And if you didn’t find it, did you try all your options?
Let’s look at the ways that you can get cheap airfares.
Low Cost Airlines
The first and most obvious solution. Check all the usual suspects (Flybe, Ryanair, BMI, easyJet, and so on) which will mostly be offering cheap flights related to European and European holiday destinations. Travel to and from the United States with a low cost airline is more difficult. They arrange things differently there, but still take a look on the internet – there are one or two advertisers in this area.
We first came across this on a cross channel ferry (the English Channel that is). We were told by our ferry company that they had adopted “airline pricing”, which means that the later you book, the more you pay. This is done by allocating all the seats to several different price bands. The lowest priced places are offered first, and then the next lowest and so on. So its usually best to book early, especially on the low cost airlines. If you’re booking late then fly at a time that’s inconvenient for most people.
Just because you can operate the Internet efficiently, it doesn’t make you an expert on cheap airfare rates. By all means look around first but then check with an independent travel agent or expert. They often have cheap seats on charter flights which have been mostly (but not completely) filled by the charter’s main customer. We got 50% off on a flight to Madeira when we doubted our competence as travel experts!
Travel Agents discounts and internet advice; “how to guides”
In some countries special cheap airfare rates are available to people in the trade. There are ways of getting a travel agent’s card which are available at low cost on the internet as “how to” guides. Such schemes are worth a look, especially in the US. Similar offers are often found relating to specific destinations, such as Disneyworld. The challenge is to find them in the first place.
Air Travel Consolidators
This is the posh word for “bucket shops” a semi derisory term that seems to have lost its currency.
All are people who provide the service of getting cheap airfare rates, but they have different ways of doing it. Sometimes they simply provide advice and help with your booking. Sometimes they have bought seats which they are confident of reselling.In this case by their purchasing power, or by accepting reduced margins for themselves they can get you a bargain flight. Sometimes (especially true of destination specialists who have an interest in a particular places or countries) they cross sell hotel accommodation, tickets to attractions and events, and so on. Even if you can’t find one of these air travel consolidators, maybe your travel agent already has!
Good luck with your search – remember to use the real world as well as the internet.
Bon voyage! Bon prix!