Wondering how to get the best flight deal? Here's what the experts have to say

With flights at a premium in the summer, it can be challenging to find an affordable fare these days.

With flights at a premium in the summer, it can be challenging to find an affordable fare these days.

Published Jun 13, 2024


Winter is here, and with it, many of us are starting to dream about our summer holiday.

With flights at a premium in the summer, it can be challenging to find an affordable fare these days.

IOL Travel spoke to Jason Higgs, a bargain hunter at Bountii, who shared five tips to help you find a cheaper flight and save a bit of money on your upcoming holiday. If you’re keen to catch a flight and are hunting for the best bargains, simply follow these hacks.

Avoid peak travel times

Consider your destination and whether it is in peak tourist season; flights are often cheaper during a city’s off-season. If you have flexibility with your dates, booking your flight during off-season is a great way to save money.

If travelling during the off-season isn't possible, then consider booking your flight on a day of the week that people don’t usually travel (and will therefore be cheaper). Typically, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are the least expensive days to fly.

Avoiding peak travel times also means considering the time of day. People often travel on weekday evenings and Sundays during the day. So, check early morning or late-night flights for a better deal.

Book early

If you’re someone who likes to wait until the last minute to snag a discounted flight, this approach often doesn’t work and isn’t recommended. In fact, flight tickets are usually cheapest when they are first released, which can be up to a year in advance.

“In this case, the early bird really does catch the worm! If you are planning to fly during a busy time or popular holiday, it’s best to book your flight as early as possible,” says Higgs.

Shop around

Nowadays, there are plenty of apps and websites designed to track flight prices. Never just go with the first flight you see.

Make sure you shop around and do your research to confirm that you are getting the best deal.

Comparison sites like Skyscanner, Kayak, and Google Flights are helpful.

Beware of budget airlines

It may seem like you’re getting a better deal on a budget airline, but be careful. Many budget airlines have extra fees that are included with other airlines.

For instance, a basic fare might only allow one piece of baggage with dimensions no larger than a backpack, while charging extra for any additional luggage.

Extras such as choosing your seat, luggage, on-board snacks, and more often incur additional charges with budget airlines. If these things matter to you, consider booking with an airline that includes them in the ticket price.

Go incognito

When you repeatedly check the same flight from the same device, airlines use this data to gauge how much they can charge per ticket.

The more you look at the same ticket, the more the airline knows you’re likely to buy it, and will therefore raise the price.

One way to counter this is by using the incognito tab when looking for flights. This prevents the airline from knowing data like your location and identity, which they could use to upcharge you.

Don’t allow cookies, and if you have done so in the past, try deleting your search cookies before buying your flight to see if the price lowers.

Flying during peak summer seasons doesn’t have to break the bank. Following these tips should help you travel on a budget, no matter the time of year,” says Jason.

IOL Travel