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When vacation time approaches, people start frantically looking for vacation options. And what could be better than traveling to a new or beloved country?
It remains only to purchase tickets for the required dates, and do it as cheaply as possible. And here it may turn out that there are not so many options, or the carriers are asking for their services some absolutely unreasonable sums.
But this does not bother experienced travelers, because the purchase of air tickets for them becomes a real hunt. Knowing some secrets, you can book seats on the plane for the dates you need, and besides, at a very favorable price.
Use search engines. The easiest way to search for cheap flights is using aggregator sites. They automatically compare ticket prices in the desired direction by polling other services. It is difficult for a person to consider the dozens of options that can be offered by agencies and airlines, and to choose the best offer in terms of time and price. Unfortunately, many people simply type in the search engine the phrase "cheap plane tickets" or just go to the ticket office. With this approach, there is no chance of finding the really best tickets. Among the best aggregators are services such as Aviasales, Scyscanner and Buruki. We can say with confidence that their use guarantees the desired result by 80-90%. But to achieve it, you need to use their capabilities 100%. The functionality of such services is so extensive that even experienced travelers do not fully know it. Having decided to purchase tickets, it is better to check the price in these three aggregators for reliability. This will greatly increase the chances of getting the cheapest tickets. The price difference between different agencies can reach 2-7%.
Use advanced non-specific search. Such interesting functionality is offered by the search service Scyscanner. Some travelers do not have clear plans for where they want to go, but they want to do it cheaper or just expect to meet a predetermined budget. Advanced search can move away from specific airports and fixed dates in favor of undefined options. So, in the "From" field, you can specify not a specific city, but an entire country. It would be useful to check the box “Add airports nearby”. But in the field "Where" you can write nothing at all. Then the system will focus on finding the cheapest options in all countries. In the field of the date of departure and return, you can set any whole month or even the whole year. So much more likely to find the cheapest option.
Take advantage of the low prices calendar. The Aviasales resource offers interesting and popular functionality. You can open the calendar in which you can find the dates with the best prices. There you can mark specific days, or you can search for options for several months at once, or set the duration of the planned trip. In the column of departure and destination, you can also specify not only a separate city, but also an entire country. A flexible filter system will help remove unnecessary options. The calendar allows you to compare specific departure dates with each other, and in some directions it also shows interesting events that will occur there at one time or another. Some travelers do not even suspect that they have the opportunity to be a guest at some original holiday.
Price reduction subscription. This is also a very useful feature offered by the Aviasales service. Trying to catch a sale can spend a lot of time on sites constantly updating the pricing page. But this is not necessary if you just subscribe to price cut notifications. And the mailbox will regularly receive letters with the most tempting offers.
Download the mobile app. Today the main services are trying to acquire mobile applications. This allows the user to access the services of the search engine anywhere and anytime. Aviasales offers a mobile application for Android and iOS platforms. Statistics confirm the success of such a solution - every second user searches for tickets and purchases them using a mobile application. And every eighth iPhone in our country has such a program.
Create a difficult route. A similar option is available from Buruki and Aviasales. Why not plan your trip not directly, but with a visit to some other cities along the way? You can set multiple segments and time intervals for them. Tickets with connecting more than a day (stopover) will allow you to get to know the new city. You can fly to Barcelona directly from Moscow, or you can visit Paris on the way back. It is possible to set a plug in which the departure airport will be different than the arrival place. Arriving in Barcelona, you can try to go home from Madrid. The benefit of such forks and multiple routes is that they can be cheaper than direct flights.
Discounts for holidays. Buruki service offers to try to fly somewhere cheaper on holidays. It remains to choose only the city and on which holiday the trip is planned. The system will automatically select the best options for these days. You can also sort the results by direction. Many people want to spend the New Year away from home, so why not use a dedicated service assistant?
Use a low price card. It is no secret that graphical presentation of information is more visual than textual. Aviasales offers not only to find tickets according to the specified parameters: date (months, weekends or seasons), visa options, time of stay, cost, but also displays all the options found in the form of a map. On it you can clearly see how much tickets cost to which country. It is so easy to find a really profitable option - a flight to a more distant country may be cheaper.
