12 Hacks for Finding Cheap Airline Tickets 

Updated on 02/20/2024

12 Hacks for Finding Cheap Airline Tickets 

In the world of travel, a little savvy goes a long way. By strategically using travel rewards credit cards and staying alert for last-minute deals, you can often experience the joy of travel without the hefty price tag. 

If your wanderlust is as big as your desire to save money on flights, you’ve come to the right place. Dive into the world of travel hacks and tips that may be able to help you snag those cheap plane tickets. Whether you’re after the luxury of cheap business class flights or just want to get from A to B as economically as possible, we’ve got you covered.

1. Become a Master of Travel Rewards

Let’s talk about how travel rewards credit cards can be a game-changer in scoring cheap flights. Getting an airline credit card could be incredibly rewarding for those loyal to specific airlines. 

  • With the JetBlue credit card, cardholders earn points for every dollar spent on JetBlue and everyday purchases, like groceries and dining. These points can be redeemed for JetBlue flights, and cardholders can enjoy discounts on in-flight purchases, including snacks and beverages when they use a JetBlue credit card.
  • Each United Airlines credit card has benefits designed to improve the United flying experience. Cardholders earn miles on every purchase, with increased miles earned on United purchases. These miles can be redeemed for United flights, upgrades, and more. Cardholders, along with one companion on the same reservation, typically receive at least one free checked bag, which can lead to substantial savings.
  • The Alaska Airlines credit card’s most notable benefit is the Alaska Airlines Famous Companion Fare™. Each year, cardholders receive a companion fare of $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22), which can be used to bring a friend or family member on a flight with you at a significantly reduced cost.
  • The United credit card offers perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and bonus miles on purchases, making it an excellent choice for frequent flyers of these airlines. 

These magical pieces of plastic are your ticket to saving big. Not only do they offer significant savings on flights, but they also come packed with benefits that can enhance your travel experience. 

But be aware – some cards may require fees or minimum deposits! Also, not everyone may qualify for these types of cards, as it could depend on factors like your credit score.

2. Finding the Right Card for Your Travel Needs

Choosing the best credit card for airline miles for your particular situation can seem daunting, but it’s all about aligning the card with your travel habits and goals. The best travel credit card for you is often the one that fits your travel style and rewards your spending habits. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred, for example, is a favorite among travelers for its flexibility and valuable rewards program. This card lets you earn points on every purchase, which can be redeemed for travel through their portal or transferred to various airline and hotel partners, maximizing your potential for cheap flights and accommodations.

3. Maximizing Your Miles and Points

To make the most of your travel credit cards, keep an eye out for sign-up bonuses and special promotions. These can often significantly boost your points balance, getting you closer to that next free flight. Also, consider using your travel rewards credit card for everyday purchases to accumulate miles faster, but pay off the balance each month to avoid interest charges.

4. Snagging Last Minute Deals

For the spontaneous traveler, scoring last minute flights at a bargain can be a thrill in itself. While it’s a bit of a gamble, airlines often slash prices on unsold seats as the departure date approaches. 

Keep your schedule flexible, and use apps and websites specializing in last minute flight deals. You might just snag a cheap business class flight to your dream destination.

5. Embrace Off-Peak Travel

Traveling during off-peak seasons or days can lead to significant savings. Airlines often offer cheaper flights during times when demand is lower. 

Consider flying mid-week or on a holiday, and avoid peak travel times like school vacations and major holidays. Early-morning or late-night flights, known as “red-eyes,” can also be more affordable.

6. Use Flight Comparison Tools

Numerous websites and apps are dedicated to comparing flight prices across different airlines. Tools like Google Flights, Skyscanner, and Kayak allow you to see a range of options for your desired destination, including the cheapest days to fly. Setting up alerts for price drops can also help you book at the right moment.

7. Consider Alternative Airports

Flying in or out of alternative airports that are a bit farther from your final destination can sometimes lead to cheaper flights. Major cities often have multiple airports, and low-cost carriers may operate out of the smaller or less busy ones. Just be sure to factor in the cost and time of additional ground transportation.

8. Book in Advance (But Not Too Far)

While last-minute deals can be great, booking your flight at the optimal time usually means planning ahead. Generally, booking flights 2-3 months in advance for domestic trips and 3-6 months ahead for international flights can offer the lowest rates. Prices tend to increase as the departure date nears, but booking too far in advance can also mean missing out on deals.

9. Join Airline Loyalty Programs

Even if you don’t travel frequently, signing up for airline loyalty programs can lead to savings and perks over time. Accumulating miles might eventually secure you free flights, upgrades, and other benefits. These programs are typically free to join and can complement the benefits you receive from airline credit cards.

10. Consider Multi-City Flights

Look into booking a multi-city flight instead of separate one way flights if you’re planning to visit several destinations. This can often be cheaper and more convenient than booking individual segments. Some search engines and airlines offer a multi-city search option, making it easier to compare prices.

11. Use Social Media and Sign Up for Newsletters

Airlines and travel agencies often announce special promotions and sales on social media or through their email newsletters. Following your favorite airlines and travel deal websites can help you stay informed about flash sales, promo codes, and exclusive deals.

12. Be Flexible with Your Destination

If you’re open to adventure, some flight search tools offer a “flexible destination” feature that allows you to compare flight prices to various locations. This can be a great way to discover affordable destinations you might not have considered.

By Admin