Welcome back to Part 2 of ‘How to book the cheapest air tickets’. In this article I will share more of my tips on how you can book the cheapest air tickets yourself. Didn’t read Part 1 yet? Read it here
7. Breaking up hurts, but not when you are looking for cheap air tickets
Especially when you are looking for long haul air tickets. When we fly from Australia to the Netherlands, we always have a quick stop or stop over in either Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, or other Asian destination.
For example, when I look for a cheap air ticket from Brisbane to Amsterdam, and the best option would be with Singapore Airlines via Singapore, then it might be cheaper to book these legs separately and use local budget airlines.
So what I do is, I look first for the best and cheapest air ticket as a complete return from Brisbane to Amsterdam, say this would cost me $1100 with Singapore Airlines.
Then I would look for separate flights, so one ( return ) flight from Brisbane to Singapore, and then another (return ) flight from Singapore to Amsterdam.
So basically I have 2 tickets for the same route instead of 1 ticket, but sometimes much cheaper.
Keep a few things in mind when you book your cheap air tickets in seperate legs
1.Never book your connecting flights with a small amount of time in-between.
I only book separate tickets when we are having a stop over for a few days in a city to break up our long flights. And also to get more out of our air ticket and see 2 destinations for the price of 1 😉
2.When you book your tickets separately, it is at your own risk.
So if you do book 2 separate air tickets ( without a stop over ) and your first flight is delayed and you miss your connecting flight, to bad, you have to pay for your 2nd lap yourself again, as you booked 2 separate tickets, with 2 different airlines.
3. If you book separate tickets, your luggage will go to the destination on your first ticket.
When you book a ticket from Brisbane – Singapore and a separate ticket from Singapore – Amsterdam, your luggage will be going to Singapore, and you have to go through customs to get your luggage and check in again with your next airline. If you would book everything in one ticket, your luggage gets labelled through to the final destination of your trip, which will be Amsterdam in this case.
4. Most budget airlines are not the most comfy ones and there will be costs for additional services
If you book separate tickets, they will be most likely budget airlines. Keep in mind that they are far away from the comfort and leg room you will have with the big fellas like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Etihad and the other well-known long haul carriers.
You are also most likely to pay for extra services like food, drinks and entertainment systems. For our long haul international flights we mostly choose comfort over budget as we just want our leg space, service, nice food and a glass of wine 😉 Especially now that we are travelling with Sem.
8. Have a lay over for free
This is what I did a few times when I booked our separate air tickets, so we could get 2 destinations for the price of 1 and break up our long international flight 🙂
We flew on really cheap air tickets from Darwin to Amsterdam with a 3 day stop in Bali, from Amsterdam to Darwin with a 4 day stop in Singapore and 4 week stop in Bali, and we flew from Amsterdam to Perth with a 10 day stop in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman.
Another great lay over which is becoming more and more popular here in Australia is flying to the USA via Hawaii.
When you want to fly to Los Angeles from Sydney, you can book your nonstop return ticket with Qantas for example, but you can also choose to go with a budget airline like Jetstar, who are flying from Sydney to Honolulu for great prices ( definitely when you book one of Jetstar’s great promo deals ) and then fly from Honolulu to Los Angeles with an American budget airline or Hawaiian airlines for example. For the money you would otherwise pay for a direct ticket in economy class, you could now choose to fly business class with your budget airline.
This way, you not only score a much better deal on your cheap air ticket, but you can also enjoy a multi day lay over in Hawaii and see 2 destinations in one trip.
9. My name is Bond, Jo Bond. I keep my searches Top Secret
Meanwhile, your mate who looks for the same flight on the same day, probably still find the cheaper prices that you found a few weeks ago.
So how does this work?
Air ticket search engines increase their prices when a particular route is repeatedly searched by the same user, because they want you to book now! And you probably will book your air ticket for the higher price, as you don’t want your prices to go up even more!
This game can cost you big bucks for nothing, so if you want to be sure that you don’t forget to delete your cookies or search history, search incognito straight away, and you will be safe.
Of course it can always be the case that the prices of your preferred ticket rocketed, even when you search incognito. There is a whole story to tell about how ticketing works and how prices of tickets rise, but I might tell you this another time in another story 🙂 The rule in general is: Don’t wait to long with booking your tickets if you know when you want to travel.
10. Use a travel agent if you are not confident to book your own flight.
Many people think it is cheaper to book tickets yourself, but this isn’t always the case. Travel agents sometimes have special airfares, who aren’t visible for the public, and they have tips and tricks in the system to find you a cheap air ticket.
Especially if you are not that experienced in booking a ticket yourself or have a complex booking to make, you are better of with a professional, as when you screw up your name or other details or accidentally book yourself a ticket to the wrong destination, it will cost you a lot of money.
Many times I had people calling or coming into the office with mistakes they made when booking their own flights online, (even after they first came to me to let me search the best deal for them) and wanted me to sort it out when they screwed up.
Sorry dude, but you booked yourself into trouble, and I can’t do nothing about that. Not only did I find this really rude to first waste my time and let me do all the work, and then book yourself the same deal online, but also that they thought I could fix their problems, which I really couldn’t and wasn’t allowed to. ( And didn’t even want to! I mean common, Are you for real? 😉 )
If you are not convinced by your travel agent, do your own research first, find the cheapest flight, and present that information to your travel agent to see if they can match or beat it. Travel agents do know much more about different fares, cancellation fees, and all other boring fine print, which you will probably never read yourself when you book and print your air ticket.
11. Check if it’s cheaper to pay in other currencies
Before booking a flight, check if the rate is cheaper if paid in another currency. I had it the other day when searching for flights to Bali. I was looking for a return flight from Amsterdam to Denpasar for family and it was 50$ per air ticket cheaper to book it into Australian Dollar, than it was when I would book it in Euro’s.
Make sure though, that you have a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees, other wise it wouldn’t make sense.
12. Don’t wait for a last-minute ( unless you are already with your suitcase on the airport )
Rarely ever do airline tickets get cheaper as your departure date approaches, especially if you need to fly on a certain date. Airlines typically offer low rates as a base price to a certain amount of tickets, and as these tickets sell, the remaining ones increase in cost, and this will go on till the last seats. If you know when and where you’re going, don’t wait for a sale. Especially on very popular routes, as those plains are often completely booked out anyway.