Debunking myths: How to book a cheap flight


Saving money on your airfare means you can spend more in your destination, win-win. Source: John McArthur / Unsplash

THERE are few things more annoying than finding out your fellow passenger paid less than you for the same flight.

But it does happen.

If you’re intrigued to find out how they saved a few hundred bucks, while you splashed the cash, you may even inquire as to how they did it.

Because like many, you probably sit there secretly fuming.

Well, don’t panic because there are tips you can use for your next booking.

Equally, the booking myths others may claim to have used to score bargains could be just a load of tosh.

So let’s get down to tipping and debunking.

Know the best days to fly

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Myth: Tuesday is the best to fly.

Unfortunately, this is not true. Airfares bounce around like peanuts in turbulence.

It’s practically impossible to predict in advance when the cheapest day to fly will be.

Tip: Use apps to keep a lookout.

Mobile apps such as Hopper, Airfarewatchdog, and Hitlist, to name a few, track airfares so you don’t have to.

Hopper, in particular, keeps a watchful eye on various different airlines for the cheapest flights. By using algorithms and stored data, it can predict the cheapest day to buy tickets and notify you on the cutoff date to scoring the cheapest tickets.

Don’t be loyal to an airport

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Myth: Loyalty will reward you.

Being loyal to an airline, hotel group, and even restaurants while traveling can reward you in many ways, including discount flights and stays.

The same principle does not apply to airports though.

Tip: Select all airports.

Major destinations normally have more that one airport and sometimes the price difference can be huge.

London in England, for example, has London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead, Southend-On-Sea, and Luton.

While Heathrow is central, it is pricey. If you’re willing to travel a little further, definitely check out alternative airports to save some dollar.

Cookies are not your enemy

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Myth: Cookies increase prices.

Technically this isn’t true. According to travel expert, Mr. Ott from God Save the Points, “there’s no evidence that fares have actually spiked because of browser history.”

Tip: Go undercover.

Try to use the search engines while in incognito function if you’re searching flights directly on the airline’s website.

While cookies don’t effect comparison websites, airlines use search history to determine supply and demand.

The incognito feature will also prevent personalized ads from showing on your social media accounts.

Cheaper flights don’t always save money

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Myth: Cheaper airfares save money.

Sounds like a paradox, right?

Often, cheaper initial costs hide extra expenses later in the booking process.

Tip: Dig deeper.

It is always worth doing extra research for airfares, especially if you’re flying budget.

Airlines have a sneaky way of offering up an enticing airfare cost, but when it comes to luggage, in-flight entertainment and meals, they end up robbing you.

Depending on what you expect from a flight (apart from getting to your destination, obviously), it may be worth paying a little extra and knowing everything is included.