How to find the cheapest flights from anywhere!

in travel •  last year

Last February, from Lisbon, I went on an 11 hour trip to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, a country that borders South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland and Tanzania along the Indian Ocean. Why? Because I found a return ticket with TAAG (Angolan national airline) for 164€. How is this a deal? Well, checking Skyscanner and Kayak for the cheapest return ticket possible on the same route I got a price of 538€, that is to say 3 times as much!! With TAAG it prices at 591€, 427€ more euros than what I paid!
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Now, as I have grabbed your attention, I would like to share with you some of the best links, tips and tricks to get your dream flight! Some of those are really easy to achieve, some others (fuel dumping anyone?) not so much. To gain this knowledge, I have travelled extensively for 3 years, giving presentations in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Las Palmas (Canary Islands, Spain) about my travels and also applying to work for Fly4Free, one of the leading error fare sites out there. Some links may not feature a hyperlink, so just copy and paste them to your search bar. If you like this post, please upvote it, follow it, and/or resteem it!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE ERROR FARE WEBSITES

Often, the best deals end up on Facebook pages that talk about cheap flights. Sure, they have websites, but if you're on Facebook it's much more likely that you'll see a great deal there before refreshing manually your browser. I personally use Fly4Free, Secret Flying and Travel Free. The first two feature global deals whereas Travel Free has cheap flights departing from Europe, especially from the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia). If you live in North America, then Airfare Watchdog is the one for you. They also have a section called 50 fares where the users themselves post the lowest fares, all quoted in US Dollars.

USE FLIGHT SEARCH ENGINES

Just like Google and Bing are search engines for everything that is on the "clear web", there are equivalent sites that track down the cheapest flights to any destination and save you a lot of time and money. If I have to look up for a flight, I personally use Skyscanner, where you can find flights from a country or airport of your choice to anywhere in the world ( just leave the section to blank) from today for a whole year ( click on Cheapest Month in the date section). Once I track down the flight that I want to buy, I will normally either book the flight right away (if it's an error fare), go on the website of the airline company (if I want peace of mind and if it's a legit offer) or go to Kayak.

Kayak has the Explore section, where you can see the cheapest flights from the airport of your choice on a map, so you have no excuse that you don't know where you're going! For European users, I recommend you subscribe to Kayak.eu. Why? Because it compares prices researching 5 national versions of Kayak ( France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain), guaranteeing you will find a cheaper price than the one you just discovered.

Other great sites for looking up cheap flights are Momondo and Google Flights. If you want to try Google Flights, here is a link teaching you how to use it step by step HERE . If you want to use Kiwi, check out this guide HERE

(THIS LAST PARAGRAPH DOES NOT INVITE ANYONE TO PRACTICE FUEL DUMPING. IF YOU GET CAUGHT, THERE IS A RISK THE AIRLINE WILL CANCEL YOUR TICKET AND BAN YOU FROM THEIR FLIGHTS).

Fuel dumping is not something immediate to comprehend. This is why you will find a link that explains this in detail HERE. To be brief, fuel dumping consists of booking flights in a way that the fuel surcharges, which can make up the majority of a ticket's price, lower or disappear completely. To find out how much taxes you pay, compared to the base fare, on a specific flight then you should look up Google's ITA Matrix

FIND THE RIGHT TIME TO BOOK AND BE FLEXIBLE

As obvious as this may sound, the more you are flexible about your dates, the higher the chance of finding cheap flights. It is also best to leave at certain times considered low season by the airline industry, such as November and January in Europe. Booking too early or too late are an automatic guarantee you will pay more than expected. I found this article that is very detailed about when should you book and it's very helpful, especially for USA users. If you're from the UK, this link will be heaven and if you're Italian, just like me, this article tells you everything about Il Bel Paese's fares .

USE INCOGNITO MODE

Airlines, if you keep on trying to find the cheapest tickets, will dramatically raise prices, because they know you want to buy it. How do you get around this? By using incognito mode, so that you don't leave cookies and the price stays low.

DISCOVER WHICH AIRLINES SERVE YOUR DESTINATION

Passengers all over Europe learned about Norwegian when it began proposing summer flights to secondary airports of New York and Boston (Newburgh and Providence) from Ireland, the UK and Norway for 167€ return. Okay, you can only bring hand luggage but you will not find a better fare than that one! Besides flights from several European destinations to the US, they also have cheap flights from Scandinavia (Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm) to Thailand and there will soon be a London Gatwick-Singapore.

