I am well known in my circle of friends as being the “travel guy”. While I would be happier to be known as the “fitness guy” or “guy with a bunch of money so he does not have to work anymore and can just spend his time helping people”, for now I am only the travel guy I guess. One of the questions people tend to ask me is “how and where can I find the cheapest flights?” The answer I always give is pretty simple. Let me show you three perfect sites which I use to find cheap flights.
1. The Flight Deal
Most of my travel goals involves an effort to fly as far as I can for as little money possible in order to achieve the Executive Platinum status at American Airlines. The website The Flight Deal has played a major role in not only my international travels but also pointing out all of the domestic destinations that are available pretty very cheap. The front page of The Flight Deal features all deals which they can find, but they also have city-specific filters so you can narrow your search results down to where you are from. The Flight Deal covers some of the biggest airline brands in the USA and their other site called Fare Deal Alert covers many of the missing ones. You might not be able to use every deal they publish, but make sure you subscribe to their free newsletter, also follow The Flight Deal on Facebook, or add them to your email RSS feed to make sure you never miss one of their awesome deals!
2. Google Flights
Google Flights is by far the best and easiest tool to use for flight searches. A few years back Google purchased the company ITA Matrix, another very useful flight search tool, although it has a bit of a learning curve to it. Google implemented that technology into their own Google Flights system. All flight prices are updated quickly and you can even filter from your own originating airport and leave your destination airport blank to show a map of all potential destinations! One of the best aspects of Google Flights is that you can filter your search results not only by airline or price but even by airline alliance, so let’s say that I am searching for a roundtrip to Hong Kong, for example, and I want to check if my flights are only on Oneworld flights, I can actually do that on Google Flights much easier than with the previous ITA Matrix. There is an ever so slight learning curve with the new Google Flights but I have found it to be a pretty slick, user-friendly interface to use. If you know your desired destination, it is easy to pull up a calendar and check when all available nearby dates might be cheaper to choose. The best part of it all is, once you find your perfect flight, Google provides you a quick link either directly to the chosen airline or to Orbitzlocitypedia or whatever other website Google Flights found the cheapest fare at.
3. Mileage Run Deals Forum @ Flyertalk
Flyertalk is a excellent website if you have spare time to learn some of the vocabulary. The Mileage Run Deals forum is a place where many people share good fares they have found, including the occasional ‘mistake fare’. You do not need a membership to peruse the free forum, so it is definitely worth taking a quick peek every couple of days or so. To give you a friendly reminder, many of these people on this forum are looking to do mileage runs, so they will use special terms like “cpm” to denote how many elite-qualifying miles a specific given fare you will earn. If you are just searching for cheap fares, ignore the entire cpm part and look past all the people whom are doing an absurdly long flight in one weekend.
Some of the guidelines to you some find cheap flights
Here is the thing about cheap flights: you just never know when they will pop up and you never know how long they might last.
- Here are some basic guidelines about cheap flights:
- There simply isn’t a specific day of the week to buy flights.
- If your dates are already inflexible and locked in there is not really much you can do about it other than just wait and hope the flights will drop in price.
- Buying a flight ticket as soon as the flight schedule is released for is usually not the best way to book a flight, airlines know that people are normally schedule their stuff like cruises and family vacations a pretty long time in advance and if someone absolutely has to be on a certain flight, that they will book it about 11 months in advance, they will usually pay a lot more for that specific flight.
- All of the US airlines now have a 24-hour refund policies. When you will find a lot of awesome deals, book these and spend the rest of the day looking if you are able to arrange time off work or ensure that your partner can go. This way your actual flight price is locked in and you never miss the deal.
Best of luck in finding your cheap flights! Leave me all of your questions in the comments below!