You will find on the Internet multiple websites offering airfares at discounted prices. If you are looking for the best available fare, read our tips to book online like a pro:
Searching the Best Fare
. Start looking for airline's fares long in advance.
Most of the airlines charge less for the first seats and then walk their way up in prices when the plane starts to fill. You might sit next to a passenger who paid hundreds of dollars (more or less) than you.
. If possible, be flexible on your dates and time of departure. There might be lower fares available on other dates and time of departure than the one you initially scheduled.
. Compare the fares offered by the online discounters and those offered by the airlines. We noticed that sometimes airline's websites offer better fares for a same flight than discounters.
. Visit many websites: discounters do not show all available flights and route. Also some great low cost airlines such as JetBlue are not represented by all online discounters.
. Check the number of stops and duration of the flight. Because of a connection, your flight might take several hours more than another route.
. If you have a choice, prefer an airline offering at least one flight per day to your destination. If there is a delay or you need to change your schedule you will be able to reorganize your trip more easily.
. If there is a stop on your route, book both legs with the same carrier. The airline will be responsible to put you on another flight if there is a delay.
. Even if you are in a Frequent Flyer Program, prefer a lower price for a similar flight with another carrier than miles in your program. Miles are a nightmare to redeem and lower fares mean cash in your pocket today compared to a hypothetical flight in the future.
. Read the fare's rules and restrictions. Is it refundable? Is there a booking fee or processing fee? What are the penalties for changes and cancellations? Are the tickets transferable to another passenger? Are stopovers permitted? Some airlines such as JetBlue have very flexible rules.
. Think of the customer support. You can call any airline for additional information and book online to save on the airfare. Make sure you find a phone number on the discounter's website before booking with them.
. Decide on the price you are ready to pay for your tickets and of course on your departure and return dates. When you find it, book it. Cheap tickets are a rare find and disappear from the websites very fast.
. Before paying, close all windows on your screen except the one with your chosen tickets. When searching, you probably opened several web pages and might have selected the wrong fare by mistake.
. Review your airfare's price, dates of departure and return, passengers information, and rules carefully. When it is paid, even if you did an honest mistake, you own these tickets and are bonded by its cancellation rules.
. Make sure you give the correct email address since e-tickets will be forwarded by email. Print all your information before closing your session.
. If you are a frequent traveler, choose a credit card that allows you to redeem miles at a large selection of airlines (Example: American Express). The larger the selection of airlines the easier it will be to redeem your miles.
. After purchasing your tickets, call the airline - even if you booked with a discounter - as soon as possible to select your seats in the plane, order specialty menus when available (vegetarian, Asian, etc.).