If you love to travel but hate paying top dollar for airline tickets, then it may be time to learn a few new tricks. While there are time-honored airline booking hacks, such as always flying midweek or booking months in advance, there are a few other things you can do to lower the price of your plane tickets. Here you’ll learn a few next-level airline booking hacks to help you get the lowest price possible on airfare.
Rest assured, there’s no need to do any actual hacking here or venture onto the wrong side of the law. The term “hacker fares” was actually popularized by Kayak, which uses it in their search results. So what exactly does it mean? Basically, that instead of buying a round trip ticket on the same airline, you buy two one-way tickets, often on competing airlines instead. Though it might not sound like it’d save you much money, you might be surprised. By booking your flights separately, you can book the cheapest flight available through any airline on each day.
“Hacker fares are what Kayak does to discover cheapness, but also more diversity in results in terms of flight schedules,” Giorgos Zacharia, the chief technology officer at Kayak explains. “Domestically, if you fly out with one airline and return with a different one you can create a lot of savings.”
Create your own layovers
It’s no secret that flights with layovers are generally cheaper than one-way tickets. If your trip is flexible, consider creating your own layovers by booking two separate legs of the same flight individually. Not only can it save you money, but it can also allow you to schedule your layovers on your own terms. Say, for instance, that you plan to fly from L.A. to London. Rather than booking a flight that involves a layover of a few hours in New York followed by another flight to London, check out the price difference as you book these two legs separately. The nice part about this route is that you might decide to spend a few days in New York before continuing on across the pond and get a two for one trip out it. If, however, you’re eager to get to your destination as quickly as possible, make sure to use a site like Kiwi if you plan to go this route. They offer connection guarantees even if you book the two legs of your flight through different airlines.
Secret search techniques
When it comes to booking your travel, play your cards close to the vest, even when it comes to your search engine. Many travel sites employ tricky tactics to scare you into booking a flight, such as raising the prices each time you search it from your computer. They’re able to identify you by the cookie trackers in your computer, so if you want to throw them off their game, make sure you do your searching from an incognito or private browser. Make sure you close even an incognito browser each time you search as doing so will reset your cookies before your next search.
Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest day to fly
Why take the chance that that mid-week flight really is going to be the cheapest one available? Just head over to Skyscanner instead and find out for sure. Even if you’re looking into round-trip flights, select the “one-way” option under “flights.” Then just put in the airport you plan to fly out of and the one you want to fly into. When it asks you for your departure date, instead select “whole month.” When you search, the site will display the cheapest flight going out on each day of the selected month so that you can compare them for yourself.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks will save you a few bucks when enjoying your next flight. Happy travels!