5 Ways You Could Fly For Less
by Traveleads | January 22, 2019 | In The Air Latest News
This week we bring you five simple tips to help you save money and get more out of your international air travel:
Many travellers still believe that waiting until last minute means cheap, cheaper, cheapest! Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that with scheduled airlines. In fact the earlier you book the bigger the discount, and the lower the fare. Airlines tier their seat prices and only release a number of seats in each tier. For example an airline may release nine economy seats at £350, when these nine seats have sold the next tier of nine seats becomes available, only this tier is more expensive. As each tier sells out the cost increases, until only the last few seats remain (in the highest tier). Often the difference between the lowest priced economy seat and the highest priced economy seat can be several hundred pounds – the saying ‘you snooze you lose’ pretty much sums up why you should book in advance when it comes to airfares.
Make your reservations through a reputable travel management company (TMC). When you go online to book your own flight via an airline’s website you represent a single booking with a single value. A successful travel management company represents thousands of transactions and millions of pounds worth of revenue, that gives the TMC serious buying power and enables them to negotiate net fares, discounted rates and additional savings they can pass on to their clients – you won’t find any of these on the internet. A good TMC will have access to the full range of tiered fares mentioned above and will make sure you are taking advantage of the lowest available fares.
So just how far in advance should I book? If you are flying with a scheduled carrier seats will go on-sale 11 months prior to departure. We know that when it comes to business plans can change, last minute meetings crop up and it’s not always possible to book so far in advance, but there are still ways to bag a bargain. Many cities are served by more than one airport. London has Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. New York is also served by 3 international airports. If you are travelling to a city with multiple airports be sure to check fares to all of them as often the prices can vary greatly, especially for last minute trips.
Seats on sale! Whilst airlines make no secret of the fact their airfares are based on a dynamic pricing system controlled by supply and demand, they do from time to time announce seat sales. Early January is usually a good time to pick up a great long-haul fare as airlines compete for business following the holidays. September is often an ‘on sale’ month too after the peak travel dates of the summer, Even if you don’t have any business meetings planned, take advantage of these sales to pick up low fares for your personal travel.
Enrol in frequent flyer programmes. You don’t have to be Phileas Fogg or travel around the world in 80 days for your rewards to start building up, even just a few flights per year will help you accumulate enough miles over time to obtain upgrades and discounts. With airlines such as British Airways now accepting Airmiles as on-board currency you can even put them towards the cost of on-board shopping and duty free items. It costs you nothing to enrol so you have nothing to lose. If you make your bookings through a good TMC they will make sure your membership details are included in every reservation, as well as enrolling you for any business memberships offered, meaning both you and your company can collect rewards. Still need an incentive to join up? …when airlines decide who to upgrade in the event of oversold flights, they offer their empty premium seats to membership card holders first!