How to find a cheap flight

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Finding cheap flights isn’t rocket science. It just takes some flexibility and a little research. When you need to get away but don’t want to spend a bundle, consider these tips and watch the savings stack up.

And, lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place to put these money-saving travel hacks to good use. They don’t call us Cheapflights for nothing. Give our flight search a try, and find that ideal (and totally bargainous) flight.

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Compare your options   

Make multiple tabs a thing of the past and compare all your options in one place
Make multiple tabs a thing of the past and compare all your options in one place

Sounds obvious, right? But different airline ticket providers – from the big online agencies to local travel providers – simply don’t have access to all of the same airlines, flights, availability and pricing. So no single airline, consolidator or agency will always have the lowest airfare, nor will they always have the best selection of airline tickets. You have to weigh your options. And that’s where Cheapflights.co.uk can help. We let you compare flights from hundreds of airlines, travel agents and online providers in one place, so you can find the best prices out there right now.

Be flexible 

It’s all about supply and demand. Some departure times are more popular – and more expensive – than others. While it’s possible to find cheap plane tickets for peak times, you generally have to book these flights far in advance. But, if you’re looking to score a cheap flight and have some flexibility, you’re in luck. Here are four ways being flexible can pay off in a big way…

Consider alternative airports

When comparing options, consider other airports in your area. While one airport may be your go-to because of convenience, you’ll never know how much you could save if you flew out of (or into) another airport nearby. For example, when flying from the North West, consider all airports like Manchester, Leeds/Bradford or Sheffield and when heading to a destination like New York, consider all your options – JFK, LaGuardia and even Newark. Same goes for London airports – don’t set your sights on Heathrow without at least considering the saving potential of Stansted, Luton, Gatwick or even Southend. (But also be sure to consider all associated travel costs, including transportation to and from the airport).

Choose your dates wisely

Choose your dates wisely (and leave room for flexibility)
Choose your dates wisely (and leave room for flexibility)

Everyone wants to depart at 7pm on a Friday night, which means that those flights tend to become quite pricey rather quickly. The same goes for Saturday mornings or any other time when it’s the most convenient for the majority of travellers. If you can make it work for your schedule, try flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, rather than on the weekend. Overnight flights are another great way to save. Not only are they often cheaper, but you won’t need to pay for accommodation the night you’re in the air. Select a window seat, bring a neck pillow and (try to) get your Zzzs.

Fly on public holidays

Travelling over a bank holiday? If you can, consider swapping your pre-bank holiday flight for a flight on the actual day. Not only will you likely save money, but you’ll skip a percentage of the crowds who have the same travel plans as you.

Pick a deal, not a destination

Looking to get away? Don’t settle on one destination until you see what’s out there. Looking for a European city break? Don’t limit yourself to Amsterdam. If you know the type of trip you want to take (be it a beach holiday, a long weekend in a city, a ski trip or an outdoorsy adventure), there may be destinations with all you’re looking for on offer for much less than the destination you originally had in mind. Do some research and compare your options, and you’ll likely walk away with a trip booked that ticks all your boxes AND leaves money in your pocket.

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Get filtering

Use filters to only find what you're looking for
Use filters to only find what you’re looking for

No, we’re not talking about your Instagram feed. When you search for flights on Cheapflights.co.uk, you’ll be able to use our nifty filters to find exactly what you’re looking for. If you know that any flight before 10am will make it tricky or costly to get to the airport on time, you can use our filters to narrow your search. Similarly, you can filter out direct flights (nine times out of ten, a quick stopover will save you money), filter out certain airports or airlines, and also adjust your budget.

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Pick the perks that matter to you 

Finding the absolute lowest airfare can be rewarding, but there are other factors to consider, like value – the overall mix of price, quality and convenience. Before you shop, it makes sense to decide what’s most important to you. You might be getting a really cheap plane ticket, but do you want to stop and change planes several times? Some airlines are more comfortable and provide more in-flight amenities than others, while budget carriers strip away the perks so they can charge less per seat.

Budget airlines (and the comparable basic economy fares offered by many of the bigger airlines) typically offer bare-bone fares with a low price tag but no perks. While that may not be for everyone, if you can travel light, this could mean an extremely cheap flight. That said, read the fine print prior to booking to see what’s included in the ticket price.

Check your mail

Flash sales and travel deals offer packaged savings
Flash sales and travel deals offer packaged savings

Newsletters and email alerts are a great way to stay up to date on fare sales and travel deals. Sign up for the Cheapflights newsletter to have the latest fare sales, hotel discounts and holiday package deals sent straight to your inbox. Flash sales and last-minute flight deals can provide unmatched savings, and signing up for travel email alerts is one way to make sure you don’t miss them when they pop up. Or head over to our Holiday Deals page to browse thousands of travel deals handpicked for their value. You’ll find everything from city breaks in Barcelona, to luxury cruises – all in one place.

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Quick and dirty tips

TL;DR? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Be flexible – alternative airports and flexible departure dates and times can save you money.
  • Book early – generally, the earlier you book, the more you can save on plane tickets, especially for short-haul flights within Europe.
  • Consider discount airlines – if you don’t mind fewer perks, these cheap flights offer tons of savings.
  • Do your research – compare prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal available.

It’s not hard to find cheap flights when you’re well informed and well-connected. Ready to give us a try? Start your search at Cheapflights.co.uk.

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How to find a cheap flight was last modified: September 11th, 2018 by Amanda Festa
Author: Amanda Festa (395 posts)

Amanda is a Boston-based writer who loves to travel and believes planning her next adventure is half the fun. Amanda is a Content and Social Media Executive at Cheapflights.