If you are looking for cheap flights, then you have come to the right place. Below are all our tried and tested techniques to successfully get the lowest air-fairs possible. Put in the work using these methods and get the best deals out there.
BOOKING THE BEST FLIGHTS
- WHAT IS THE BEST DAY TO SHOP FOR FLIGHTS?
There are two schools of thought for this with differencing results. Some claim Saturdays and Sundays are best due to airplanes catering for ‘hard to woo’ leisure travelers. Others claim that shopping on Tuesday or Wednesday can be the best, as many airlines try to match Monday specials.
- WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF DAY TO SHOP?
Early morning is the time you’ll see the most deals. Although some airlines release discounted tickets throughout the day.
- HOW LONG BEFORE FLIGHT DATE SHOULD YOU BUY?
This differs for domestic and international flights. Keep in mind that traveling to Africa Media will include both. Research suggests that the sweet spots for domestic flights is around 49 days in advance, whilst for international flights, it is 81 days.
- WHAT IS THE BEST DAY TO FLY?
The best day of the week to fly for cheap are Tuesdays, Wednesday and Saturdays. This is because there is typically a lower volume of travelers and thus planes are trying to fill seats. Just remember you want to arrive at George (South Africa), Durban (South Africa) or Inhambane (Mozambique) Airport on the 1st of a given month.
- BEST TIME OF DAY TO FLY?
The first flight of the morning is usually the cheapest. The next-cheapest flight times are during or after lunch or around dinner time.
- CHECKING FLIGHT FULLNESS
Start to buy a ticket, and then investigate the ‘choose your seat’ option. This will tell you how many others have booked. If there are plenty of empties, then the price may drop further!
- FLYING AT DAY OR NIGHT?
The red eye flights are the absolute cheapest. But they are only offered on limited routes!
- REMEMBER IT’S A GAMBLE
When in doubt, booking earlier is safer. If you wait, fares could go up or down, and usually fares go up by more than they go down (going down $50 vs. going up by $300). Only bide your time if your flight isn’t too full and you know the price is a lot higher than it should be.
- GREAT TIP – USE THE 24HR RULE
After you book, check the following morning to see if the price of your airfare fell. If it did, give the airline a call to cancel your flight and often you can rebook without penalty.
- FOLLOW AIRLINES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Some airlines promote one-hour sales on Face-book or Twitter only, so follow an airline for the best deals. Remember these are blast deals, take them immediately or they will go!
- FLY MULTIPLE AIRLINES
Sometimes it’s worth it to mix and match. Most airlines now sell one-way flights at reasonable prices, meaning one might be cheaper for the outbound flight while the other works better for the return.
- BECOME A FREQUENT FLYER
Cosy up to your airline of choice! Become an elite member of the airline’s frequent-flier program or use a credit card that’s tied to the airline to great benefits. In South Africa Star Alliance works with the national carrier SAA.
- KNOW YOUR AIRPORT HUBS
Every airline has some kind of a deal going for certain cities, these specials might not always be for the city you are flying to, but you might be able to get a partial discount if you take a layover in that city as part of your round trip.
- RACK UP FREE MILES & REWARDS
e-Rewards gives players tickets they can cash in for miles, while other sites like e-Miles let people cash in free miles for airfare and hotel perks.
- SEARCH ON AIRLINES SITES
This is an oft-overlooked, but airlines can host private sales, reserving the cream of the crop for their very own websites. Even without discounts, these fares can be bargain bin-low.
- SEARCH MULTIPLE SITES
Whilst we love Travelstart, relying on only one site to give you the low-down for low-cost airfare is limited. Check the biggest online ticket-sellers—Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz—and don’t forget to search the little guys like Kayak, AirfareWatchdog, Yapta and Hipmunk for deals too.
- PARK & FLY
Some airlines have a monopoly on airports, thereby allowing them to charge more. To counter this, check fares at airports 50, 75 or 100 miles from your destination. The car rental and extra travel time may be worth it.
- BOOK CONNECTING FLIGHTS
Booking connecting flights could save you as much as $100 round-trip. Just make sure you leave enough time to make your connecting flight in case the first flight arrives late. in South Africa, try budget airline Kulula.com
- BE FLEXIBLE
Try adding a couple days to your trip before or after peak travel days to enjoy a lower fare. Maybe head off and see some more of South Africa?
- DO YOUR HOME WORK
Do your homework before booking any flight, and make sure you’ve got the right tools to set yourself up for the best fares. Many booking sites offer to match fares if you catch them dropping after you’ve booked your flights.