“Always Book On A Tuesday”: Debunking Myths & Sharing Secrets For Nabbing Cheap Flights In 2024



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As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, the prospect of flying somewhere far flung more enticing than ever. However, the financial impact of several extremely turbulent years has made actually affording those flights prohibitive to pretty much everyone but the super-rich. And they have access to private jets anyway, right? How life continues to infuriate in myriad, malevolent ways…

Anyway, today we’re debunking some common myths and sharing some trade secrets to help you secure the cheapest possible flights in 2024. Buckled up and ready for take off? Here we go…

Myth #1: Last-minute bookings always guarantee the best deals

Contrary to popular belief, last-minute bookings do not always offer the lowest prices. Airlines have grown savvy to consumers trying their very own ‘’who blinks first?’’ contest, and may actually increase fares closer to departure dates, knowing that desperate travellers will start blinking ferociously and ultimately pay a premium.

To nab a cheap flight, start searching for tickets at least three months in advance, with the sweet spot being around six weeks before departure.

That said, last-minute holidays allow you to tailor your trip around a sense of spontaneity, free from the usual preparation stress that long term planning entails. Booking last minute often means you’re free to enjoy the moment rather than getting bogged down by the pressure of arranging the perfect holiday. And you can’t put a price on that, hey?

Secret #1: Be flexible with travel dates and times

One of the most effective ways to secure a cheap flight is by being flexible with travel dates and times. Midweek departures, especially on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, often have lower fares than weekend flights (not to be confused with booking on a Tuesday or a Wednesday – more on that later). Red-eye flights can also be more budget-friendly and, in our opinion, are the best way to beat jet lag if you’re travelling far.

Myth #2: Booking directly with the airline is always cheaper

While it may seem logical that booking directly with an airline would result in the lowest fares, this is not always the case. In fact, third-party websites and travel agencies may sometimes offer exclusive deals and discounts that are not available through the airline’s website. 

It’s important to compare prices across multiple platforms before making a final booking decision, and always keep an eye out for hidden costs and add-ons, which often arrive covertly before that very last click.

Read: 5 tips for making the most of your time waiting for a flight

Secret #2: Use fare comparison websites and set up price alerts

It’s so obvious, there must be a catch. But in our (and many others’) experience, price comparison sites do generally yield the best deals. To ensure the best possible deal, use fare comparison websites like Skyscanner, Kayak, or Google Flights. These platforms aggregate prices from various airlines and booking sites, allowing travellers to compare options easily. 

Additionally, setting up price alerts can notify travellers when fares drop for their desired route. Whilst the three platforms mentioned above offer such alerts, there a more niche, customisable options available, too:

  • Momondo: With a colourful, user-friendly platform, Momondo excels in aggregating deals from smaller and budget airlines. Their ‘Price Calendar’ and ‘Flight Insights’ help you make informed decisions to secure the lowest fares.
  • Airfarewatchdog: A dedicated team of travel deal hunters, Airfarewatchdog scours for the latest steals. Sign up for email alerts and let the experts take care of finding the best prices for your chosen destination.
  • Hopper: A mobile-first app, Hopper uses a unique data-driven predictive algorithm to estimate flight price trends. Receive notifications on price changes, suggestions on when to book, and exclusive in-app deals tailor-made for your travel goals.

Myth #3: Using incognito mode guarantees lower prices

Ignore browser tracking myths. The idea that using incognito mode while browsing for flights will yield lower prices is a widely circulated piece of fiction. While it is true that some websites use cookies to track browsing history and potentially increase prices based on demand, most airlines and booking sites employ more sophisticated pricing algorithms. Although using incognito mode may not hurt, it is not a foolproof method for securing cheaper flights.

Secret #3: Book flights during off-peak or shoulder seasons

Travelling during off-peak seasons can result in significant savings on airfare. For example, visiting Europe in the autumn or winter months can be much more affordable than during the busy summer season. Research the destination’s peak travel times and plan accordingly.

If you can’t tolerate those off-peak, downbeat vibes, then consider traveling during the shoulder season, which typically falls between May and early June or late August through mid-October. These periods often see lower demand, leading to more affordable flight options.

