How I Find the Best Flight Deals
I am the queen of finding fantastic, almost unheard of flight deals. My best score so far was probably our flights from Boston to Bergen, Norway: two roundtrip tickets for under $500 total. I am going to share with you my tips for procuring such excellent deals.
Subscribe to many different airlines' email lists and follow them on social media.
By doing so, you will frequently receive announcements about sale fares and sometimes discount codes you can use as well. Being subscribed to and following along with various airlines helps you to learn which airlines tend to offer the best deals. For example, I recently received a 40% off discount code from WOWair via email which brought one-way flights from Boston to multiple destinations in Europe to under $100. These sales and discount codes always have time period restrictions, but are usually for travel in the next 3-6 months.
Search for low fares using travel booking websites such as Kayak, Skyscanner, or Momondo.
I suggest doing your searches on a few of these all-encompassing websites to get an idea of who is offering the best rates to your chosen location. If you are flexible with destination or travel dates, they provide you the option of inputting your destination as “Anywhere,” and some allow you to check a “flexible dates” box in the search field. IMPORTANTLY, though, I highly recommend making your actual booking directly through the airline's website. In the case that your flight needs to be changed or rescheduled, it is significantly easier to be able to speak directly to the airline than to be given the go-around by a third party. In fact, I will even pay slightly more if necessary to book directly through an airline for this reason.
Download the Hopper app on your phone.
This app analyzes data from billions of flights to help you find the very best deals. It predicts the cheapest time of year to travel, which it displays on its calendars in color coding. It also suggests when it is most beneficial to make your flight purchase by telling you to "wait to buy" or "buy now," with information on how the prices might change in the future. You can save multiple destination searches and the app will notify you when the prices are ideal. I would still recommend booking the flight directly through the airline, though, once you’ve found a good deal on Hopper.
Check out Secret Flying.
This is a free website that doesn't even require you to sign up to view amazing travel deals. Its homepage highlights the best deals all over the world, but you can filter it to show deals solely out of your home airport. This site also displays error fares, which is when the airline enters a way-lower-than-usual fare for a route by accident and hasn't fixed it yet. This is especially good for when you haven't chosen a specific destination, but are open to wherever the best deal might be.
Search all the time.
I have become extremely familiar with flight prices to all different areas of the world from my home airport. I search flights to various destinations multiple times per week. Doing this has provided me with reliable knowledge about typical flight costs versus great deals. For example, I know that roundtrip flights from Boston to Seattle typically average anywhere from $330-550, but there are times when they will go down as low as $237.
Pull the trigger when the price is low.
I have to say that I have missed out a couple of times on the best deals by not following this rule. Sometimes I hold off because I'm either not quite ready to make the purchase or because I think there's a chance that the price could get a little lower. You don't want that feeling of regret when you see the prices go up and know that you just missed out on the best deal! By being familiar with prices as I mentioned above, you can avoid this.