How do I find cheap flight tickets
The cost of air travel is increasing every day, making flying an expensive affair. When you are planning a trip overseas, flight tickets are going to be the biggest expense in your budget.
The cost of flight tickets in India depends on five main factor –
- Competition between the airliners
- Supply & Demand
- Crude Oil prices
- US Dollar / Indian Rupee exchange rate
- Airport and other taxes
While none of the above is under our control, I am able to find cheap flights while traveling.
Continue reading to find out how you can find cheap flight tickets as well.
Be flexible with dates
Though the prices of flight tickets are not under our control, the good news is that the pricing is dynamic i.e the prices of the airline tickets to the same destination is not the same every time.
This is the biggest factor that is going to save money. Like I mentioned above, supply & demand plays a role in determining the cost. As it is a holiday on Saturday and Sunday, most people travel on these days. That means the demand is more and the airlines increase the price on these days. These people are most likely to return back on Monday, so the cost would be higher on Monday as well.
The cheapest flights would be on weekdays and not on weekends.
During festivals the prices are going to be higher. If you have to fly during the festive season, booking your flight a day or two day before/after the festival.
Fly at odd times
No one really wants to fly during early morning or late nights. If there are multiple flights during the same day to the same destination, the prices are going to be cheaper during the odd times.
Look at a sample search (above) I made from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur. The airliner (Air Asia in this case) is the same, the date of departure is the same and the destination is the same but look at the price – it’s cheaper by almost 30-40%. There are few people who want to reach their destination at 0:20 AM. So, fly when no one is flying.
Result – Flying at odd times will save about 30-40% than flying during the peak time.
Moreover, you can observe that the cost is higher on Friday, Saturday & Sunday than during the weekday.
Book a return flight
Airlines will give you whooping discounts if you are going to book a round trip ticket. I do not know the exact reason beyond it. Maybe they do not like the fact that you are flying with an other airline during return.
Another sample search (above) from Hyderabad(HYD) to Kuala Lumpur(KUL). First, I searched for a one way ticket from HYD to KUL and then another one way ticket from KUL to HYD. Then, I searched for a round trip between HYD and KUL.
Result – The cost of round trip from HYD to KUL is cheaper, than single way from KUL to HYD, saving more than 50% of the cost.
Fly budget airlines
Currently there are only few budget airlines flying to from India. And they flying to only a handful of destinations.
Budget airlines are cheaper because they are no-frill airlines that means they do not charge for the services that you do not need. Normal airlines comes with everything included like food, check-in baggage, etc even if you do not want. But budget airlines charge only for the services you are going to use and charge only the base fare.
Sample search from Bangalore and Kuala Lumpur has been displayed below.
Result – Air Asia charges very less than Malaysia Airlines, but you have to pay extra for food, check-in baggage and other services.
Try alternate routes
Sometimes direct flights can be more expensive than flying via a transit.
Last time, when I was flying from HYD to KUL, it was cheaper to fly from HYD to SIN (Singapore) on Tiger Airways & then to KUL on Jet Star from SIN rather than flying direct to KUL on a Malaysia Airlines flight.
Check multiple booking sites
The prices of the same flight on the day is different on different booking sites. The difference might be minimal, but none the less you are saving few bucks.
Use this tool to compare the costs on various booking sites. My first preference for booking flight tickets is either Yatra or Expedia.co.in.
If you follow all the strategies I mentioned above you will be able to grab some cheap flight tickets. Any comments are welcome.