Follow the promotions on tickets. Sometimes travelers, wanting to purchase the cheapest tickets, subscribe to the mailings of all airlines and agencies. But this will only lead to the fact that the mailbox will be filled with spam, which will not have time to sort out. And all these pseudo-actions will discourage the desire to be interested in such offers in the foreseeable future. Those "promotions" and "interesting offers" from airlines often turn out to be a banal marketing ploy designed to attract the user's attention and motivate him to purchase tickets. Sifting out the true grains from the chaff is hard and thankless work. In itself, hunting for discounts is the right thing to do, but you need to know the market well in order to clearly understand the difference between the promotional price and the real one. It is better to follow the promotions on specialized travel resources, social networks and communities. Really valuable information gets there, which may not get into mass mailings.
Wait for the right moment. In fact, the minimum prices for air tickets fall on certain days, they do not hold all year round. So if you have an opportunity to fly in the right direction with a discount, then you should use it. As soon as news came from aggregators about a sale, or a really attractive option came across, then you should not hesitate, but buy tickets right away. There are some time slots when tickets are actually the cheapest to buy. This can be done a year before the trip, 2-3 months before departure, or a few days. There are no hard boundaries here, but we can talk about an established trend. True, it is still risky to expect to buy the coveted tickets at the last moment.
Purchase tickets departing from a neighboring city. You shouldn't get stuck and check tickets from your city over and over again with manic persistence. Residents of St. Petersburg should also monitor ticket prices from Moscow or Helsinki, while residents of Perm or Chelyabinsk can check options with a flight from Yekaterinburg. It turns out that there may be very interesting proposals that allow you to save more than one thousand rubles. If you come across the news of a profitable flight to Europe from Yekaterinburg, this does not mean that the same option will be offered to residents of the entire district. Cheap tickets should be booked as soon as possible while there is a chance. And the residents of Moscow should not relax. It is no secret that the overwhelming majority of shares are held in the capital of Russia. But there is a small percentage of proposals that apply to other cities. It is worth checking the departure options at least from St. Petersburg.
Use the capabilities of low-cost airlines. We can talk for a long time about the place of low-cost airlines in the modern air transportation market. In Europe, there are several budget companies operating at once, offering flights at ridiculous prices. While there are no offers directly for Russia, why not fly from the nearest cities in Europe? From Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Kaunas, Helsinki and Tampere for a few tens of euros, you can fly to almost any point in Europe. And a flight to Morocco, Israel, the Canary Islands and the Azores will also be significantly more profitable. Some discounter companies still reach Russia. Wizz Air can deliver from Moscow to Budapest, and EasyJet will allow you to be in London. From there, you can go to other cities of the continent just as cheaply. With a variety of cheap options, it's okay to come up with challenging routes for your travels. Having traveled to Milan for a week, you may find that there is a cheap flight to Barcelona from there. With her low-cost airline, you can go to Malta and from there back home. From such pieces, you can make yourself a rich and inexpensive trip. With the help of low-cost airlines, it becomes both simple and interesting. It's just worth getting ready to travel light. Most of these companies offer to pay for baggage separately. And it may turn out that cheap tickets will end up costing a lot more due to expensive bag fees. But traveling light will be a real adventure.
Fly by company. Some air carriers are ready to make discounts for their passengers traveling with a company and making reservations for several tickets at once. Low-cost airline EasyJet reduces the price for each ticket by 7-10 euros if more than two or three tickets are purchased at once. Wizz Air offers the Wizz Discount Club loyalty program. Membership costs 30 euros for two and 50 euros for a company of up to five people. This allows you to purchase tickets at least 10 euros cheaper throughout the year. That is, membership in the club pays off immediately through the first flight. Friends can be found imaginary, which will also form a discount. But this will be discussed below.
Invented baby. A made-up friend will help you get a significant discount on air tickets. It is best if this travel companion turns out to be an infant. The secret lies in the fact that a child under two years old does not have to pay for a ticket. If you add a baby when looking for a ticket as a passenger, a discount may appear, and sometimes a significant one. But this trick doesn't always work - a lot depends on the ticket selling agent, the airline and the search engine. And urgently looking for a baby for a trip is not at all necessary. When checking in for a flight, you can always indicate a valid reason why the child stayed at home. After all, he could, after all, get sick?
