Frequently asked questions
Where will I find the best price for airline tickets?
Finding the cheapest option for plane tickets is possible through OTAs and directly from airlines. Prices depend on what you’re looking for in terms of time and date preference and accommodations. If you have specific days and times you need travel, low-fare calendars may not work since they require flexibility.
Comparing airline prices to third parties can give you a more rounded view of prices for the dates and destinations you are traveling. Setting alerts through websites for destinations and prices is also a good place to start if you’re beginning to look around.
What is an OTA?
An OTA is an online travel agency where flights can sometimes be lower than airlines’ prices. While OTAs can save you money, drawbacks can include issues with customer service, the potential for fewer rewards or mileage points, and difficulty changing or canceling a reservation.
If the discount from an OTA isn’t substantial, it’s easier to book directly with an airline or hotel to avoid issues arising.
Additionally, some airlines like Southwest do not do bookings through third parties.
When is the best time to travel for the lowest prices?
Summer and the holidays are notoriously expensive times to travel in the U.S. Off-season travel means fewer crowds and cheaper prices.
The cheapest times to fly are in the fall, spring, and January when holiday travel slows down. Booking in well in advance is only sometimes cheaper, but booking too close to departure dates will often result in the most expensive prices.
Low fare calendars from airlines are a good way to find lower-priced flights, especially during off-seasons.
What is a mistake airfare?
A mistake in airfare is when an airline prices flights incorrectly, but meta-search engines or OTAs have already listed the airline. Unfortunately, mistake fares do not guarantee your flight plan, as airlines are not obligated to honor the deal and you may receive a cancellation email shortly after booking.
Websites that offer mistake fares recommend waiting a few weeks before getting accommodations, as cancellations can happen. You will be refunded and if you book directly through an airline, you could possibly get a voucher for flying in the future.