What are your top tips for saving money on flights?

It is safe to say that the era of cheap flights is well and truly over, and with rising fuel prices, ridiculous punitive taxes and airlines slashing routes and capacity, flight prices are rising to ridiculous rates. But you can still bag a bargain. My question is how do YOU ensure you get yourself a good deal?

Here are my top 10 tips for saving money on buying your flights.

http://bemusedbackpacker.com/2013/07/29/top-10-best-ways-to-save-money-on-your-flight/

What are your best tips?

Michael Huxley 29/07/13    Budget travel Link Report

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I am not convinced about breaking up your flights, i.e. flying out of (into) somewhere near your origin (destination) and using a budget airline for the shorter hop. How much can you really save this way? There are various websites these days where you can search flights from any airport within 1000 miles of your origin, to any airport within 1000 miles of your destination, with flexible calendar dates, but I haven’t used them enough to see if they’re really worth it. Example

http://matrix.itasoftware.com

apparently this is the original one closest to the raw data. It’s useful for telling me what the options are (what flies from where to where), but I am a bit suspicious of the numbers. Say I do two different searches

(i) London -> Singapore departing 26/09 up to a month later, length of stay 14 days
(ii) London and all airports within 1000 miles (i.e. most of Europe) -> Singapore and all airports within 500 miles, same departure and length of stay as above.

Using (i) I find an Emirates fare of 536 quid stopping over in Dubai. Using (ii) I find the Emirates fare is not listed, instead the cheapest is 539 with SQ from Zurich, which is a bit useless, as I still need to make it to Zurich.

Also, are you really paying more in taxes by flying out of the UK rather than flying from Europe? I think some airlines often seem to treat the whole of Europe including the UK as one zone so e.g. I’d expect HEL – BKK on Finnair would cost the same as LHR – HEL – BKK on Finnair.

22camels 30/07/13    Link Report

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  • 22camels, breaking up flights doesn’t always work no, but often it does. For an average example you can get from say Manchester to Sydney for on average about £900 – 1000 GBP. A quick search reveals a ticket to Bangkok for say £500 GBP and an Air Asia flight from Bangkok to Sydney for a couple of hundred quid. Thats a saving of at least a couple of hundred. Doesn’t always happen of course, but as I say its always worth checking out. I’ve saved thousands over the years by doing this.

    And I used the UK as just ONE example of a country with punitive taxes because its my home country, i didnt mean that other countries did not have them too.

    Michael Huxley 30/07/13    Link Report

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  • Sure, I see your point. Just I think perhaps there are fewer bargains like this to be had now than a few years ago, as the market becomes more efficient and the airlines’ pricing engines get smarter.

    I think the UK has some of the highest departure taxes in Europe but it seems quite often the airlines are absorbing this and taking the hit.

    22camels 30/07/13    Link Report

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  • Oh it is definately harder to get a bargain these days I agree, but it is still not impossible. That is why I say none of these tips work 100% of the time, but if you try a few of them it helps your chances of getting a good deal. As for the taxes I don’t see the airlines taking as much of a hit as they used to, now much of that tax is being passed onto the customer via fees.

    Michael Huxley 30/07/13    Link Report

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  • So what do people think of these basic tips? Anyone found them useful? Anyone have any more?

    Bueller? Bueller?

    Michael Huxley 09/08/13    Link Report

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  • I’ve used Flightfox which works really well.

    Kia 13/08/13    Link Report

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