More and more frequent travelers are booking their airfares online, but it pays to shop around and know some tricks to finding the best deals. Your best approach will likely depend on how flexible your travel plans are, but regardless of your situation, there are a variety of ways to save money.
For the best airfares and travel options, search all the leading travel sites
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, our website is your source for specially negotiated prices and unpublished fares.
Discount airlines no longer have a monopoly on good fares.
Traditional airlines like American, Continental and United are selling more tickets at lower fares, aggressively matching or even undercutting prices on routes where discounters fly.
The result: While your first step when planning a trip used to be finding out whether a discounter served the route you wanted to fly (and then booking without a second thought), your best move today is to search the big boys right along with the discounters.
One reason for the change is that traditional airlines have been slashing expenses (many in bankruptcy court) and are returning to profitability, enabling them to better compete with their low-cost rivals.
As for the discounters, well, their prices can go only so low
Fares are loaded into reservation systems three times daily but only once a day on weekends. Many airlines sneak in sales on Friday nights, so Saturday is a good time to shop.
More Ways To Save on Airfare, Car Rental, Hotel, Vacation and Cruise
We\'re always working to find you the best deals and stretch your travel dollar to the max.
Always Buy a Package and Save
Buy your flight, hotel and rental car as a package and you can save an average of $200 over buying separately.
Shop and Compare Prices
Search through thousands of published itineraries and prices. Then, just choose what works for you.
Always search airfares using a different airport. Or flying on different dates. Or staying at a hotel in a different part of town can always save you money.
Discount airlines such as Southwest
often offer lower prices than their big-name competitors, and are not always listed on major travel sites. It may be worth your while to check their Web sites individually. But keep in mind that the networks for these airlines tend to be smaller than the bigger airlines, so they might not serve either your destination or departure city.
Cheap Travel, Flights, Hotels, Vacations, Car Rentals, Cruise and Activities
Consolidated airline tickets are generally the best discounted airline tickets available. Airline tickets sold by some agencies are usually cheaper than the lowest available published airline tickets. Consolidators negotiate rates with all major carriers and then resell these bargain airfares to travel agencies with big discounts. Consolidated airfares should not be confused with standby or charter fares. While some agents who deal in consolidated airfares also deal in charters, there are important differences. Consolidated airfares are bookings on regularly scheduled flights of major air carriers, which are generally much more dependable than charter operators.
Differences between normal and negotiated airfares come in the form of change penalties and refund policy. Just like regular airfares, consolidator fares can sell out quickly and may not be available all of the time.