Comparing cheap flights online
Airlines sometimes offer the best deals directly to customers.
Agents usually bag those bargains and sell them at low prices.
Get on the web and do some comparison shopping. The Internet does not guarantee you get the cheapest flights. Internet operators are travel agents and as with all travel agents you may not get the best deal from this one. You will still need to compare the quoted price with other agents.
Thankfully there are plenty of flight price comparison web sites out there and they will all show you the cheapest available flights in real time. Cheap flights don’t have to mean a ‘cheap’ holiday. You can find luxury travel at cheap prices if you take the time too seek them out. Also they may offer the chance to buy two one way fares at a fraction of the price of a return fare package.
Check with a budget airline directly. Excel airways are one airline who regularly discount tickets as loss leaders which means they make no profit from those cheap tickets and you and I pick up amazing bargains.
Newspaper holiday flight giveaways
British newspapers have been selling whole holidays for less than ten pounds for the last few years. Vouchers must be collected over a week to make you eligible to claim a very cheap flight indeed. However, read the small print. Some offers are only valid if you fly from some pretty out of the way airports.
Location, Location, Location
Suppose you want to fly to Hamburg in northern Germany. Well the flights into Hamburg Main are rarely discounted (Hamburg has a large business confrencing centre and so may companies send executives there on a regular basis. However the small town of Lubeck (lovely old town and the best marzipan in the world) is only 40 minutes from Hamburg by train (and the German trains always run on time) and Lubeck airport is a cheap destination. Every major city has its own equivalent to Lubeck.
So, when looking for a cheaper flight, think about destination and bag a bargain.
Some routes are cheaper than others. You may not think the route of the planes from A to B matters, but it really can. For example if you fly direct from the UK to Australia you will pay a levy (called “Air Passenger Duty”) of £80. However, if you fly to Paris, then swap carriers your total APD could be as low as £12.00. A great saving, although of course it might add an hour to your travel time.
Package Holidays offer Cheap Flights
Package holidays are sometimes sold off so cheaply that it becomes a cheap option to buy a complete holiday just for the cheap flights. Once at your destination, get the contact number of the holiday rep (just in case there is a problem with the return flight) and head off under your own steam to enjoy the holiday you really want.
Watch out for hidden charges
Some airlines pride themselves on their low fares. However, things are not always as they seem. In her June 2009 article “Ryanair costs more than British Airways” Alison Hunt wrote for LoveMoney that she had compared at £9.99 Ryanair flight from London to Venice with BA’s fare of £285.
While at first the difference looked incredible, Alison said “You’ll have to work your way through Ryanair’s minefield of fees and charges before you can see your true flight price.” Once you take into account taxes, charges, checking-in fee, baggage costs, credi cark fees, transfers and incidentals, the flight for her worked out at £349.06 which is £64 more than British Airways’ price.
Cheap flights – summary
So, in summary there are many ways to get very very cheap flights, as long as you do the research, understand your Air Passenger Duty Liabilities, do the maths and are prepared to be flexible.