Myth #4: Budget airlines always offer the cheapest fares

While budget airlines often have lower base fares, they frequently tack on additional fees for baggage, seat selection, and other services. These fees can quickly add up and negate any initial savings. 

Before booking with a budget airline, be sure to read the fine print and compare the total cost with other airlines. To offset the potentially unexpected expenses of budget airlines, consider looking for promotions online. You’ll find Ryanair coupons, Easyjet promo codes, and Wizz Air discounts fairly easily via a Google search. Whilst they won’t save you heaps, you might be able claw back a little spending money – and hey, that first holiday cerveza will taste all the better knowing you’ve earned it.

Secret #4: Consider alternative airports

Though budget airlines may not always offer the cheapest full package, using alternative, budget airports may well reduce the cost of your trip. When searching for flights, consider flying into or out of nearby airports. In many cases, smaller or less popular airports offer lower fares due to decreased demand. 

New York’s Newark, for instance, often tends to receive more affordable flights than its main airport than JFK, whilst Don Mueang in Bangkok is generally a little easier on the wallet than Suvarnabhumi.

Of course, these secondary airports do tend to be a little further from the centre and may require additional transportation to reach your final destination – which needs to be taken into account when considering money-saved – but it can lead to substantial savings when done right.

Secret #5: Join airline loyalty programs and sign up for credit card rewards

Airline loyalty programs and credit card rewards can provide opportunities to earn points or miles that can be redeemed for discounted or free flights. Research various programs to find the best fit based on personal travel preferences and spending habits.

You’ll also find airport loyalty programs – consider signing up to your most frequently used airport.

Myth #5: Loyalty programs are always worth it

Yep, we realise this rather contradicts our previous paragraph, but do you really think an international corporation wants to give you a genuinely good deal? While loyalty programs can offer perks such as free checked bags and priority boarding, they may not always be worth the effort. 

Often, travellers must fly frequently with the same airline to accrue enough points for significant rewards. Additionally, loyalty program members may be subject to blackout dates and limited availability. Before committing to a loyalty program, weigh the potential benefits against the effort and cost of achieving them.

Secret #6: Follow airlines and travel companies on social media

Airlines and travel companies often announce special promotions and flash sales on their social media channels. Following these accounts can help travellers stay informed about the latest deals and act quickly when an opportunity arises.

Myth #6: Booking flights on a Tuesday evening yields the cheapest flights

Contrary to popular belief, there is no magical day of the week to book flights for the lowest fares. While many people believe that Tuesday nights offer the best deals, this is simply not true. Flight prices can fluctuate throughout the week, so it’s crucial to stay vigilant and monitor prices regularly.

While many people believe that booking flights on certain days of the week can result in cheaper fares, there is no evidence to support this claim. However, it is true that booking flights several weeks in advance can often result in lower prices.

Secret #7: Don’t be afraid to negotiate

While it may seem unconventional, travellers should not hesitate to contact airlines directly and ask for discounts or upgrades. In some cases, airlines may be willing to accommodate requests, especially if flights are not fully booked. 

Similarly, it’s also worth being bold enough to request an upgrade to business or first class, in a polite, respectful manner, of course. Don’t ask, don’t get, hey?

Myth #7: The longer the layover, the cheaper the flight

While layovers can sometimes lead to cheaper fares, they also increase the risk of delays and cancellations. Booking non-stop flights can help you avoid these potential disruptions, often resulting in a more comfortable flight experience, and save you money in the long run. After all, when you’ve got 12 hours to kill in Singapore Changi Airport, what else are you going to do but spend?

Secret #8: Positioning flights

If you’re planning an international trip, consider using positioning flights to save on airfare. This strategy involves booking a separate, cheaper flight to a major airport with more affordable international connections. Just be sure to allow enough time between flights to account for any potential delays.

Myth #8: Booking round-trip tickets is always cheaper

While round-trip tickets can sometimes offer cost savings, it is not a hard and fast rule. In some cases, booking two one-way tickets with different airlines can result in significant savings. Always compare the total cost of round-trip and one-way tickets before making a decision.

The Bottom Line

Finding affordable flights in 2024 requires research, flexibility, and a willingness to occasionally inconvenience yourself. But rest assured; there are still savings to be made. Bon Voyage! 

Hang on, you haven’t actually bought your ticket yet…

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