Scheduled airlines offer comfortable seats!!! (usually lots of leg room), flexibility, airmiles, good after-sale service (in case of strike, flight cancellation, etc.), decent on-time arrival and departure record, and a good price if you know when and where to buy! And if you don’t like their service, write and complain and they will throw in some extras! Just follow these suggestions:
- Buy tickets early. If you plan on traveling in spring or summer, start looking for tickets in January. This is when most of the airlines start advertising their spring and summer specials. Usually the earlier you buy the better deal you get! In January tickets sell low, low, low!!! It’s not true that the longer you wait the better deal you get!!! This only applies to routes with lots of empty seats (ie. Alaska in January or Florida in July).
- If you missed the airline deal-time, try consolidators. As the last source, try charter companies.
- 3. Avoid traveling during the peak-periods (July-August, X-mass, New Years, Easter)!!! You will pay more and enjoy it less!!! Click here for some suggestions on traveling periods.
- If you’re planning on visiting 2 or 3 cities, consider a stop-over (stop in one of your destination cities for more than 24 hours) or at least an open-jaw ticket (fly into one city and departure from another). Often you will pay the same price or just a bit more but you will save on time and sometimes expensive connections in Europe!
For example: if you want to visit London and Paris
- fly with BA – make a stop-over in London then continue to Paris
- fly with AF – make a stop-over in Paris then continue to London
- fly to London and leave from Paris, travel from London to Paris on Eurotunnel train
- Consider traveling to a city with the best deal available, and then make a connection in Europe (but check the availability of connections first!!!). Similarly, look for a best deals from all the cities close to your home. But remember: it’s only worth it if you save $150/person or more.
Example: Geneva is offered for $399 but you want to go to Nice (offered at $699)
- fly to Geneva for $399, make even a one-night stop-over there!
- take a connecting flight with eg. easyjet (check availability and prices first!) for often less than $100 return
- you will loose few hours on a connecting flight but you sill save $200/person and see Geneva.
6. It seems that every two years the tickets are cheaper (not this year!).