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7 Ways To Find Cheap Airfare

  1. Travel Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
    Stay away from weekend travel if you can. If you must travel on the weekend, do it on Saturday – the middle of the weekend. Separate yourself from the hordes trying to maximize their weekend – i.e. flying out on Friday (or Thursday) and returning Sunday (or Monday).
  2. Include a Saturday night stay.
    The airlines figure they can charge business travelers a premium. Business travelers want to be home for the weekend. By staying over the Saturday night, you are placing yourself in a different category and earning yourself lower fares.
  3. Check alternate airports.
    Try flying to an alternative airport near your destination. For example, if you want to go to San Francisco, check airfares to Oakland as well.
  4. Fly routes the low-cost carriers fly.
    Legacy carriers will lower fares to compete with the low-cost carriers on the same route. For example, we can fly to Norfolk, VA for less than we can fly to Richmond, VA. Southwest airlines serves Norfolk, but does not fly to Richmond.
  5. Purchase 21 day advance, non-refundable, non-changeable fares.
    These fares are the cheapest offered. Don’t be too scared by the non-refundability of the fares – if you cannot make your trip, you can apply the fare paid to a subsequent trip, less a re-booking fee of around $100.
  6. Buy last minute.
    Airlines offer good fares for the upcoming weekends on undersold routes, with Wednesday through Saturday departures and Sunday through Tuesday returns. We have signed up for email notification of such fares from American Airlines. They send us the email on Tuesdays.
  7. Buy a package including hotel and/or rental car.
    These can be good deals when booked all together from the airline or a consolidator like Site59, Travelocity, Orbitz and the like.

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