Nobody wants to spend a fortune on airline tickets.
You’ve certainly been there before: you found a great deal on an airline ticket, walked away from your computer for just a few minutes, and then returned only to realise the price had gone up. The truth is, airfares can change several times a day, and unless you’ve got your credit card at hand, there’s no way to guarantee you’ll pay the lowest price for your airline ticket.
But there is still hope for finding cheaper airfares and saving money in the process. With a little bit of luck and our 4 tips below, you can successfully slash the price of your trip abroad.
Booking your flight over the phone or in person can result in extra airline fees. Depending on the airline you’ve chosen and your booking method (over the phone or in-person), the booking fees can range from $10 to $35. If you want to save money on airfares, always book airline tickets online, as most airlines don’t charge anything extra.
The same goes for the check-in process – if you check in through the airline’s website, you won’t be paying additional fees. However, if you choose to check in directly at the airport, the total price of your airline tickets will go up.
One of the biggest mistakes that most Aussie travellers make is buying airline tickets a few days before their trip. Most of the time, airfares are the highest from eight to ten and two to three weeks before the flight. The best time to book is four to six weeks before you travel, as airline tickets tend to be much cheaper then.
If you wait until departure is just a few days away, not only will tickets get more expensive, but there will also be fewer seats available, which can certainly be extremely frustrating for families flying together.
It’s no secret that travelling during peak seasons can increase the price of airline tickets considerably, sometimes as much as 75 or even 100 percent more than normal fares. Flexibility is the key to finding cheap airfares. The time of the year and the day of the week will greatly impact the price of the tickets. The peak season varies from destination to destination – e.g. for example, flying from Sydney to Miami is cheapest in April. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the best to book your flight, as airfares are very low-cost.
Another secret to saving money on flights is scheduling red-eye flights, which fly all night and land at their destination in the very early morning hours (usually between 5am and 7am). Due to their lack of popularity, red-eye flights tend to be much cheaper as compared to flights at prime business hours.
Ever wondered how do airlines set prices for their tickets?
Unfortunately, airfares are no longer consistent, and can change several times during the day. Airlines use a high-tech strategy called yield management, which aims to charge different prices to different groups of passengers to maximise profits. There will always be two groups of people who want to fly to the same destination: the “go-at-any-price” group that usually consists of travellers with family emergencies, business travellers and people who don’t care about the price they’re paying; and the “go-if-the-price-is-good” group, which includes price-conscious travellers who will fly only if the price is good.
If airlines charge the maximum price per ticket they can get from the first group, they would get the most revenue from these passengers, but fly with a lot of empty seats. On the other hand, if they charge prices low enough to attract the second group, they would waste the opportunity to charge the first group more money since they are willing to pay it.
The result? They charge different prices for the same seat based on each group. If ten people are willing to pay $700 for a seat, they’ll offer ten seats for that price; if another 20 people are willing to pay $400, the will offer 20 seats for $400/seat; and so on until the plane is full. For example, there could be four fare groups ($100, $300, $500 and $700), with 20 tickets available for each. If all $100 seats are booked, the next lowest fare will be $300/seat – that’s why airfares keep changing several times a day.
If you don’t care about limitations, going for the lowest airfare is the best way to save money on your trip. But if you want more leg room, or need to bring additional baggage, you may have to choose a higher fare.
The last thing you want is to have your flight cancelled after booking your tickets. If you’ve chosen one of the higher fares, the cost of the tickets may be refundable, and so you won’t have lost your money in the process. But what if you’ve selected the lowest fare? That means, your money is lost –forever. Cancelled flights will also incur additional expenses, so having the right level of cover can make the difference.
At Kango Cover, we offer several levels of travel insurance cover for you to choose from based on your individual needs. Check out our plans, and embark on a truly fabulous trip anywhere in the world!
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