There are certain purchases in our lives that always seem to be nerve-racking. Buying a home, buying a car, and how about pressing that button to officially purchase an airline ticket. While you are truly excited about that skiing trip in Vail or your next worldwide adventure starting in Amsterdam, you might just be concerned about whether or not you got ripped off on the airfare. Sometimes, it may feel like the airfare websites are tracking your IP address just jacking up the prices until they squeeze you in or out of buying that ticket. So, here’s the insider’s guide to five things you should know before you purchase that next ticket.
1. Non-Stop Is Cheaper Than A Connector Flight – Actually, here’s an interesting tip. Sometimes, booking two one-way flights might be cheaper than booking the round trip, and that is where I recommend you start the search. What airlines care about most is that their flights are full. Look at the pricing of those two one-ways vs. the round trip. If you are going to book round trips, you’ll find that, in most cases, your non-stop flights will be cheaper than your connector flights. Whether your trip is from Atlanta to San Francisco, or even to an international destination, non-stop flights are usually the cheaper option.
2. Book Flights On The Weekends – Many moons ago, airlines would look at their ticket sales over the weekend and then determine on Monday morning what their pricing would be for the week. Therefore, Tuesdays are the best day for purchasing airline tickets. Now, because of the proliferation of online booking sites, Sunday turns out to be the best day to book a flight where average fares are 36% lower, followed by Saturday where flights are 20% lower. Thursdays are now officially the worst day to book a flight closely followed by Friday.
3. Fuel Is In Your Favor – When it comes to jet fuel prices and airfares, many flyers think that as fuel prices drop, airlines pay less for fuel – meaning that the price of airfare should drop, too. That is logical, but airline ticket pricing models are actually much more complex.
“There are a lot of variables in there,” Alan Bender, aviation economist and professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University told TPG, noting that competition and capacity on certain routes are also two big determinants of airfares. But one of the most important pricing factors, he says, is whether airlines hedge on oil.
A hedge is a protective contract between an airline and fuel supplier. To guard against fuel prices unpredictably skyrocketing, airlines lock in current fuel prices by buying an insurance policy of sorts: a so-called hedge (source- pointsguy.com).
This means as fuel prices go up and down, you may not see a lot of fluctuation in the pricing of your tickets.
4. Do A Saturday Stayover – If you are wondering whether or not it is worth it to stay over for the weekend getaway, the answer is most definitely yes. On average, tickets will be 25% less for those that purchase with a Saturday stayover. Every once in a while, you’ll find a weekday deal, especially during the holidays. However, your best bet is to make sure you stay over the weekend.
5. How To Avoid Buyer’s Remorse – Do Not Pay Travel is an amazing website that will allow you to have a robot actually rebook your flight for cheaper after you book the original flight.
How it works
Flight and hotel prices change all the time. DoNotPay finds travel confirmations from past bookings in your inbox. When the price drops, our robot lawyer will find a legal loophole to negotiate a cheaper price or rebook you.
Completely Free and Secure
There are no fees to use their public service and you keep 100% of what you save. Your data is encrypted. DoNotPay seeks confirmation from you before proceeding with any rebooking.
If your flight is delayed, the airline loses your luggage, or you are unhappy, DoNotPay will fight for you. They have claimed millions without charging a cent.
No Effort Required
Set it up in 30 seconds and you are protected forever. Make money while you sleep.
Do you have an airfare booking tip you would like to share?
Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.
Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation.