Do you want to travel during the holidays or on the weekend? You can be sure that you won't be able to get any discounts in airline services. We asked four experts – how to buy airline tickets and save as much money as possible?
First minute – it's a new trend in the Polish tourism market, which allows saving a lot of money on holidays. What is the good time to buy airline tickets? It turns out that in the reservation systems of some tourist carriers tickets are available even 18 months before the date of flight!
Sometimes, however, airlines announce launching a new direction in the last moment and only then it's possible to buy flights, for example, two weeks earlier. – Tickets usually appear in the booking systems about a year earlier, but it's not a rule. Everything depends on the airline – says Monika Pabisek,
Planning a trip well in advance allows saving a lot of money only if you have time to regularly compare offers.. On the other hand, people who are able to pack their bags and start their journey immediately can also find attractive discounts. Regardless of your preferences, you can increase the chance of finding a great opportunity. You only have to use these proven tricks. Here are some helpful tips from a travel blogger, representative of the booking portal, author of the book about flying for pennies and editor of the website for bargain hunters.
Aleksandra Świstow, traveler, author of the blog Pojechana.pl
I always say that if you want to travel, you must have time or money. It's also related to airline tickets. The most attractive offers can be chosen by people who have enough time to plan a trip well in advance: 2-3 months in low-cost airlines and even 6 months in regular carriers on long routes. This also applies to people who are able to manage time with great flexibility, because they can only focus on the price of the flight without worrying about the date. If you can pack your suitcase at any time, you can use last minute offers (mainly for charter flights), promotions and errors in the booking systems (for example - a flight from Europe to the USA for only PLN 15). You can also take advantage of lower prices, flying in less popular seasons (not on weekends and during the holiday and Christmas season).
Tomasz Kaczmarek, marketing manager in the eSky group. The company is an intermediary in booking, among others, airline tickets.
In the case of choosing low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair or Wizz Air, the best solution is to buy tickets about three months before the planned flight. However, this rule doesn't apply to vacation and Christmas season. When it comes to regular airlines, such as LOT or Lufthansa – the sooner the better and it's good to check the ticket prices even half a year before the planned flight. It's worth setting up price alerts in online comparison websites and travel agencies, because thanks to them, we will receive a notification on the e-mail when the price of tickets for our desired direction reaches the expected level.
You can search for information about the best prices and promotions on blogs, tourist forums and Facebook fanpages. If you want to save as much money as possible, you should be prepared for the flexibility when it comes to the date of the flight – sometimes a few days change of the holiday date allows you to buy tickets at really attractive prices.
It's also good to think about the departure or arrival at an alternative airport – not necessarily in the city centre, but for example, near the city. Of course, this solution should be well organized - we want to avoid the situation when getting to the airport will be too expensive and will become an additional expense.
Dawid Dudek, author of the book "Biblia Taniego Latania" (en: The Bible of Cheap Flying)
In the case of charter airlines - the closer to the departure date, the better. Almost each week I inform the readers of my book about flights from Warsaw to Kenya for PLN 600-800 (instead of PLN 1800), to Rio de Janeiro for PLN 1300 (instead of about PLN 3000) or to Dubai for PLN 300 (instead of PLN 1400). If you can start your journey almost immediately, you can fly really cheaply. It's a bit different for traditional lines - you should watch the price history. In general, the sooner the better and the cheapest flights are available outside the holiday season. You should avoid all kinds of holidays, long weekends etc.
Where to look for cheap flights? I prefer to create my own system. At first, we have to ask a question - where do we want to fly? If we have the answer, we check the largest airports in a given area, then we should find out which airlines fly there. Later, every now and then, we check the carrier's websites. A good idea is to follow airlines on Twitter and Facebook and to sign up for newsletters of each of the carriers.
Another and slightly more difficult way is to search for errors in booking systems. They appear when an airline employee introduces accidentally too cheap tickets to the system. The law in force in the EU is that if the transaction has occurred, the carrier should accept such an air ticket. There were flights from Warsaw to New York for PLN 520 or domestic flights for PLN 3.
Anna Pustizzi, editor-in-chief of Tanie-Loty.com.pl
If you decide to buy airline tickets well in advance, you will receive a wide range of offers and destinations, although you can pay a bit more. If you wait and buy the ticket at the last moment, you will save money thanks to last minute discounts. Somewhere in the middle of these two extreme situations, there is a moment when the price for the ticket is just right. Experts say that in the case of traditional lines it's 6-8 weeks before the flight. Unfortunately, it's difficult to define it for low-cost airlines. You should just monitor the chosen direction.
Holidays are not the best time, because the airlines record enormous profits at this time and can dictate prices at their own discretion. It's worth considering a vacation in June or in September. The best day to start and end the trip is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. The closer to the weekend - the price is higher, sometimes even twice! The same rule applies to long weekends – then the number of travellers is growing and finding a cheap ticket is really difficult.
If you want to travel during less popular seasons, you can postpone the decision to buy tickets. There is a bigger probability that the price won't increase and with little interest in a given term, it can be lowered. Don't buy tickets at the weekend – they are more expensive then because many people have time to plan a trip. The most attractive offers are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
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