Clearing up Misconceptions on Airfare

Everyone wants to find the cheapest flights possible when they travel. That’s no secret: Whether you’re well-to-do or on a budget, nobody likes to spend money they don’t have to.

Of course, everyone who travels by air frequently has heard many stories, myths, and old wives’ tales about the best ways to get a cheap flight. Everyone has their own secret when booking, but not all of these are true. Here are some misconceptions people have about finding cheap flights, and the truth behind them:

Timing

While airfares are often higher the later they are purchased, that isn’t strictly true. Depending on where and when you’re flying, last-minute flights can be surprisingly cheap. International flights, for example, tend to be much cheaper at the last minute, as it’s rare for anyone to book an out-of-country trip without extensive advance planning.

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Similarly speaking, flights on Tuesday and Wednesday generally do have the cheapest fares– after all, most people structure their travel around the work week, so flights in the middle are not popular and the airlines have seats to fill. However, people often mistake this nugget to mean that booking a flight on Tuesday or Wednesday is cheaper than booking the rest of the week. Given the way the Internet has changed the travel industry, this isn’t necessarily true: With it being easier and easier for travelers to cancel flights without penalty, a cheap flight can open up at any time. You’ve just got to search.

Searching

Other common misconceptions involve the best way to go about searching for a flight. Some people might tell you that comparison shopping is fruitless: They’ll say airline mergers have resulted in a lack of competition for fares, or they’ll say that all the booking engines (websites like Orbitz and Priceline that search multiple airlines for the best fares) have the same information, so it’s pointless to use more than one. Neither of these are true: Some airlines, such as Southwest, don’t list their flights with booking engines. At the same time, airlines are still known to offer cheaper flights to undercut the prices at the hub airports of competing airlines.

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Those same booking engines can offer cheaper travel by combining flights from multiple airlines, dispelling another myth that booking directly through an airline is the way to get the best deal.

Travel Agents

Perhaps the biggest myth of all is the idea that the travel agent is obsolete in the Internet age. An experienced professional may know some travel tricks you don’t, including travel options that aren’t available to someone at home using a computer. They may find that one leg of your journey can be completed through cheaper means unique to the locality, such as a high-speed ferry between islands. Similarly, they might also know of ways to break up your flights that are much cheaper than a direct flight or the obvious connecting flights.

That of course just scratches the surface of what a travel agent can help you with. Visit AffordableTours.com to speak directly to one of our travel experts, who will help you get the best price on worldwide vacations, with quality personal service. In the end, working with a good, trusted professional is still the best way to get the best deal.

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