At first I thought I covered pretty much everything about booking tickets in my last post. But with looking for my next flight ticket I realized there is still much to talk about. And I hope it will be everything this time, or at least most of it. So, let’s begin!
- Not always cheap flights are really cheaper – When I’ve been looking for a ticket to Dubai from Europe I wanted to find it as low cost as it gets, so I’ve been checking almost every airport with destination I wanted. And I’ve actually found a 50Euro cheaper and direct flight from Budapest to Dubai with Wizzair. The previous flight was from Prague so you could ask WTF are you going such a distance for few Euros less.. but I really love Budapest, I fell in love with this city as much as I fell with Vienna. It’s just a place to be for me and I visit it as often as I can. But, few steps later I added the baggage was even more expensive than the initial flight. Low cost airlines cut the costs for the flight as much as it is possible, but at the end of the day they add the fees to the final price so better double check it before you pay. With a “non low cost” airlines you should have at least checked in baggage in the price of the ticket. Apart from baggage, there are two other things with low cost airlines – they usually flight to smaller airports outside the city. Well, to be honest, sometimes it is not even close. London Stansted, Brussels Charleroi, Paris Beauvais, Barcelona Girona, Frankfurt Hahn – all these airports have the name of the city in their names, but in order to get to the city you have to take a shuttle and it takes sometimes even hours to get there. So in the end you loose time, and money, because the tickets can be pretty expensive when you don’t book them online in advance – for example bus to Brussels > Charleroi costs 5Euro, but only when booked online, at the driver you pay 15Euro, and the difference is not that big, but when you are close to the end of your holiday and you have only few coins left, any unexpected cost can be a pain in the ass. Apart from the time and money after all this going around you loose most of all your power and when you finally get to the place you just want to check in and rest.. And the last but not least thing with low costs are “services”, and under that I mean food and drinks. You can laugh right now, but every snack counts on a plane when the flight is longer than 3 hours 🙂
- Be flexible – regarding one of the points in the upper “dot” – in order to find cheap flights you need to be flexible. When you are ok with flying on another date, or departing from another airport than you usually wanted, or when you don’t mind stopovers instead of direct flight you might get a big chance in finding a pearl in a see of high prices 🙂 So far I am still young and don’t get tired that quickly, so far, so good! I don’t actually mind “going the other way around” (This is a Polish thing, I can tell) – example: this year I’ve been to Lisboa, Portugal. There was a direct flight for about 120E and about 5 hours from Prague. After longer research and connecting the airports and the flights from various airlines I have found the connection Brno-Budapest-Dortmund-Palma de Mallorca-Barcelona-Porto-Lisboa-Brussels-Bratislava-Brno for a slightly higher price. Of course I stayed in each place for few days, because I wanted to see everything and I didn’t really mind all the time spent on planes. But I’ve had altogether almost 3 weeks of holidays, so I could afford it with time and money, although I spent some money on accommodation as well, I must say, it was really worth it, and right after I’ve found all those connections I was proud of myself and immediately had a Reisefieber 🙂
- Use the recommended E-Resources – there are many websites about travels, which post daily new offers and are worth to save them in your favourites – the site I am on every day is http://www.fly4free.com – you can find here various actions/ tickets / promo codes / sometimes even some system errors of airlines. Few works about all of them. System errors occur from time to time in every airline – it’s best to buy it with your CC, so you have immediately a confirmation about your purchase. After that it’s the airline’s choice whether they will approve the ticket or reject it (based on the system error). They however hardly ever decline those tickets, and even when they do it, they will return you your money, so you can only win here. Some websites receive occasionally special promo codes for their followers. I have been trying to check the first 4 or 5 sites of results in google in order to find working promo codes for my tickets (I found this idea fantastic and so obvious, but the only thing what I have found was trash). And such websites as this one will inform you about the special actions or sales of the airlines, so they actually do the job for you as you don’t need to look for it all by yourself.
- You can however check for the sales/actions on your own if you want, on Groupon you can find discounts on the tickets as well.
- Tuesday sales – I’ve read about it on the internet, but didn’t really find anything that would confirm it. Maybe it’s just in US (?).
- Have you ever wondered why the return tickets are sometimes cheaper than the one way tickets? I am. It doesn’t make a big sense for me, but apparently there has to be something in it, since the airlines are holding to it so tight. Anyways, have you been thinking about bying a cheaper return, but use it for one way? It’s called throw-away ticketing and airlines don’t like it (at all). I personally don’t do it, but what I’ve read on the internet is that they can refuse your boarding or even charge you for more expensive one way flight. But hard to say, didn’t have any experience with that.
- As I’ve mentioned in the previous post, the ticket prices vary during the week and the day. However it mostly happens on the flight scanners, not the airline websites itself. When you notice, that the price of the flight you were checking every day suddenly got higher – no panic on the Titanic, and check the flight price on the website of the airline. When the price is the same as it was before, it means that most probably it will drop after some hours on the scanner as well. Everyone wants to earn some $$ in the end, right?
- Even when the price suddenly dropped after you have bought your ticket, it’s still not the end of the world. There is a slight chance that the airline (rather not the flight scanner) has a price assurance program. In this case you could ask for refund on the difference of the prices. I don’t think there are big chances for that, but hey, the asking doesn’t cost you anything, right?
- And my personal favourite – NEVER underestimate the power of social networks and remember that Sharing is Caring 🙂 There are 2 more websites I’d like to recommend you and this is http://www.couchsurfing.com and eBay. And now I will tell you why 🙂 I’m new to CS, but there are few groups where people offer their tickets or are looking for other people to get the prices lower as they are (for example sharing a cabin on a ship or offering their miles). On eBay and other internet auctions you can find either discounts on the tickets, or already the tickets for some flights. I found it by accident, and of course you won’t find there tickets for all flights, but maybe there is one that you need or seek?
I am aware this post is like a never ending story, but I wanted to cover everything – things I’ve checked by myself and that I’ve heard or read about. And I wanted you to have everything in one (well, now 2) posts, and not 20. In case there still is something I’ve forgot or there would be something to correct, please DO correct me in the comments!