If you are really obsessive about exploring new destinations, traveling must never stop. But to be on the move at all times requires money and one of the major things that can help you save it is to cut down on your flight expenses. If you are someone who wants to travel all the time, there’s no way that you would wait for that festive season or off-season when most of the major airlines come up with special fares. The truth is, you can discount on your flight bookings at any time of the year. All you need to do is follow these simple tricks every time you are looking to book your cheap flight tickets in india.
1.The early bird catches the worm
That might sound stereotypical, but there’s no better way to get a cheaper flight ticket than to plan your travel well in advance and book the tickets at that time. No matter whatever discounts or deals come by, booking early has always proved to be the best way to get discounted airfares.
Why do airlines like advance bookings? This is part of their yield management. Only the first few seats (15-20) are offered at the lowest rates and then they keep on increasing the fares. They keep the last few seats for the spot customers and charge very high rates from them. Corporate customers who travel at the last minute and pay the maximum price are subsidizing customers who book early.
Expedia did a very interesting study and found out that on an average the lowest flight tickets sold was 57 days in advance. They studied various domestic flights prices and saw the trend and found out that booking a flight very early is not always the best option. There is enough time left to fill the seats so airlines are not desperate to grab more and more customers at cheap prices.
As per their study, the prices were moderate in the start, and kept on declining and somewhere around 50-60 days before the departure date, the prices started rising and then escalated during the last 2-3 weeks.
2. Use incognito mode
why do you think you see a raised amount almost every time you visit a flight booking website. Well, don’t take these portals for fools. Your cookies and server details are automatically recorded with these portals. So the moment the system reads that you are visiting the website for the second time and after a few days, it is bound to give you raised airfares. The best way to avoid this is to use the private browsing mode or the popular Incognito mode in Chrome browsers. In case you are using the browser in the normal mode, make sure you clear the cookies or simply open the website from a different browser or computer.
3. Use flight comparison websites
Always remember to use a couple of flight comparison websites before you book your flight tickets, no matter how much of hurry you are in. Websites like Skyscanner, Kayak, and Momondo are there to provide a detailed listing of flights to your desired destination, along with the comparative fares offered by different airlines. Also, avoid selecting a specific date for your departure–instead select the entire month to know which the cheapest time to fly is.
4. Opt for different airlines at the time of booking cheap flight tickets in india
Agreed, the easiest to book flights for your trip is to book for a return journey. Besides, the general perception suggests that return flights are cheaper. But the truth is rather different. Make that extra effort to go through the flights offered by other airlines and be more open about the time of your flight. Trust me; you will surely crack a cheaper deal.
5. Use calendar spreads
The rates offered by airlines keep varying. Monday morning flights to major cities are costly. This is because of the heavy rush of business travelers at the start of the work week. Similarly, there is a heavy outbound rush from cities on Friday evenings and this pushes up the rates. Leisure travelers can avoid this rush and save money.
Book tickets on Tuesdays and Thursdays as they are usually cheaper on these two days of the week.
One study was done in IIM Ahmedabad. The conclusions they drew are-
1. The pricing (airfare) movement depends on the degree of airfare competition (strategies) between
LCCs and FSCs and every competing airline apply revenue management and dynamic pricing
2. Price sensitive passengers prefer to travel on weekdays and would purchase air-tickets decision
6. Use the airline website to book
Given the increasing number of travel booking websites, it is always easier to opt for a MakeMyTrip or a Goibibo for booking a flight. But these websites are smart and no matter how much of discount they show you at the moment they show you the search results, the moment you try to book, you will end up paying an increased amount. This is because they include their service/convenience charges at the time of preparing your final bill–very smart, aren’t they? Well, they also need to earn their revenues. So the next time, make that extra effort to visit the airline’s official website and book your desired flight from there. Trust me, you will surely save at least a few hundred bucks, if not more.
7. Festival day booking
Book on the day of the festival, in case you have to travel the same day. This is because most travelers want to reach the home/tourist destinations before the festival and, therefore, the rates are a bit cheaper on the day of the festival.
8. Go for combo offers
The commonest combo offers are the return trips. However, if you want to cancel your journey, some airlines may force you to cancel the return as well. Therefore, go for the combos only when the return fare is offered at a significant discount. Next in line are hotel-plus offers.
9. Wait for offers
Travelers have to plan in advance and then wait for promotional offers. Though offers pour in almost on a weekly basis, travelers have to act fast to benefit. Since offers are available for a few hours, they (travelers) have to get the information fast (by signing up for mobile apps, email alerts, SMS alerts, etc.) and also to make up their mind and take action immediately.
10. Use the special debit and credit card offers
I personally never give a lot of thought to this tip earlier, but there are various special offers designed especially for the debit card and credit card holders only. For example, if you have HDFC bank card, you should search for “HDFC offers flight tickets” on Google and you will surely get some page on the HDFC website or flight booking websites which will give you some special codes for getting an additional discount.
