Last Updated on March 5, 2021
Knowing the tricks to get cheap flights is the best way to make travel affordable. There are a wide variety of methods you can use to pinpoint the best deals on air travel.
It used to be that the trick to getting yourself a cheap flight was to hang around in the airport and ask to be put on the standby list. Those days are long gone.
The airfare pricing system is designed to penalize laziness and inflexibility. If you don’t care the airlines will hit you in the pocket!
If you DO care and know how to find the cheapest deals the potential savings are huge!
Because airfare costs are a significant chunk of your travel expenses. If you can cut down on flight costs then your overall cost of travel will be greatly reduced.
When you are a master flight hunter the sky is the limit for saving money. Excuse the terrible pun!
Anything from a 50% reduction to FREE is possible if you know how. If you follow this guide you will quickly become skilled at finding and booking the cheapest tickets.
The Traveling Light Trick
The most obvious way to get cheaper flights is to fly with a budget airlines.
If you want a cheap meal you eat at a cheap restaurant, right?
It’s not any different when flying. You may want to book a full service carrier but the cheaper flights will be found on the low-cost airlines.
Low-cost airlines operate a business model where they have their bare-bones fares as low as possible to attract customers. These guys don’t make much money on the bare fare.
They hope to earn their profits by upselling you on extras such as checked luggage, carry-on luggage, seat selection, priority boarding, and so on.
Sometimes the fees for extras are more than the cost of the ticket!
Most airlines charge for checked bags, so if you can travel with only a carry-on then you can avoid bag checking fees.
The cheapest flights are found by traveling even lighter. Ultra-low-cost airlines charge for carry-on luggage, so if you can travel with only an under-seat personal item then you will pay the cheapest price for your ticket.
There are now some low-cost long-haul airlines LCLH that can take you around the world for cheaper with reduced onboard service. Bring your own snacks and don’t purchase a meal on the plane. Sit next to a stranger. And just endure the reduced legroom, think of the money you’ll save!
Check out for these LCLH airlines for budget international flights:
The “Be Organized” Trick
Okay it’s more of a tip than a trick but don’t leave things to the last minute.
As soon as you know your travel dates and where you want to go start searching for your flight.
Airlines usually release schedules 11 months in advance and often the cheapest fares are available soon after the booking window opens.
The Incognito Mode Trick
By using incognito mode there are no cookies involved and you will see the cheapest flight.
This is the theory anyway. I’m not so sure that this makes a huge difference in practice but it doesn’t hurt to try!
The Hidden City Flights Trick
The hidden city trick (or skiplagging) is where a traveler books a flight that has a connection and then deliberately misses the connecting flight.
The city they end up in is neither the departure city or the destination city, it’s the hidden city.
The Greek Islands Trick
The Greek islands trick is about being flexible in the last part of your journey.
For example, you were traveling to a Greek island. You would book a flight to take you to the nearest major city (Athens), and then find the cheapest possible way to get from Athens to your final destination on the particular Greek island you are going to. It might not even be a connecting flight. You might take the last part of your journey using buses, trains, or a boat.
Booking a flight from your local airport to the main airport on the Greek island could end up being an expensive way to plan your travel.
The Pay In A Different Currency Trick
You can sometimes find cheaper flight prices if you pay in an airlines native currency i.e. the currency of the country where the airline is based.
But you’ll need to pay in Norwegian krone rather than dollars. Make sure you check how much your bank will charge you for the conversion.
Some banks such as TD Bank have low fees on foreign translations.
Take A Detour
If you are not in a rush to reach your final destination booking a connecting flight can be cheaper than flying direct.
Book flights with different airlines. Stay overnight in a detour destination. Take train, planes, and automobiles to get to where you want to go.
It might not be the fastest way to reach your destination but with research it might be a cheaper way to travel.
The Multiple Airlines Trick
Use different airlines for the outgoing and return journey.
If you are booking a round trip don’t assume that the cheapest fare will be a return with one airline.
Search single fare prices you might be able to save. Two single fares with two different airlines could be cheaper.
The Traveling Off-Season Trick
Flight pricing is based on demand. Period.
The airlines are very smart. It’s not easy to trick them into paying less. In fact, I’d go as far as to say there is no real trick. The house always wins.
So if you can’t beat the system you need to play the system. Flying when there is low demand is the only tried and tested way to get a cheaper flight.
Avoid peak season, and avoid peak travel days. Avoid the most popular times to fly, choose the red-eye flight that nobody wants.
Your destination will probably be nicer without the crowds too!
The Alerts Trick
Often in life it’s not what you know it’s who you know. And finding the cheap flight deals can be like that too.
There are many folks out there that are dedicated to monitoring and discovering the cheapest flights around.
Subscribe to websites like jacksflightclub.com and they’ll let you know when prices drop.
Follow Airlines On Social Media
Often airlines will announce sales on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms.
Follow your favorite airlines if you want to make sure you see these alerts.
Get Professional Help
Back in the day nobody was alone when trying to book a cheap flight. There was always the trusty travel agent on the other side of the desk trying to help you out.
These days it’s went all posh and it’s called travel concierge but it’s basically the same concept.
Tricks makes it sound like you are going to outwit the airlines.
Sorry to break it to you, but you’re not going to beat the system.
There are ways to save money on flights though. If you are prepared to fly at less popular times, if you are willing to travel with less baggage, then you cut the costs associated with flying.