This paragraph was to state that you have to know if there are any low-cost airlines flying to the destination of your choice, as flying to another country then taking that flight will often be cheaper than booking it directly from your home country. All the examples will be of flights departing Europe. If I wanted to go to Dubai, I would get a Wizzair from Bulgaria (Sofia), Hungary (Budapest), Poland (Katowice) and Romania (Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest)to the secondary airport Al-Maktoum. If I want to go to Dominican Republic, I will get a flight to Punta Cana from Spain (Barcelona). If I really want to head to Singapore, I would book a Scoot flight from Greece (Athens). If you are interested, I could start a series of articles about low-cost airlines departing each European country, as writing it here would occupy too much space.

USE FREQUENT FLYER CARDS

You have to know that there are three main airline alliances out there: Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld. The advantage of having an alliance is that, if you book with an airline, you will get rewarded even if you have the card of another airline in the same alliance. The best thing is, though, that some airlines who aren't in an alliance can still reward you points if you book with them. These points can be used for redeeming almost free flights (you pay just the taxes) and upgrading to business class, among other perks. To give you a brief idea of who is in these alliances (for a complete list, it's easy to Google it), Star Alliance features Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines, SkyTeam has Air France, Delta Air Lines and KLM whereas Oneworld includes American Airlines, British Airways and Qatar Airways.

If you want to head to a forum that is very dedicated to the airline industry, subscribe to Flyertalk. For US based members, this is a great article that gives advice about this topic.

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Thank you team101!

These look like some great sites. Thanks for sharing :)

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Thank you for reading!!

Spiegato veramente bene !! Continua così :) ci sentiremo presto

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Grazie mille! A presto!

Great info! Don't forget about airlines that offer "Stop Overs" so that you can travel to multiple destinations for the airfare cost of one!

All of these airlines offer that option: WOW, Finnair, Hawaiin Airlines, TAP Portugal, Icelandair, KLM, Air Canada, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and Copa Airlines.

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I based a lot of this info on error fares or cheaper tickets, plus I only knew of TAP, Icelandair and Turkish Airlines which offered this service... great to know WOW has it as well! Do you know if there is an exhaustive list to be found somewhere about airlines doing stopovers?

Great info bro! Yo really know your stuff. Will be applying your know-how to my ticket buying skill set. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks world-travel-pro! I appreciate a lot that you resteemed! Happy travels!

Just resteemed too. great info

Nice post. Very helpful for travelers.

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Thank you so much for reading senor! If you find it helpful please share it, so it can help others as well. By the way, I'm following you!

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Thanks for reading juanky!

I can see you put a lot of work into your posts! Way to go @borderedge

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Thank you for reading and nice gif! If you feel like it, please share it with others, as there is not much way to promote yourself here apart from commenting =)

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Thanks for reading!

Woow! Such a great post for all of us who travel a lot! Thank you and looking forward for more :) Good luck..s

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Thanks for reading and the kind words =) I will post daily travel tips so stay updated!

Great, informative post! And thanks for the link :) I'm coming to you next time I need to travel :)

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Thank you for reading! And sure =)

Interesting and helpful.

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Thank you for reading!

This is great! I bookmarked this one and will do some experiments with it soon to see where I could end up going next. Thanks!

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You bookmarked it! Such an honour! Thanks for the upvotes and for reading my articles =) I have just one questione for you: after a week I cannot get any more payments from a post. How do I repost it without Steemit deleting the new post?

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:D It is useful stuff!

  • regarding the re-posting issue...haven't really tried that. Mostly as I tend to think people might see something wrong with that. Like going against the standards. Instead of re-posting old posts, just make new ones. If it is a subject you don't feel like you can add to for whatever reason, just leave it as it is. I know it would be nice to get payments indefinitely as passive income but that way doesn't encourage the creation of new content...

Thanks for these tips. I also use FlyerTalk sometimes for deals. I recently discovered a lot of crazy secrets about how loyalty credit cards work, which can also help you fly for free. You can see it in my latest post at @joylovestowrite. Do you use them much?

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Thank you for reading! I just use my normal credit card as, thanks to my father's work place, I have zero commission on withdrawing money all over Europe so I'm already advantaged!

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Sweet. Some credit cards are better suited for travelers. I used to have an American Express credit card years ago, but it wasn't accepted anywhere in Paris, and I tried every ATM! Visas are far better. Also, United Airlines gives you the most rewards for your buck in terms of frequent flyer tickets and upgrades. But maybe things will change in the future...

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