Dbacks making their way to Australia. Hope they got a great group rate!!
Dbacks making their way to Australia. Hope they got a great group rate!!

Air travel is always the most expensive part of my ballpark trips, but it is a “necessary evil” at times when a drive is just too long! I’m guilty of waiting until the last minute before booking a trip many times. After researching this post, that isn’t always the smartest move! Below are 10 ways to save on when booking flights, and I can certainly vouch for most of them:

1. Airlines are known to cut prices when they can’t fill planes for an upcoming weekend trip. On Tuesday, they’ll email offers for the coming weekend or follow one to fliers who signed up for alerts. Travelers can leave Friday night or anytime Saturday, then return on Monday or Tuesday. (BusinessInsider.com)

2. The best day to shop for airfare is Tuesday, at about 3 p.m. eastern time. Airfare sales typically launch late Monday or early Tuesday and to remain competitive, rival carriers will match the lower prices, a process usually completed by 3 p.m. Tuesday. Shop then for the biggest selection of the best prices. (FareCompare.com)

3. Don’t forget the discounters! As their nickname suggests, discount airlines can save you a bundle, but they’re not always easy to find. Luckily for consumers, discounters are cropping up more frequently on aggregators and booking sites (Kayak now offers fares for JetBlue, Spirit, and AirTran, for example) — but there are still a few holdouts, such as Southwest and Allegiant Air, whose fares can’t be found anywhere but their own Web sites. (IndependentTraveler.com)

4. Knowing when to buy your flights can be the best tip for saving some serious cash on your next trip. CheapAir did a study in 2012 and found that for domestic flights 49 days (about 7 weeks in advance) was, on average, the optimal time to buy plane tickets. (CheapAir.com)

5. Mainstream fare aggregators like Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity will almost never save you money when compared with buying directly through an airline.  Even “name your own price” sites like Hotwire and Priceline have disadvantages. Thankfully, alternatives to these aggregators exists. One of them in particular, SkyScanner , is the most comprehensive cheap flight search engine out there. (LeaveYourDailyHell.com)

6. Again it’s all about timing! Mid-week flights tend to have the cheapest airfares and tickets on less popular early morning/late night flights will often cost you less. (TravelChimps.com)

7. Check Twitter and Facebook. Airlines have been experimenting with blasting fares via social media, especially Jet Blue, reports the AP. But you have to be fast: Some deals can be gone within hours. “If you find something, jump on it,” says John DiScala, who travels frequently and writes about it at JohnnyJet.com. Some airlines announce special sales to Facebook fans as well. (BusinessInsider.com)

8. Sometimes you have airport choices, and some can be cheaper than others. Big hubs are usually cheaper than smaller airports but not always, and when you have a choice in airports- compare prices. For example, Southern California flyers can choose between LAX, Burbank, Orange Co. in Santa Ana and Long Beach, any one of which can be cheapest depending on when you shop. Flyers in the nation’s capital can choose between Dulles, Reagan, and Baltimore. (FareCompare.com)

9. Break up families or groups into separate purchases. This one sounds counter-intuitive – the more people that go, the better the rate should be, right? That’s rarely true with the airlines; “group discounts” are few and far between. Because airlines will typically limit the number of seats per flight they sell at their lowest rate, sometimes you can actually price yourself right out of a good deal simply by having too many passengers. If for instance, Airline X has two seats remaining on a flight at $100 and a bunch of other seats available for $150, if you do a search for a group of 4, the price that will come back will be $150. But if you search for two seats at a time you can buy two for $100 and only have to pay the extra $50 for the second two. How do you know when to do this? Always search first for your whole group at once to make sure that the flight has enough seats to accommodate everyone. Then try the same search for a smaller group. If the price comes out lower for the smaller group, buy the seats for the smaller group, and then do a subsequent search for the rest of your party. It can be a lot of work but, hey, if it saves money… (CheapAir.com)

10. Use the fare prediction tools at Bing Travel and FareCompare to see if you should buy now or wait later for a specific itinerary, based on historical data. (BudgetTravel.com)

**Make sure you click on some of the websites and check out their complete posts… great tips on scoring cheap airfare! 

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