Recent Posts

How to find cheap airfare 101

A few years ago I discovered a great way to find cheap airfare. It is pretty simple but unless you know to look for it sometimes you can miss it. If, for example, you know you want to go to New York sometime in the spring. First go to the travelocity website. Then fill in your airport codes and here is the trick: click on “Flexible Dates.” {Even if you have exact dates you need to fly on search this way and the airfare is always cheaper.} It will then give you the best airfare rates to NY for the next few months. Of course it is budget travel so if you need any sort of customer service they are lame and the tickets are nonrefundable. You have to dig to find the best flights but I’ve had really good luck. Up until about six months ago you could search for international flights too. That is how we found our tickets from San Francisco to Paris for $300. {When I was bored at work I would search for airfare to all these exotic locales.} When they disabled that feature it made me so mad I called their corporate offices to complain :). For now I have to be content with the U.S. and Canada.

A few things to remember:
1. keep clicking on the different flights to find the best dates
2. Watch for the direct flight description. {I only do layovers if I’m going to save a ton of money.}
3. They include fees in the quote price {some other companies give you a quote and then add $300 in fees.}
4. I don’t really like Travelocity, but most of the time they seem to have the cheapest prices. At heart I love a good deal so I put up with the crappy customer service.

  1. Sara

    January 31, 2007

    another great search engine is, they don’t sell flights but rather search all the major airlines sites plus all the search engines like orbitz and travelocity. it is really easy to search with flexible dates and see what flight times you get for what price, etc. And as a bonus it works for flights originating from outside the US as well.

  2. jordan

    January 31, 2007

    Thanks for the tip. I still can’t figure out how to do flexible dates. When I click on the link it won’t let me do it. {i even registered.}

  3. Sara

    January 31, 2007

    ah yeah, that is one drawback, it required registration, but at least i dont remember getting lots of spam from them.

    to get to the flexiable dates:
    on the first page click on “More search options (flexible dates, preferred airlines)”
    Then “My dates are flexible” (you have to log in to see this)
    once you do that then there should be an extra line that shows up right under the line for the leave and return dates which says

    Leave Date Flexibility Return Date Flexibility

    in the drop down boxes you can pick from 1 day before OR 1 day after, or 1, 2, or 3 days either way.

    I like that they search both the airlines and the sites like orbitz, sometimes it is cheaper directly from the airline because they don’t have a booking fee like orbitz. And Kayak also shows the total price (including taxes). And they have a nifty little graph that shows you how the fares for that flight have been changing over the past few months.

    Before I moved abroad my husband (who was at the time my boyfriend) and I had a period of long distance relationship California-France, I spent lots of time looking for the best flight deals!

  4. Sara

    January 31, 2007

    it is true you only get to search a week (well, 6 days) for leaving and coming back, not a whole month 🙁

  5. Sara

    January 31, 2007

    I have travelocity watch fares for me on their “Fare Watcher.” Because I fly out of Vegas and have family in NYC, San Fran, Houston etc I have them watch fares between Vegas and those cities.

    Travelocity will email me when the fares go below a certian price (whatever price I detrmine).

    I have taken many unexpected trips at screamin’ deals because of the fare watcher.

  6. jared

    January 31, 2007

    farecompare is the new black.

    click on the ‘maps’ feature, put in your departure city, and it returns the cheapest deals in the next year that it can find to all cities. you then go narrow it down to a date.

    bad things: the prices are without taxes.

    just found it, but it seems cool so far…

  7. Anna

    February 2, 2007

    I just found your blog through the link on Domino Magazine’s blog – you have such great stuff here!

    I really felt the need to chime in and say that I use Travelocity all the time. I used them to buy a plane ticket from Boston to Los Angeles over Christmas, and when my flights were cancelled because of that blizzard in Denver, the Travelocity customer service was AMAZING. The guy that I talked to worked with me for 1.5 hours to get me on a flight, even checking nearby airports! If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have been able to go home for Christmas… I’m a huge fan of them now.

    With that off my chest… you’ve found a new reader in me! 🙂

Comments are Closed

More Recent Posts