Tricks for finding cheapest flights

BySharita J. Wilson

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Use these tricks to find lower fares this summer.

Use these tricks to find lower fares this summer.

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With airline prices around the world at an all-time high, smart travelers are using strategy to lock in the lowest rates. Current ticket prices reflect an imbalance caused by the decreased number of pilots, many of whom transitioned out of the industry the pandemic began in 2020, and the increased demand of travelers, whose concerts, conventions and vacations are resuming after a two-year hiatus. Airline fares are up 24% compared to the same time of year in 2019, and 45% compared to last year. Use these tricks to beat the trends and save this summer.

Join a flight list

While it may be tempting to hit refresh every morning while planning your trip, joining a flight aggregating service can help serve cheap fares right to your inbox. These services, like Next Vacay, Scott’s Cheap Flights and Dollar Flight Club, crawl travel websites for the best deals and alert you when it’s time to buy. These are especially useful to the flexible nomad willing to follow the fares.

Search in other currencies

While ticket prices may be relatively fixed in your local currency, running your search again with a relatively weaker currency can help you find lower fares. Try this trick on international trips with airlines based outside of the U.S. for best results.

Buy at the prime time

Timing your purchase correctly can help alleviate costs. To get the lowest fares on domestic flights the ideal time to buy is one-to-three months ahead of schedule, or an average of 64 days. For international journeys, that window expands to two-to-eight months. If travel is being planned for peak seasons, like Christmas or other major festivals, adding a month or two to the ideal purchase window helps to stay in the low-fare sweet spot.

This story was originally published July 19, 2022 6:00 AM.