9 tips to save money on your flights

Anticipate and compare flights and prices, including using applications: how to reserve a holiday flight for the lowest cost possible.Whatever your destination, airline tickets are one of the most costly items. Here are some tips for buying low-cost flights.

1. Book early.

According to Skyscanner, the best time to book an airline ticket is approximately 30 weeks before you leave, saving around 9% compared to the average cost. Buying a ticket 7 – 10 weeks in advance saves around 10%. Note that prices are 25% higher one week before departure!

2. Track airline companies on social networks.

Airline companies begin putting tickets on sale around 11 months ahead of departure date. All new offers, including reduction vouchers, special offers and promotions, appear on the main companies’ social networks or just on their website. By subscribing to the newsletter, you will benefit from personalised reductions and you will be alerted if there is a flash sale, lasting only a day or several hours.

3. Be flexible in your dates and times.

If you are not obliged to travel on a specific date, be flexible. Avoid week-end flights, opting for weekday flights instead which are nearly always cheaper. Choose your departure time carefully as overnight or very early-morning flights are cheaper.

4. Find last-minute flights with Google Flights.

Thanks to agreements between Google and worldwide airline companies, Google Flights (also available as an app) finds cheap last-minute journeys to all destinations. Google Flights is very simple to use: key in your departure city, your destination and your dates and that’s it! Once you have found a suitable flight (the results can be sifted by price, duration, stopovers or departure time), Google Flights indicates which company to contact directly to reserve on-line. If you are not obliged to leave on a particular day, check the screen which shows the whole month as a calendar and a chart. The cheapest outbound and inbound flights are shown for your destination.

5. Save money using apps. 

The Hopper app, which is available for Android and Apple (download from the official site), targets the most advantageous days for a departure. The app is very simple to use: once installed, the first time the app is started, Hopper indicates the closest airports to your location. Next, you can find a ticket by keying in your destination and dates. Hopper presents a calendar presenting days which are coloured differently according to price. The app’s most useful feature indicates whether the prices are likely to increase or decrease. Jetradar, which is available for Apple and Android devices, compares the prices of over one thousand airline companies to find the cheapest flight and helps the user throughout each step of the reservation. 

6. Compare several offers using search engines. 

Search engines like KAYAK, Expedia, eDreams, etc. are another way of saving money on airline tickets. These portals use the departure and arrival city and dates to compare dozens of offers and promise savings of over 30% on ticket prices. 

7. Delete browser history and cookies.

When you browse for holidays on sites such as the ones we have referred to, it is a good idea to delete search data and cookiesfrom the browser prior to reserving. Every time you consult an airline company’s site (standard or low-cost flights), you leave a trace of your preferences and habits and this information is then used by companies to propose stopovers, flights details and, of course, ticket prices.

8. Check for any extra costs. 

Once you have chosen your flight, before reserving, check on the flight on the airline company’s website. Certain price comparison websites levy a percentage of the cost of the flight. Buying a ticket on the company website avoids these fees. Check also for any extra costs. By clicking on the wrong tab, you may be buying various unwanted services (priority embarkation, special seats, insurance, car hire, hotels, etc.). Reduce the cost of the journey by specifying that you are not interested in these services.

9. Buy one ticket at a time (if you are travelling in a group). 

Flights for one person cost less than flights for several people (excluding taxes). The reason for this is a simple one: certain airline company booking systems increase the price as the number of available tickets decreases. Therefore, if you travel as a group, it is best to buy one ticket at a time. Check-in early to ensure that you sit together during the flight.

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