With the end of the Corona pandemic, at least in our minds, many of us are feeling an unexpected desire to travel. Because of psychologically stressful factors such as lockdown, quarantine or even isolation, this is more than understandable. Air travel in particular is currently more popular than it has been for a long time. But this also has its consequences. Since the travel industry has had some of the toughest years of its existence, it is forced to react to the high demand. How does it do this? With rising prices. This is not only reflected in the cost of accommodation. Flights are also more expensive than they have been for a long time. But a flight does not necessarily have to be high-priced. Since there are many different airlines and your holiday destination is therefore in most cases not only served by one airline, a comparison is worthwhile. In the following, we will take a closer look at how you can save money when booking flights.
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What is the cheapest way to book flights?
But how can you book cheap flights? There are some important rules you should follow. If you take a look at the internet, the first thing you will notice is that the prices for air travel can vary greatly. Minutes can often make a huge difference. For long-haul flights, the differences can sometimes be in the three-digit range. If you make the wrong decision at the wrong time, you will be very annoyed. But a closer look quickly reveals that prices do not change randomly. Rather, there is a system behind them that you should understand to be able to save a lot. Let us show you which points to consider.
First of all, timing plays a major role when booking. You should neither be an early booker nor a last-minute hunter. A middle course is best here. Studies have shown that airfares are usually best about one and a half to two months before the desired start of the trip. In addition to the distance to the start of the trip, you should also consider the day of the week on which you book. As a rule, it is precisely the weekend when people start planning their holidays. Accordingly, most flights are booked on Saturday and Sunday.
This can be seen in the price trend. Flight tickets are lower during the week. Tuesday evening in particular is a good time slot for booking a flight. Why? The vast majority of airlines use Tuesday to set their flight prices for the following week. During this time, you can find real bargains. Besides the day, the month also plays a big role. Experience shows that airfares are at their lowest point of the year in December, January and February. In May and at the beginning of summer in June, on the other hand, they are very high.
If you want to pay as little as possible for your flight, the choice of arrival and working day can also be of great importance. As you might imagine, trips from Friday to Sunday are extremely popular as so-called weekend trips. The associated airfares are correspondingly high. The same applies if you want to take a classic weekly holiday from Monday to Sunday. Then the situation is no different. Accordingly, it is advisable to fly outside the norm. For example, departures in the middle of the week are significantly cheaper. You can also make real bargains on Saturdays. If you are flexible with your arrival and departure dates, you can save a lot of money.
Nowadays, flights are almost only booked via so-called comparison portals such as Check24, Skyscanner or Opodo. Here you can sometimes get much better prices than with the airlines themselves or with a travel agency. But not all comparison portals are the same. Sometimes the websites of the various providers can be somewhat confusing. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on things and not fall for supposed bargains. Especially when it comes to luggage, there can be real cost traps that you can’t afford to ignore. So don’t buy wildly, but take your time to look at everything.
It is not only the day of the week on which you fly that has a big influence on the price of the flight. Of course, it also depends on the season and how high the ticket prices are. For example, you will always have to pay much more for flights during the summer holidays than at the beginning of the year. If you do not have children, or at least no schoolchildren, you should therefore travel flexibly and avoid the times of the school holidays at all costs. You can also save a lot if you decide to fly early in the morning or even at night. You can save a lot of money by not taking a direct flight and instead changing planes.
You can also save a lot of money with so-called open-jaw flights. These are flights where the departure and/or destination airports are different. For example, it is popular to fly from the major airport BER in Berlin and land at Leipzig Airport on the return journey. Since the two cities are only a two-hour drive apart, you can accept the small additional expense. Just give it a try with the next flight comparison portal. You will be surprised at the bargains that are possible here.
Another important tip that you should bear in mind when booking online is the so-called cookies of your browser. These collect important data about your surfing behaviour on the internet. Accordingly, many providers do not miss the fact that you have already been looking for a bargain for some time. Of course, the comparison portals know that sooner or later you will also become weak. Accordingly, they take advantage of your interest and sometimes increase the prices that are called up from you. Don’t let it get that far in the first place. By deactivating optional cookies, you can prohibit comparison portals from viewing your history. This way you can be sure to always get a neutral price.
The longer the holiday, the heavier the suitcase. And here it can be a real cost trap. Although many low-cost airlines such as EasyJet or Ryanair score great basic prices, they can often become very expensive due to surcharges for luggage. Accordingly, you should be honest with yourself right from the start when searching on the comparison portal and filtering for prices including luggage. This will not only help you to calculate the costs of your holiday, but will also save you from unpleasant surprises.
