have leaked out over time. If you’re trying to slash your flying spend here are a couple of cost-cutting tips from frequent fliers you’ll love.
Never shop on weekends
Whatever they’re selling, all companies will have certain days where they offer discounts and attempt to move products. Whether it’s food about to go bad or bars running a happy hour, the same principles apply. Flights are no different, and a key way to not get ripped off is to know when to buy.
Buying your tickets on weekends is a beginner’s mistake. Friday to Sunday is categorically the worst time to buy tickets for your next flight. While this may be the most convenient time for you to have a browse of the prices, there are a lot of other people doing the same thing. This causes ticket prices to reach extortionate levels. It is much more effective to shop for airline tickets in your downtime at the start of the week.
In fact, if you can hold off until Tuesday or Wednesday you will make the biggest savings. This is when airlines regularly release their weekly deals, trying to move seats for upcoming websites. I know the temptation to get it done over the weekend is there, but make it a weekday lunch task instead.
Keep in mind there are some days of the year you absolutely do not want to fly no matter the price.
When you’re an infrequent traveler, the smart thing to do is to get travel insurance on a trip-by-trip basis. The opposite is much more effective the moment you start to become a frequent flyer.
If you’re flying for work or to see family on a regular basis it makes sense to invest in annual travel insurance to keep yourself and your possessions fully covered. Rather than paying for and managing each individual trip you can cover all your holidays at once. Annual travel insurance is offered by the majority of insurance providers, covering a number of different types of trips.
For frequent fliers who find themselves having to cancel flights at the last minute, it can help to reduce the costs of the trips with a specific cancelation plan.
Hide your research
Ever been searching around online for tickets for your next flight, checking all the different providers, eventually settling on one only to find the price has increased since your first check? You’re not the only one. It’s become a well-known trick airline play to make you pay more for your flights. Their websites respond dynamically to multiple searches, meaning you will see an increase in price each time you return to their website to check or purchase a ticket. What was once a brilliant deal is now in line with regular pricing.
To get around this issue make sure you always search with your browser’s incognito feature turned on. This allows you to search privately and stops the airline websites from tracking you and jacking up the prices. Consider this an essential part of the frequent flier process.
The layover advantage
A hack frequent fliers love to take advantage of is that of the layover. What was once one of the most annoying parts of a long trip back home is now a great cost-cutter.
There are specialty websites such as Skiplagged dedicated to helping people find ways to cheat the layover systems and find the cheapest way to get to their destination. The key is to book a flight from your location to another that stops over in the destination you’re actually trying to reach.
Rather than continuing the flight you just get off the first plane and leave the airport. Simple, but incredibly effective. Especially when the layover location is a much more popular location with a more expensive flight to reach directly. Take advantage of those poor unpopular locations to save yourself a little extra.
Skip inflight entertainment
Watching a movie or getting Wi-Fi access to scroll through social media at 35,000 feet has become an integral part of the flying experience for many of us. For some airlines, it comes included as standard, but some will charge you extra for access to the internet and a selection of films.
If you’re looking to make little cost-cutting changes to the way you fly, skipping out on inflight entertainment can be a brilliant first step. It may be tempting to pass the hours on your next long flight with the latest Hollywood blockbuster, but the entertainment is never good value. Instead, download all those TV shows you’ve been meaning to watch, grab a great book you’ve had on your ‘to read’ list for years or do one of the many other brilliant things you can do to kill time while you’re stuck in the air.
Flying doesn’t have to be expensive. These are just a few tips that will help get you in the air for less. What ways have you found to save money on business trips and vacations?