Speaker 1: I finally sat down to book flights for my vacation and couldn't find anything in my budget. I know I'm not alone. So today I'm going to show you how to find cheap flights. Why are airline tickets so expensive right now to find out I spoke to Brian Kelly, AKA the points guy for the best tips and tricks on all the best travel deals
Speaker 2: I've seen last minute ticket pricing for domestic flights, uh, [00:00:30] recently Seattle to New York, $3,000. One way. I've never seen anything like it. And as long as they're people willing to pay, the airlines are gonna continue putting that pressure on prices to increase.
Speaker 1: Americans are grappling with 40 year high inflation rates not seen since the 1980s and airline tickets are no exception. The consumer price index for airline tickets rose by 25% since 2021 in April alone, ticket prices jumped nearly [00:01:00] 19%. On top of that flight schedules are being reduced as carriers work to address staff shortages and other lingering effects from the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaker 2: The system is at a near breaking point that some would say that it's breaking every week with thousands of cancellations and delays. Yet people still want to travel. So as long as that demand is still strong, we're gonna see a system on the brink and Skyhigh prices.
Speaker 1: The combination of short staffing, high gas prices [00:01:30] and higher inflation rates have resourced strapped airlines, raising ticket prices as they try to get more planes in the air. But despite the rise in prices, a recent bank of America Institute survey showed spending at airlines and travel agencies is up 60% since 2021. I'm gonna show you how airlines price tickets, the best days to travel apps. You can use to find the best deals and other tips and tricks to find the most affordable airfare chapters are included. So feel free to skip around [00:02:00] the price of a basic airline ticket consists of three things. Base fair taxes and airport fees and fuel surcharge. There's also service fees, food seat, selection, and baggage. But these are usually optional charges. Airlines first determine the type of plane they will use for a flight. And this tells them how many seats are in each travel class.
Speaker 1: First business premium economy or economy. Each travel class has different rules, restrictions, and of course, price tiers, [00:02:30] fair prices change to deceit availability and demand. The cheaper booking classes might be sold out months before the flight leaving only seats available in the more expensive sections of the plane airlines like any business, try to maximize their profits. You might see prices fall closer to the departure date or even well ahead of it, but only when seats and cheaper travel classes haven't been fully sold out yet. If there are still empty seats, closer to the flight date, airlines will try to cover their cost for the flight by raising ticket [00:03:00] prices higher than their normal rate ticket prices also depend on airline competition. If there are more airlines flying to a particular destination prices will be significantly cheaper. Likewise, if there are fewer airlines flying to that location, fairs will be higher.
Speaker 1: You're also contending with passenger competition. If you're one of many who want to fly to a popular destination, you're up against similar passengers, hunting for the best ticket price. As a general rule of thumb. The [00:03:30] earlier you book, the better chance you have to check off all your boxes for an ideal travel itinerary, but there are a few more tips beyond just planning in advance to gain the system. Even more, two key things you need to find good travel deals, flexibility and speed. Keep that in mind. As we go through other tips and tricks to help you find the best deals on airfare, generally flying out on a Monday, Friday or Sunday means paying more for your ticket. These are the most popular days, business travelers, families, or [00:04:00] weekenders depart or return from their trip. The cheapest days to depart if you're flying within the us are midweek generally Tuesday or Wednesday for economy tickets Tuesdays are about 24% lower than peak prices on Sundays, which translates to savings of about $85 per ticket. Saturdays and Mondays are the next cheapest days to fly after midweek flights. The average airfare is about 13 to 15% lower on these days. That means if you move your trip just one [00:04:30] day forward, or one day back from Sunday, you can usually save about $50 per ticket. And if you're okay with less convenient departure and arrival times you'll have a better chance of paying less. Most people prefer to leave at 9:00 AM instead of 5:00 AM and return before 8:00 PM, not 11:00 PM.