Come up with a fake zigzag. Airlines usually make money on direct flights. This is logical - everyone loves to travel as quickly as possible and without tedious transfers. But you can think of a workaround, forcing the airlines to give cheaper tickets. To do this, you need to pretend by telling the search engines that the ultimate goal of the trip is not at all what it really is. If you have plans to go, for example, to Tallinn, you can try to get a ticket to Oslo through the capital of Estonia. And here it may turn out that a ticket with a change in the hub will be cheaper than a direct ticket to Tallinn. The only thing left to do is, once at this "intermediate" point, pick up your luggage and forget about unnecessary Oslo. And so you can save up to a third of the cost of a direct ticket. To find such cheap alternatives, you need to know well: which airlines fly to the desired city, for which of them the airport is the main one, in which directions these companies fly at minimal fares. So you can pick up a fictitious destination. This knowledge will allow you to plan detour routes, which will be fun. What could be nicer than cheating the system? Even an inexperienced traveler can quickly navigate a given issue using search engines. But the luggage should be checked not to the final destination, but to the intermediate one. There can be several justification options. For example, the bag contains a gift to be handed over at the docking point. It is worth knowing that skipping a segment in the flight will automatically cancel the ticket. This can be very inappropriate if the ticket is purchased in both directions. Back on it will not be able to go home. So, having decided to save money using this method, it is better to purchase a separate return ticket.
Use complex routes. Sometimes you can get cheap tickets if you add an extra segment to your route. And it's up to you whether to fly this route to the end or not. For example, Ethihad once offered a very interesting option for a flight Moscow-Asia-Yekaterinburg. But the return route ran through Moscow and it was not at all necessary to fly to the final point. The savings compared to the flight from Moscow amounted to 5 thousand rubles. Similar incidents occur on multi-part routes with several airlines at once. Sometimes the price calculation system fails. The bonus of this option is that on such a route you can not only save money, but also visit a couple of cities. But finding such system failures and loopholes is quite difficult. You can follow them on the forums of travelers or by building a complex route on search engines, including several cities at once.
Track errors in tariffs. From the above it is already clear that the price formation system is imperfect and sometimes malfunctions. Most often this happens when drawing up complex routes, but sometimes it also happens in simple situations. For the traveler, there is a simple rule: as soon as unrealistically cheap tickets appear, you have to buy them right there! No need to call your family and ask their advice. If everything really works out, then they will only approve of the initiative. You shouldn't even call an airline or agency asking to clarify the price and explain why it is so low. While no one knows about the error, it is available for use. If sellers notice a loophole, they will immediately close it. True, you should be prepared that the airline will eventually cancel the ticket sold at the wrong rate. But in this case, the money will simply come back - there is no risk. In the best case, the tickets will be confirmed and it will be possible to make a very profitable trip.
Use vouchers and receive tickets for free. Some search engines offer vouchers to their new customers. An example of this is the Bravofriends program from Bravoavia, completed in October 2015. Then, in just a minute of registration on the ticket booking service, it was possible to receive a voucher for 20 euros. With this coupon, you could get a discount when ordering tickets on a native service. Of course, no one would work at a loss.Bravoavia takes a commission for paying for tickets with a bank card and it is just 20 euros. But a voucher makes sense if you use it skillfully. You must first find tickets that are cheaper than this discount. Such options are rare, but occurring. You can search at least in Southeast Asia. Low-cost airlines in Europe also offer tickets cheaper than 10 euros. The specificity of using the voucher was that the commission was charged only when the voucher did not fully cover the cost of the ticket. All that remained was to find options with a denomination cheaper than a discount, or generally take round-trip tickets cheaper than 10 euros, or take them one way, but for two. Of course, it is very difficult to find tickets for less than 10 euros. And search engines are trying to exclude such options from their search. But often you can find tickets with a face value of 15-30 euros. But they can also be covered with a voucher, you just have to find a larger denomination. You can save up for it by inviting you to register on the service of friends and getting points for this. Having done such an operation and spending a little time, you can get the opportunity to travel for free. These vouchers work and people really travel for pennies. All that remains is to find services offering similar options and use the offer wisely.