That’s it. That’s what you’ve been waiting for and of course Miles Logistic wasn’t going to let you down, this is the definitive guide with everything you need to know to find cheap flights.
Flights are often the biggest expense when planning a trip, but they don’t have to. By using the right tools, having the right mindset, and employing some money-saving strategies, you can cut typical flight costs in half or more.
You don’t have to be a professional: affordable airline tickets are within your reach.
But for that, you need the right information. There’s a lot of bad advice out there about the best tips and tricks for finding cheap airline tickets and discount flights. It’s hard to say what you should do when you’re looking for a cheap flights.
We get it, so we’ve narrowed down some of our most important tips on finding cheap airline tickets. There’s a lot to unpack here, but here’s what it boils down to…
1. Ignore the myths of cheap flights:
Anyone looking to make a deal on flights has encountered their fair share of myths about booking cheap flights. When money is involved, there is no shortage of so-called “experts” or influencers who sell bad information. These are some of the most common myths you’ve probably heard or maybe even believe that you should rest if you really want to book flights for less.
“Tuesdays are the best day to find cheap flights”
We know you’ve heard. Maybe you’ve stayed up until the wee hours of the morning hoping to snag a bargain.
Don’t be ashamed, you are not alone. From friends and co-workers to supposed studies and even major publications, the myth that airlines sell their best and cheapest airline tickets on Tuesday has become a universal fact. But the fact is that this recommendation to find cheaper flights to anywhere, well… is wrong. Sorry, but there is no better magical day to book flights to get a cheaper fare.
That old myth of finding cheap flights on a Tuesday is outdated. You can find great discount flights any day of the week. And big travel days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday are more about marketing than actual economics.
While it’s convenient to think that you’ll get a cheap flights by searching on a special day, that’s not the case. Flight prices change constantly. Airlines upload new fares every hour and can add or subtract how many flights are available at a given price at any given time. We’re sorry to say that it’s unpredictable when the cheapest flights on the flights you want may appear.
Also, airlines never advertise their best and lowest budget fares. So if you’re looking for an insane error rate or a hugely discounted flash sale to Europe or the Caribbean, you probably won’t be able to get it by taking advantage of a Black Friday sale or entering an airline promo code.
Instead, take advantage of the best deals whenever you see them. And there’s a surefire way to make sure you see all the cheapest flights…
Do flight prices increase the more you search? Are airlines tracking your searches?”
It’s the old “Tuesday flights are cheaper!” the trail is just the tip of the iceberg of old myths about cheap airfares that need to be forgotten. We’ve heard it over and over and over, so let’s put it to rest.
Do cookies increase flight prices? No stop clearing your cookies! Airlines are not tracking your searches and raising the price for you. As long as you’re searching with Google Flights or the airline directly, you’re safe. Trust us: we look for flight deals all day, every day. If airlines were tracking our searches, we would never find cheap airline tickets, period.
You also don’t have to worry about using an incognito browser, for the same reasons as above. It’s not just one thing, but this myth has taken hold.
Bloggers and influencers pass off these “travel hacks” as if they’ve stumbled upon some big secret. The truth is, they are totally fake.
2. Keep your plans flexible:
Turn that script upside down and start looking for flights, letting the price guide you to the cheapest dates possible. If you can be flexible with your travel dates, you can often achieve big savings on flights just by slightly altering your provisional travel dates.
For example, Google Flights will alert you when changing your travel dates by just a day or two can result in big savings. If you have already booked your hotels, you may not be able to take advantage of it.
Google Flights also has a handy calendar view that will guide you, using green, to the cheapest dates to travel. You can easily jump from one month to the next to increase savings.
Lesson learned: Book your flights first! Then move on to the rest of your trip.
3. Flying directly can cost more money than time:
Say it again with us: flexibility is key. And when you’re trying to save big, you can go beyond changing your dates and destinations.
