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Air Travel Discount

Interested in an air travel discount? Read on.

Travelers who have schedule flexibility typically have the best shot at getting an air travel discount. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Travelers who have schedule flexibility typically have the best shot at getting an air travel discount.

An air travel discount is frequently available to travelers who are willing to do a little extra research. Due to the economic downturn, airlines are doing all they can to induce consumers to travel. While there are certain times of the year where consumers will find better airline deals than others, there are ways consumers can get the best deal possible any time.

Travel Flexibility

Travelers who are flexible in regards to flight length, departure and arrival times, and dates are usually able to save the most on airfare. Consumer Reports.org advises that the best days to fly are Tuesday or Wednesday, while the worst days are Saturday (for international flights) and Sunday (for domestic flights). Travelers who live in or near a hub city may do better to fly via another nearby airport that is not a hub, due to the reduced competition in hub airports.

Travelers may want to be flexible about the time of day they travel. Late night or very early morning flights tend to be less expensive. Travelers also should consider the time of year they will be flying. Discounts may not be available during the holidays, but may be offered immediately after. The same holds true for the tourist seasons. If a traveler wishes to fly to Alaska, for instance, they will find better rates in May and September as opposed to the peak months of June, July and August. Flexibility with flight length may also save on airfare. Flights that have connections are typically less expensive than nonstop flights.

Where to Look for Airfare Discounts

Research is key in getting the best deal possible. Travelers should not only look at online travel search engines, but also at the Web sites of the airlines that serve the area they are traveling to and from. Travelers may want to consider registering for newsletters or email alerts advertising special reduced fares that are offered by most airline Web sites.

Popular travel search engines such as Travelocity and Orbitz offer consumers the ability to search for fee-free flights, non-stop or one-way flights, and to input a variety of day and time combinations to find the best deals. Other valuable Web sites are AirfareWatchdog and FareCompare.

Travelers should check the Web site of the airline they are considering. Many airlines offer discounts that are available only via their Web site or newsletter. Consumers who subscribe to these newsletters may find promotional codes they can enter for a one-time-only discount.

Buyer Beware

When researching discount airfare, travelers need to look for hidden fees that may increase the cost of travel. These fees may be incurred in the form of taxes, charges for extras such as headphones, and charges for extra luggage or overweight luggage. Travelers also need to be aware of blocked travel dates and times, and the specific details of their flight itinerary (i.e., if the discounted flight is one way or round trip and if it is non-stop of has one or more layovers).

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