Playing the air-ticket market – how to buy the cheapest tickets

The price differentials, travel date 25-Feb-16.

The price differentials, travel date 25-Feb-16.

Everyone claims to know how to buy the cheapest tickets – the truth is there is no tried and tested way to always guarantee, there are however certain tricks you can deploy to ensure you get the best possible ticket at the best possible price.

Step 1: HAVE A PLAN

you cannot score good tickets on a whim, you need to review the calendar, check when you want to go on vacations, and select a destination.

Step 2: SELECT A DESTINATION

some people have a passport that allows them to spin the globe and go wherever their finger lands, others need to apply for visas. In either case, start applying a good month or so before your date of flying. To base your trip on your budget, check www.kayak.com/explore (link) for ROUGH ticket prices during certain periods to destinations around you.

Step 3: SET UP AN ALARM

you can freely track changing ticket prices on Kayak, Dohop, Expedia, Skyscanner etc. whereby you set your dates, and watch for changes.

Now, at this point, it becomes tricky – PRICES FLUCTUATE! if you watch the fluctuations, you will understand why airlines do not allow you to transfer your ticket to someone else.

We had selected a destination and started watching it, the lowest price per person was KD 125 on Qatar Airways. QA announced a bonanza on tickets, so we waited. During that period, prices went up and down by about 1KD.

Suddenly, as the bonanza kicked in, instead of prices dropping, they suddenly sky-rocketed to DOUBLE WHAT THEY WERE!

Which leads me to believe that airline websites have cookies that enable them to hike up the prices based on increased traffic/ purchases on their website.

At this point I was kicking myself for waiting so long, and silently cursing my luck.

Once the bonanza finished, prices went down. All this time I as merely checking my email for daily/ weekly updates on ticket prices.

The problem was however, the “class of ticket” i wanted was no longer available. Or the time (flight) was not available.

Two factors influence ticket price – class and date – by class we mean econo-saver, econo-super-saver etc. and by date we mean different dates.

Lo and behold, the ticket I wanted was back online, and for the same price I had seen a few weeks earlier, I quickly nabbed it up and ended up paying KD 250 for two return tickets to Cyprus on QA at the PERFECT TIME (leaving 5AM) and leaving Cyprus in the evening.

I learnt to be patient, to always check online and to know when to jump in.

Prices have now since gone lower, however the attributes are not the same, the “To” journey is now 13hours as opposed to 7, which is a killer in itself.

By monitoring prices, you will know what the average price is, and once you reach that price again…

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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