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Best airfare tips?

  1. Oct 31, 2013 #1
    So I want to fly home for Christmas this year from California to NY, and I'm not sure how best to not get ripped off on a ticket.

    Is it generally a good idea to book in advance, like now, or try to wait until the last second? What days of the week are best to fly on? Are there any websites that are especially good for booking tickets on?

    I don't have any experience flying or booking flights, so hopefully some of you do and can share anything you've learned. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2013 #2
    Saw on the news the other day that this holiday season is supposed to be expensive for flying--airlines are cutting down on the number of flights so that they can book more full planes.

    There's really not a whole lot of special things you can do if you aren't on the inside of the industry. You might save a little bit flying at weird times and accepting long layovers. Cheapest days are usually Wed IIRC. Definitely book 4-8 weeks out (the 6 week rule is only a rule of thumb, not a guarantee).

    There may be last minute deals, but it is risky, and I don't even know if they really exist anymore. Best website are aggregate sites like Kayak or the airline sites themselves. You can shop for hours, but you won't find huge differences than what you get with an initial hit on Kayak. Sometimes you may save a little bit if you go directly to the airline's website to purchase rather than a 3rd party website like orbitz, priceline, etc. Sign up for daily alerts as well from websites that will notify you immediately of price changes for desired flights. Sometimes you can catch a price drop instantaneously.

    Websites like Kayak don't have prices for airlines like Southwest or Ryan though, so definitely shop around at airlines directly.
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