Flexible route selection can save you even more. We get it: you want to fly as much non-stop as possible. So do we. And while it may seem counter-intuitive, sometimes making an extra stop on the way to your final destination can be worth it with such huge savings that it’s worth it – especially if you’re crossing an ocean.
Here is an example of how to book cheap flights with this method:
Let’s say a nonstop flight from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) will cost $950 or more. But when you open your search to one-stop flights, you find flights for $430 that make a pitstop in Reykjavik (KEF) en route to Paris.
Yes, the savings can be so great. Of course, it’s up to you if you’re willing to spend a little more time traveling in exchange for a deal. But paying less than half the price seems like a good trade-off — and it’s a great way to find cheaper flights.
A seasoned traveler can get creative when it comes to flights and save even more on travel. Here are some of our favorite ways to think outside the box and save hundreds on flights:
Use Google Flights to search to – and from – several different airports in an area. Flights to London Heathrow (LHR) can be expensive, but see if you can save more by flying to London Gatwick Airport (LGW). You can search to and from various cities on Google Flights here’s how to find cheap airline tickets using Google Flights.
Book open or multi-city flights to cover more ground on your travels without going back and wasting time (and money).
Use stopovers to see two cities for the price of one! Several airlines offer free (or very cheap) stopover programs to spend up to seven days in your hometown. Enjoy and make your travel budget stretch even further.
4. Book cheaper flights by traveling on time:
Getting a good deal on flights can come down to time. And in many cases, it has less to do with when you buy your flights and more to do with when you actually board the plane. It has to do with taking advantage of the cheapest flight days.
Flying on off-peak days such as Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays is usually much cheaper. Avoid busy travel days like Sundays, Mondays and Fridays when you can.
The shoulder season (May to June and August to September) is your best friend. Prices are often much higher during peak summer, as well as Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Want to shake up your Thanksgiving plans? Turkey Day is a great time to travel internationally at low prices.
Don’t wait until the last minute to book! It’s a common misconception, but last-minute fares are mostly a thing of the past. Always book at least 30-45 days in advance whenever possible. For international flights, plan ahead.
Speaking of when to book your flights.
5. Start your search with your best friend, Google Flights
There are dozens of websites out there that promise to help you find cheap flights. Ignore them all and start all searches with Google Flights.
Google Flights is by far the best flight deal search engine: it’s one of the main tools we use to find affordable flight deals every day! You should start every search for cheap airline tickets with Google Flights. It’s packed with powerful features that other search engines just don’t have.
If you’re new to using Google Flights, don’t worry. We are happy to share what we know about getting cheap airline tickets. And if you didn’t already know, we’re a little obsessed and have written about almost every tool and resource it has to offer.
Get started below and learn even more about getting cheap airline tickets using Google Flights!
Our definitive guide to all things Google Flights
Track the prices of the flights you want with Price Alerts
Not sure where you want to go? Use Google’s Explore Flights feature to search for the cheapest destinations in the world
View airfare price history with Google Flights
Google Flights search features help you choose cheaper dates
6. Use the best flight search tools, but beware of OTAs:
If you are thinking to yourself, “What is an OTA?” you are not alone.
OTA stands for Online Travel Agency. Think KAYAK, Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz and many others – some of the most popular websites and smartphone apps for finding cheaper flights are OTAs.
These sites buy airline fares and sell them to travelers, sometimes at a profit… and sometimes even cheaper than you can get them directly from the airlines. And then there are even more popular platforms like Skyscanner and Momondo, which act as OTAs for OTAs. They aggregate the cheapest flight deals from tons of small online travel agencies.
Due to the way these sites operate, online travel agencies can save you money – and sometimes a lot of money. It’s worth checking out, though we still recommend starting any search with Google Flights before checking out some of these sites to see if you can save even more.
But these third-party site savings can come at a cost. There are compensations for booking through an OTA. Mainly, you are using an intermediary to book your flights. If you book with Expedia and need to change or cancel your trip, you will need to go through Expedia to do so – not the airline you are flying with.