Here are other interesting topics:
What rights (flight law) do I have in the event of a flight cancellation?
How long before departure should I be at the airport?
Where are the cheapest flights?
Be honest. When was the last time you went to a travel agency? Many of you will have to ponder this question for a long time. That is hardly surprising. After all, the internet has revolutionized many of our habits. This applies not only to online shopping itself, but also to booking a trip. From accommodation and local activities to flight tickets, everything can be booked conveniently via the World Wide Web these days. Of course, this is not only more convenient but in most cases also much cheaper. For flights, you can use one of the numerous flight comparison portals or flight search engines. We have listed a few of the most popular ones.
What is the best flight search engine?
If you are interested in a flight search engine, you should consider a few things. For example, not all flight search engines are the same. Rather, the providers can be divided into two subcategories. On the one hand, there is the flight comparison portal. This is more like an online travel agency. For this reason, it is an excellent way to get a rough idea of which airlines fly to the desired destination. But the portals also have their downsides. Some of them may have hidden costs, which can be annoying after the fact. In general, some providers have problems being sufficiently transparent in this area.
Providers such as Fluege.de or Opodo usually charge for their services as agents. This is where they are somewhat similar to a travel agency. This not only results in annoying additional costs. Apart from the service fee, it is often the case that you pay a higher surcharge for extras such as a seat reservation or more luggage than with the airline itself. Since, in the case of a booking with one of the flight comparison portals, you also conclude two contracts (airline and agent), it can become very costly in the case of a rebooking or a cancellation. We, therefore, advise you to use flight comparison portals as inspiration to finally book the flight with the help of a flight search engine.
The principle of flight search engines is much more transparent. Providers such as Momondo or Skyscanner do not even charge their agency fees. Since they redirect you to the website of the airline itself, the search engines’ business seems to be based more on so-called affiliate links. They get a commission from the airline when a potential customer is redirected to the airline’s website. Once on the airline’s website, you can book the desired flight if you like the price. Flight search engines are particularly impressive because of their wide range of offers. The competition often can’t keep up. On top of that, there are no hidden costs, as you are redirected directly to the airline’s website and receive the necessary information.
When is the best time to book flights?
If you want to book a flight, timing plays a big role. This is where you can save a lot of money. For one thing, the day you book a flight is important. Within the week is better than at the weekend. Furthermore, the month plays an important role. After all, more flights are usually booked in the late spring and early summer months than in winter. Here, the high demand always determines the price. Last but not least, you do yourself and your wallet a favour if you search for a suitable flight at a late or very early hour. The fewer website visitors are looking for a flight, the lower the demand and the lower the price.
Which day of the week is the cheapest to book?
You don’t have to simply give in to the prices that are listed on the internet for your desired flight. If you don’t like it, it may be worthwhile to look again on Tuesday. The best time to do so is from 6 p.m. onwards. Why? Many airlines change their fares for the coming week at this time. You can find real bargains if you are quick. If possible, you should not book flights on a Saturday or Sunday. The rush is usually too high and so is the price.
Do flights become more expensive if you search for them more often?
If you do not deactivate the optional cookies when visiting a website, you may receive individual prices on future visits to the website. Since the website operators have noticed your interest, they will often adjust the prices upwards. By deleting old cookies and deactivating optional cookies, this cannot happen to you. If you want to be on the safe side, visit the flight comparison portal or the flight search engine with the help of a so-called Virtual Private Network (VPN). Then you are guaranteed anonymity for the website operator.
Booking cheap flights – our tips at a glance
- Book at the right time (winter, Tuesday evening)
- Opt for flights during the week or on Saturdays
- Use flight search engines and not comparison portals
- Use open jaw flights if possible
- Fly at night and outside peak travel times
- Deactivate and delete cookies
- Book baggage early to avoid hidden costs
How can Flightright help you?
You are stuck at the airport because of a flight delay? Your flight has been canceled, or you have been removed from the passenger list? In each of the situations described, you have a right to compensation as an air passenger.
According to the EU Passenger Rights Regulation, passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation, overbooking, or missed connection. You can claim up to 600 euros of compensation per person (minus commission fee). This compensation is independent of the ticket price. Flightright enforces your right for you. If necessary also in court.
As experts on the subject of air passenger rights, we enforce your right to compensation against the airline! Flightright’s air passenger rights experts are also happy to help you with ticket reimbursements