Tips For Finding Super Cheap Flights

finding cheap flights

One of the most expensive, if not the most expensive part of booking a holiday, is the flights. I had always been told that flights from New Zealand to the USA cost around $2000nzd, and it wasn’t until my last trip to California that I realised just how cheap you can make it if you’re willing to fly at unconventional times and do a little digging for the best deal.
My roundtrip flight from Auckland to Los Angeles was $1100nzd – saving me $900!

Delete Cookies & Search Incognito

So you’ve been looking at fares for a particular journey multiple times in the last week, and you’re sure the price seems to be increasing? You’re not crazy. Sites use cookies in your browser to keep track of what you’re searching, and if you seem to be searching around a lot for the same flights, they will sneakily put the price up to scare you into buying it now, before it goes up even more!

To prevent this happening, do your flight searching in incognito mode. If you’re in Chrome of Safari you can do this by pressing “Command/Control”, “Shift”, “N”. You can also reset your cookies by going into the Chrome file tab and clicking “Clear browsing data”.

Once you’ve done all this, search again. The price should be back to the original lowest one!

screen-shot-2017-03-07-at-11-45-51-pm

screen-shot-2017-03-07-at-11-49-13-pm

The above screenshots are from kiwi.com. The top using the standard chrome browser and the bottom using incognito, taken within one minute of each other. So you can definitely see it’s not a myth!

Compare Airlines

When searching for the best price, use flight search engines to instantly compare the prices of many airlines. You can also check the sites for the official airlines; I flew with Hawaiian Airlines, and while for some reason none of their fares came up on the sites I suggest below, it had by far the cheapest fares!

If you’re flying between the USA and Europe, WOW air has really low-cost flights.

Use these sites when planning your trip:
Momondo
Jet Radar
Google Flights
AirFare Watchdog
Skyscanner
Kiwi.com

Don’t Be Afraid To Spend The Night In The Airport

The reason my AKL-LAX flight was so cheap, is because it arrived at the airports at a very inconvenient time for getting connecting flights. My flight got into LAX at around 11 pm, and the next flight out of LAX to Northern California was at 8 am the following morning. If you’re young and/or don’t mind sleeping on the floor of the check in lounge, booking one of these flights is a great way to save money. If you do this, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you get locks for your suitcases.

Travel During Off-Peak Times

I know, they’re peak times for a reason; it’s the best weather, the school holidays, the time when the best activities are available. But, airlines know this too, and they’re going to take advantage of that by putting prices up. Try looking for dates a month outside of peak times, you’re likely to still get great weather and even if you don’t, you can always spend the day restaurant hopping or checking out indoor activities like museums and theatres.
If you can’t avoid travelling outside of peak times, book your flights for a Tuesday or Wednesday as these are the least popular days for travel.

Subscribe To Airline Mailing Lists

I know you may not want to clutter up your inbox with a ton of emails, but this is a really good way to stay on top of promotions and deals that you otherwise wouldn’t know about. During the off-season, many airlines will offer heavily discounted airfares because they know this will make them more money. If you aren’t too picky about when you go on holiday, this can make it super affordable!