Speaker 1: Despite claims of a magical window to book your flight. There is no single day of the week or time of day that's best to purchase airline tickets. You can find deals any day of the week. Since flight prices fluctuate with [00:05:00] demand. Airlines might offer sales, increase the number of seats on route or even lower prices to magic competitor. So there's no real pattern on what day of the week has the best deals instead of checking flight prices every day, let a computer program do the work for you. Set a price alert on the travel search engine of your choice like Google flights, hopper sky center, or kayak. And they'll send you an email when they see the price drop.
Speaker 2: Hopper is really great at telling you whether the airfares to a certain destination [00:05:30] are good based on historical price data. Uh, Google flights also has a, you know, average, low or high indicator
Speaker 1: Online sites like Expedia and kayak will show you the cheapest booking class available that matches all of your criteria. Use third party sites to find the best flights, but experts recommend booking directly with the airline.
Speaker 2: Always book direct, especially because when, uh, flight gets canceled, a lot of times, those middle men won't tell you. So, so many people are showing up to the airport [00:06:00] with canceled flights because they never got the message from their travel agency
Speaker 1: For domestic flights within the us airlines, usually price one way flights at exactly half the cost of a round trip. There are exceptions, especially for those that fly out of smaller regional airports, as opposed to travel hubs like JFK or lax,
Speaker 2: When possible book one way tickets, it gives you a lot more flexibility. If you cancel your outbound flight on a round trip ticket, the return will automatically be canceled and domestically most one [00:06:30] ways of the same price as round trip. So there's really no good reason to book round trips,
Speaker 1: Mixing and matching. One way. Flights also allows you to choose a variety of payment methods, including points, rewards, or frequent flyer miles use the points and miles you've earned by traveling or from having a trustee travel rewards credit card in your wallet, frequent fire miles. Don't get you as far as they used to and are actually losing value. The longer you hang onto them. For instance, before the pandemic, you might have been able to buy a ticket to Europe with 100,000 [00:07:00] miles today that might be 400,000 miles
Speaker 2: Airlines east days, just like with paid tickets, they're increasing the price. They're doing the same with frequent flyer miles. The good news is the bonuses on those cards are as big as ever. So you can earn more points than ever, but we are seeing devaluation in those currencies. So the number one tip for using miles is to use them. Now they lose value over time. So if you've gotta stash of those frequent flyer, miles use them.
Speaker 1: The us now has six [00:07:30] low cost carriers, spirit airlines, frontier airlines, sun country airlines, Allegiant air breeze, airways, and Ave airlines. It's important to note that these will be no frills flights. You'll have to pay more for extras like carryon bags, but if you can fly with a small amount of luggage and sacrificed luxury for a few hours, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars.
Speaker 2: The good thing about the budget carriers is people generally are price sensitive. So you can pay $20 and get the best seat on the plane. Up until departure. [00:08:00] Try doing that on a Delta flight where every single person is an elite traveler and there are only middle seats left. So as much as I do love business class and the full, you know, premium carriers, especially for short flights, flying a budget carrier, if it can get you there at the right times at the right price, absolutely.
Speaker 1: Another tip independent travel insurance offers stronger protections than what airlines offer.
Speaker 2: If you're looking to get travel, insurance never buy it directly from an airline, the product that they offer, you isn't even usually called insurance. [00:08:30] It's travel protection, and it's very weak for the same price or less. You can get better coverage. So really shop and look for the policies. That'll cover everything that you might need it to
Speaker 1: Domestic travel within the us is extremely popular right now. So if you're looking to save money, consider an international trip instead, bottom line, if you find a good deal, book it immediately because with limited supply and increased demand, chances are, and won't be available for long.
Speaker 2: Almost all. Airlines will give you 24 hours [00:09:00] to get a full refund. So when you see a really cheap, fair book, it, and then take off from work. If you wait and try to do the taking off from work thing first, by the time you go back and book, it'll likely be gone, you gotta move quick time is of the essence.