Some major sites may have customer service to handle your request, but many smaller sites (with the biggest savings) do not.
And these days, booking directly with the airline is more important than ever. So do the mental math and make sure those savings are worth it.
Read more about why we recommend booking directly with the airline when you can.
7. Use the 24-hour airline rule to your advantage:
The 24-hour cancellation rule is your excuse to be impulsive.
The US government has a federal law that requires airlines to provide a 100% full refund for any flight that touches US soil if you cancel within 24 hours of booking. It doesn’t matter if you’re flying on a US airline like American or Delta or a foreign airline like Lufthansa or Copa: if your flight departs or arrives in the US, you’re covered.
There are a few important caveats to this rule to keep in mind:
US regulations require airlines to offer a 24-hour refund policy or the option to block or hold a flight at the current price – but not necessarily both.
May not work last minute: Airlines only need to offer a free cancellation window for flights booked at least seven days before departure.
Some of the major online travel agencies (OTAs), such as Expedia, abide by the 24-hour rule, but many smaller sites do not.
Put it all together and you can use the 24-hour rule to book an incredibly cheap flight the moment you find it. After that, do the legwork to make sure you get the vacation time or your favorite travel buddy can come. It’s not going to work? Just cancel within 24 hours of booking and get your money back.
Read more about the 24-hour rule and why it’s a great way to find flight deals.
8. Meet Budget Airlines and save with low cost flights!
We like to focus on finding cheap flights through deals on major full-service carriers. These are the big airlines with names you know like Delta, American and United or big foreign airlines like Lufthansa, SWISS, Japan Airlines and Emirates.
But there’s no doubt that budget airlines have their place for travelers looking to save money. Whether you’re flying within the US or the Caribbean, crossing Europe or heading to Asia, there are a ton of low-cost (or even ultra-low-cost) airlines that pride themselves on offering low fares.
But be warned: these cheap fares can be a mirage. These airlines survive on passenger nickels and pennies for anything imaginable, with high fees for checking a suitcase, bringing a carry-on, choosing a seat and buying food on board. Some of these airlines even charge an extra fee for printing your ticket purchase online – a fee you can avoid by buying your tickets at the airport.
So if you are content to travel with just a backpack, you can often get ahead with these fares. But for anything else, you’ll want to do the math and make sure you’re really saving after adding up all the “extra” costs that might be free with a more expensive ticket.
We’ve rounded up some of the best low-cost airlines, organized by continent.
Low cost airlines in the USA
Sun County Airlines
Low cost airlines in Canada
Air Canada Rouge
Low cost airlines in Central and South America
Low cost airlines in Europe
9- Use Points and Miles to Book Flights for Free:
Launched last year, it’s an enhanced version of the ever-popular Capital One Venture Rewards credit card, packed with extra benefits: access to Capital One lounges and Priority Pass lounges, a $300 annual travel credit, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, excellent travel and rental car insurance protection and more. The annual fee tops out at $395 a year, but the benefits can easily outweigh that. That’s why we think Venture X’s annual fee shouldn’t scare you off.
Here’s the best part: you can currently earn 75,000 Venture Miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Assuming you earn at least 2x for every dollar spent on the Venture X Card, you will earn a total of at least 83,000 Venture Miles.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture X Card: Which is Right for You?
If you’re ready to learn more, read our guide to getting started with credit cards, points, and miles. From there, check out our Points Principles series, where we cover important topics about travel rewards and reader questions.
That’s it. That’s all it takes to find cheap airline tickets and start flying more for less. There is no magic day or time to book cheap flights. If you’re really determined to find the cheapest airline tickets, it all comes down to using the right tools and, more importantly, having the right mindset.
Use these tips and tricks to rethink the way you book flights and save hundreds on your next trip. If you do, you’ll discover a whole new world of discount flights – and finding cheaper flights isn’t rocket science.