Tuesday 17 June 2014

My top 7 tips on how to get the cheapest flight

I once entered a travel agents in Swindon as they had flights to Luxor 'from £99'. I asked the travel agent to book me that flight, they asked when I wanted to go, I replied 'when the £99 flight is' it apparently wasn't as simple as that, it depended on the departure point and date and time I wanted to fly. Having repeated several times I wanted the £99 flight and I didn't mind what time/date/location, I left emptied handed and never got the £99 deal.

My next trip to the UK will be for Christmas. I've started looking for flights now. I found a flight for R10,098.00 December 17th to January 4th to Birmingham but with a 24 hour stop over. I change the destination to Manchester, change the date to return a day later and I find a flight for R9520 with only a 2 hour stop over. It takes some time but it's worth it to set aside a day or 2 to get not only the best price, but the best route and stop over.

A direct flight will cost me R14,851 and I have the inconvenience and cost of getting to and from Heathrow.

My top 7 tips for finding a cheap flight
  • I can tell you to avoid peak times such as Christmas and school holidays but you're not stupid, you've probably worked that one out by now.

  • I can tell you to be flexible with your dates, routes, time etc, etc, etc, but you've probably worked that one out also.

  • I can tell you to search for deals with budget airlines first....yeah...now you think I'm patronising you.

  • Google 'cheapest flights from (insert departure) to (insert arrival)' then enter a variety of dates, times and routes and probably spend the best part of a day doing this.

  • Change your arrival airport if possible....for example it's cheaper to fly into Birmingham or Manchester than it is into the London airports.

  • Look for flights where you have a stop over...it is cheaper to fly with a stop over than direct to the UK from South Africa.

  • Don't be fooled by the initial price you see....all prices should state whether this includes taxes or not, but please remember that some search/booking sites show you the price for each leg of the journey.

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