Tips on buying a plane ticket?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 26, 2015 10:36 PM GMT
    I'm planning to see a good friend who I have been wanting to see for some time now. I want to fly to VA (where he lives) during the fall/winter season or spring season.
    I am wondering if anyone here can give me tips on places to find deals on a ticket and how to search for a ticket online.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Apr 26, 2015 11:17 PM GMT
    Kayak is a decent site.

    Definitely purchase sooner rather than later. The days of "Stand by" and last minute tickets are long gone. Stand by costs just as much, and you'll be bumped by people who didn't make their flight and/or cancelled flights. Flights are on average running at 95%+ capacity, there's no stand by anymore. The best you can hope for it an upgrade.

    And buying last minute is terrible. I fly across the country all the time for work, and when I purchase late I'm usually paying $300 per flight (that's $600 if I need a connecting flight). It's HALF that if I purchase up to 4 weeks early.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2015 2:39 PM GMT
    I second Kayak.com. And have also come to like Hipmunk.com

  • Apr 27, 2015 8:52 PM GMT
    ieagle.com is also worth checking out. I compared a recent ticket purchase on there and it was substantially cheaper for identical flights/carrier.
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Apr 27, 2015 11:09 PM GMT
    Depends on where in Virginia and where you are coming from. Sometimes cheaper to fly to a major city (like DC) and rent a car for the last bit. Investigate Spirit Air (if you can deal with their no-frills policies - they charge for bags and everything else - if they fly where you want to go (probably won't find them on any websites other than their own.)

    Also, if looking on on various sites - check for flights every day - you might find a sudden decrease in price - up to a couple month's out.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Apr 27, 2015 11:45 PM GMT
    Suetonius saidDepends on where in Virginia and where you are coming from. Sometimes cheaper to fly to a major city (like DC) and rent a car for the last bit. Investigate Spirit Air (if you can deal with their no-frills policies - they charge for bags and everything else - if they fly where you want to go (probably won't find them on any websites other than their own.)

    Also, if looking on on various sites - check for flights every day - you might find a sudden decrease in price - up to a couple month's out.


    Yes, and the decreases almost always come when they "add" a plane on a crowded day. If you swoop in then you can get a decent discount. Set up the kayak and priceline "notification." It'll automatically email you so you don't have to search sites everyday.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 3384

    Apr 28, 2015 5:03 AM GMT
    Not sure the airlines have the control or ability to add a flight on a busy day as this involves airports and air traffic lanes (probably even more true with international flights where another government is also involved). (And I'm not talking about adding flights during a busy holiday weekend. It's just that Delta doesn't say: we're booked solid next Friday on flights from Detroit to Minneapolis, let's add a 2:30pm flight between the 1pm and 4pm flights.)

    Rumor has it that flights are sometimes cheaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

    Make sure to check other cheap carriers who may not be in other search engines:
    Southwest, Frontier and JetBlue.

    Most search sites will have an option to also search airports within a certain radius of your point of origin and destination, and can also check fares a few days before and after. Make use of those.

    Sometimes fares are inconsistent, for example, it may be cheaper if you fly into Baltimore and out of DC. It's still a "round trip" provided you start and end at the same airport.

    Lastly, if you have no checked baggage, you can bail midflight. A friend was just looking at traveling to Detroit (one way) and the cheapest flight was one to Philly that stopped in Detroit (it was cheaper than just the first leg to Detroit. Crazy price models, eh?)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 28, 2015 5:20 PM GMT
    Join the frequent flyer clubs of the airlines - ALL of them! - serving the two cities you're flying from and to. That way, you'll get advance notice of specials and be able to save lots of bucks. Check the airfares at random times, as they do change often; Tuesday night is often cited as a good time to pick up bargains, as are Sat. and Sun. nights.
  • CX838

    Posts: 100

    Apr 28, 2015 6:41 PM GMT
    My friend just bought a return ticket from Hong Kong to Chang Mai, Thailand less than a hundred dollars
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2015 10:51 PM GMT
    I travel a few times a year and have had my best luck with Priceline.

    Never heard of Kayak but I'll give that a shot next time I travel in a few weeks.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 03, 2015 2:16 PM GMT
    Kayak is a good starting point. You can also check orbitz, travelocity, expedia as well. they are generally the same price on all three, but every once in a weird while one will be significantly cheaper. buy soon, don't wait. made that mistake a few times.

    sometimes, it is also cheaper to buy two separate one-way tickets. you'll have to check in twice (once for going, once for coming back) which may be inconvenient for some people, but it's another way to purchase tickets.