11. Use the wallet cash to get further discount
I think goibibo started this and became hugely successful due to this factor. It’s one of the most trusted ways to get further discounts on flights/hotels and other bookings. All the websites like MakeMyTrip, goibibo, yatra have this concept of virtual wallets and you get some cash backs in this wallet which can be partially used while making the payments. Goibibo calls it as goCash, Yatra has eCash and MakeMyTrip simply calls it as Wallet money. I have been an extensive user of Goibibo and no matter how great other websites offers were, after applying goCash, I always got the best price at Goibibo.
13. Take flights at odd hours
If you are ok traveling very early in the morning or late at night, then you can get a low price on flights. But this might not work when you are traveling with family or when you need to reach your destination at a particular time (like for some meeting or a seminar etc.). However, people traveling solo who do not have a fixed time to reach can explore this option.
14. Use mobile apps for booking
If you are still using the web browser for booking fights, you are missing some awesome offers provided by various websites. From time to time websites offers some discount codes (not cash back) which will reduce your fights prices by around 5-10% at least.
15. Make payments by Wallets
Do you know that you can get some additional cash back when you pay from wallets like Mobikwik, paytm, freecharge, payumoney? Almost all kind of wallet companies have a dedicated page for these kinds of offers and it will share various deals for hotel booking, bus booking, flights etc..
Like Mobikwik has a dedicated offers page, and I can see that it shows a deal where you get Rs 200 cashback if you book a flight on MakeMyTrip. This is above and over the other discounts and cash backs.
16. Use Student & Senior Citizen Discount if applicable
Some airlines allow students and senior citizens some basic discount on the base fare, it’s a small discount like 8-10%, but still saves you some money. If you are traveling with your children or parents, you might want to check if you can get some further discounts. However, these discounts are applicable only on the airlines’ websites. For example, Spicejet has an 8% discount on base fare for students. Do read the terms and conditions for these students and senior citizen discount offers as they might not be applicable on some dates or routes.
17. Use hand-baggage-only fare tickets
If you are traveling solo and don’t have much luggage, choose the hand-baggage only option while choosing the flight. Airlines expenses increase if the flight is heavy and hence they give incentive to you if you carry less stuff.
18. Check out for coupons and offers
Something which everyone can do is search for offers while booking for the flights. Almost all the times there are various websites which offer different types of discount or cash back for booking flights. It never hurts to spend a few minutes to look at the offer pages of websites like MakeMyTrip, goibibo, Yatra, Cleartrip and other websites. You can also try to search for flights coupons on various coupon websites. Make coupons website offer their own cash back to you additionally as they get some commission from the aggregator websites.
19. Put the alerts for the price decline
Google Flights give you an option to track the prices of a particular flight and will email you from time to time when the prices change. So if you have a lot of time left and can wait for the booking, better wait and track the prices. Just make sure that you should be clear when you will book the flights, else it might happen that you just keep prices to fall down and never book it and then pay a lot towards the end.
20. Subscribe to the Airfare Newsletter
Various airlines and intermediary sites keep sending various offers from time to time, you can subscribe to their newsletters if you don’t mind constant emails on offers. It will surely help someone who travels a lot.
21. Take advantage of a long layover
Often, buying a flight with a very long layover/stopover is cheaper than a regular return. Many people avoid these because they think it has to mean wasting time hanging about a boring airport somewhere but it doesn’t have to be that way! You can use them to have an extra, bonus holiday. A stopover can simply be an alternative way to grab an extra adventure and visit more countries without the cost of another flight.
22. Be flexible with dates
One has the maximum chances of finding the lowest air tickets if the travel dates are flexible. It is, in fact, the best way for how to find cheap flights to anywhere in the world. You can take help of websites like Skyscanner that lets you find the cheapest airfare month wise to crack that best flight deal.
23. Check alternate airport
This trick comes handy; when you’re looking for the flights online, check if there are more than one airport at the destination you are visiting. Indeed, there are fair chances that the flight tickets to two different airport may vary, one being cheaper than the other. However, it is advised to also check the distance of the airport from the hotel/destination you wish to reach, otherwise you may have to spend whatever you spent on the air travel on a cab or bus ride from the airport. You can also consider multi-city flights since they are mostly inexpensive.
While I have talked about various things you can do to book the cheap flight tickets in India, there are a few points I want to make.
• If you feel you are getting a good deal already, just try a bit to improve it and book it. Don’t get obsessed trying to bring the price down. While it’s great to get some discounts, you should check for yourself if it’s really worth your time.
• If you are looking for cheap international flights, some of these points might not be applicable, but still, you should try most of these as it would be great to save money because of high prices for international flights to US and European countries.
• Also, consider your time worthwhile find low-cost tickets. If your time is highly valuable and you can spend 2 hours in something valuable like writing a book, or solving some important thing worth something, then don’t waste your energy and time waiting for the connecting flight just because you are saving few hundred rupees
Happy Flying, Folks…….