Find cheap flights to your favorite international destinations
No mode of transport holds as much mystique, ritual and glamour as getting on a plane. But airline tickets can often be the biggest single cost of any trip, making cheap flights the holy grail for travellers. There are still special rules, loopholes and tricks, so wise up to find the lowest air fares and the most tempting international flights:
- Flights usually go on sale up to 11 months in advance of the departure date. On a scheduled airline, this is usually the best time to book, unless you happen across a seat sale.
- Buying a ticket closer to the departure time of a scheduled flight will mark you out as someone who is desperate rather than a bargain hunter, so don’t expect any deals on last-minute flights.
- Charter flights are usually operated during peak season to either sunshine or ski resorts, and this is where you might pick up your last-minute bargain, especially if you’re not too picky about where you go.
- Very early and very late departures are the best option for the cheapest plane tickets. Remember, though, to factor in getting to and from the airport and, if you need it, a night in a hotel beforehand.
- So you think you’ve found cheap flights to New York? Think of an airfare as only one part of getting from A to B. When you figure out your transport costs to get to and from the airport, plus what you might spend while there, it may make more sense to use another airline or airport, or a different mode of transport altogether.
- The first flight of the day is often the most punctual one, as your plane is already there waiting for you. Delays build up throughout the day.
- If you are travelling somewhere cold, wear your bulkiest items from check-in through security. This will save you space in your carry-on luggage, plus you’ll be warm when you arrive.
- If you have the option of choosing a seat for a long-haul flight, ask how close to the engines you’ll be. Sleep is easier the further away you are.
- Queues for the toilets are always longest just before passport control, and place you at the back of the queue to clear immigration. Cross your legs until you’re in baggage reclaim – you’ll queue less and get to where you’re going faster.