Updated: Jan 5
You know the pain of attempting to book a flight online.
There is the stress of finding a seat, booking your bags, and then navigating through all the different fare classes, non-refundable options and hidden fees. And if you're not careful, you might spend more on your ticket than you need to!
But did you know there are some simple hacks that can help you save money on your next trip?
As an independent wellness and travel consultant, I'm often privy to flight deals and partner airline discounts that the average person does not have access to. But this doesn't mean that you're excluded from securing amazing deals for your own travels.
Enter the art of flight hacking: i.e. the completely legal and permitted way to save money travelling from your origination to your destination.
Flight hacking is a skill that not everyone has the knowledge or patience for, so I've rounded up six beginner hacks that will have you well on the way to saving big bucks on your next trip!
1. Do: Sign Up For Major Airlines Newsletters & Air-miles Systems
In addition to providing valuable information about upcoming deals and sales through their newsletters, airlines also offer members-only discounts on flights, hotel stays, car rentals, etc., which can be accessed through their loyalty programs (aka air miles systems). These loyalty programs track your purchases and award points that can be redeemed for discounts on future flights.
2. Do: Search For Cheaper Fares From Nearby Airports / Countries
It may sound counterintuitive, but if you're looking for a last-minute flight with a major airline, it might be worth searching for fares from nearby airports instead of your home airport. You'll often find significantly cheaper fares from nearby airports due to their close proximity or even because they're in different countries!
If you're travelling internationally and want to save money, this flight hack is definitely the way to go!
3. Do: Book With Partner Airlines
Did you know that most airlines are part of three major partner alliances: Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld?
In these groups, airlines work together so that passengers can easily transfer flights between each other's networks without having to pay extra fees or fill out paperwork again. For example, if you fly from New York City (JFK) to Berlin (TXL), then return from London (LHR) back home again; this entire itinerary is considered one journey with one ticket number on one carrier record—and all three carriers.
You also can gain air mile points and credit by joining the alliance programs and flying with airlines within their network.
4. Do: Fly Out On A Tuesday.
It’s a simple change that can save you hundreds of dollars on your next trip.
Here's why: most travellers want to leave on Friday, so flights are more expensive on the weekends. And Sunday is a popular day to return because people need to be at work by Monday, which also drives up demand for flights and therefore makes them more expensive. But what about the days in between? If you're willing to travel during off-peak times, you can save hundreds of dollars on your next flight.
I recommend flying on Tuesdays or Wednesdays—they tend to have lower demand (and therefore lower prices) than other days.
5. Don’t: Follow Trends, Be A Flexible Traveller
You may be drawn to visiting hip and trendy destinations because all the cool kids seem to be flocking to these uber instagrammable locations but trust me, your bank account will love you more if you take advantage of off-peak season flight deals. Using the ‘Anywhere’ function on flight-aggregate sites such as Google Flights and Skyscanner is a simple flight hack that allows you to search out the cheapest destinations based on the calendar dates you have selected.
6. Don’t: Forget To Take Advantage Of Price Guarantees
Get into the habit of reading the fine print of flight tickets before booking. You’ll often find a price guarantee sandwiched somewhere in the T&Cs that means, if the price of your flight drops after booking, you could claim and get the difference refunded.
Did you find these tips helpful?
Drop your thoughts and comments below!