Main WikiMiles News Hitting the Skies: Airfares are getting more expensive. Here are 3 ways you can save money on flights.

Hitting the Skies: Airfares are getting more expensive. Here are 3 ways you can save money on flights.

17 Jan 2023

During the height of the pandemic, the travel sector significantly got impacted. Airlines hoped for flights to resume again even if flight patterns would change. Now, the demand is almost  back to 2019 levels. Airline executives are monitoring the impact of the pandemic on the passenger behaviors and capacity constraints, which have resulted in constant airfare increases.   

While the consumer price index (CPI) estimate of 8% is frequently cited as evidence of inflation in recent months, several consumer expenditure categories, especially the cost of airline tickets, continue to exceed it. In fact, the index for airline tickets has increased by 25% in the last year, the most significant increase since it was first tracked by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in 1989. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of air travel increased by 18.6% in April 2022 alone.

There are lots of information available online on where to look for cheap flights—from being flexible with your travel dates to looking at nearby airports. When you find a great travel deal, the savings don't have to stop there! 

Here are our tips and tricks on saving money on your next ticket purchase:  

1. Make use of points and miles.

Award travel is one of the most straightforward ways to save money on flights. Traveling with airline miles or credit card points can get you discounted plane tickets. Of course, you'll need to find available rewards seats, which may require maneuvering, but the savings can be substantial compared to paying cash.

For example: NerdWallet, an American personal finance company, values American Airlines miles by having a mileage calculator that makes converting points and miles to dollars simple. For every 22,500 points, you can purchase tickets worth about USD 338.    The points are a fantastic redemption value, considering the airfare prices would otherwise cost you more in cash.  

Remember that using airline miles is not always advantageous, though, especially when cash costs are low. However, doing so can help you save money when booking last-minute flights, in instances of high demand, or when a ticket is pricey.

2. Book at a perfect time.

Purchase your airline tickets in advance to avoid paying high fees that spike in the days before your journey. When you book, your flight is one of several variables that might affect the cost. It is advisable to schedule your travel months in advance rather than booking last-minute flights.

According to a survey, the cheapest plane tickets for a domestic trip are released 64 days before your departure date. Keep in mind that this is only an average time. It doesn't mean you should purchase plane tickets exactly 64 days before departure; rather, you should look for flights around that timeline. 

Seasonality also plays a significant role in international trips. In the same survey results, the cheapest international flight tickets are usually released 67 days before a summer trip, 94 days before a winter trip, 84 days before a spring trip, and 89 days before a fall trip.

3. Plan ahead and be flexible in ticket purchasing.

Are you trying to find the best approach to buy cheap airline tickets? If so, you must exercise flexibility. 

Prior to the pandemic, flexibility in travel arrangements was critical for saving money. Now, much more flexibility is required. Flexibility, together with timing and diligence, is key to getting the best deals on airfare.   

Knowing the fees before you buy is also part of the planning process. Because there are different airline fees, it makes sense to adopt this mindset when comparing and checking ticket prices. 

You might also save money by being aware of baggage fees. For instance: Spirit Airlines offers incredibly cheap flights yet its carry-on baggage fees cost USD 37 or more. 

Flying with a low-cost carrier might also be worthwhile, especially since there are six of them operating in the United States now: Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Allegiant Air, Breeze Airways, and Avelo Airlines. However, be aware that these direct flights have extra fees (such as for carry-on bags). It will cost you less if you can travel light and forgo comfort for a few hours.

If you travel extensively apply these helpful travel strategies

If you are a road warrior or just an avid traveler you can realize significant savings by applying different travel planning strategies such as nesting and bundling trips, use of stopover and much more.  Those strategies are are discussed in detail below

Many airlines have been drowning in debt and trying to return to a profitable state since the pandemic started. With travel restrictions loosening globally, airlines are drooling at the chance to cater to consumers who haven't traveled much and earn more profit. 

As a result, current ticket prices are close to all-time highs. Other concerns include insufficient seats and airfare services. 

That’s why making wise decisions about when and how to book flights can help you save a significant amount of money. Whether you pay cash or use reward miles, air travel does not have to be extremely expensive. 

Remember: In traveling domestically or internationally, stay updated on travel restrictions, announcements about flights, and other details to avoid unexpected obstacles. 

If you don’t want to use your miles or credit card rewards to purchase plane tickets, you may use them to book an upscale dining, enticing lodging, or other novel experiences. 

What's not to love about that? 

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