About cheap airline tickets / How to find the best deals and promotions
I love to fly, to travel, to explore. It's been 10 years since I started discovering the world. And it is about 8 years since I founded the specialized site AirlinesTravel.ro. On this occasion I entered the world of tourism and started hunting offers at airline tickets and tour packages.
Coincidence (or maybe not) for about 10 years ago I started freelancer life. It was a beautiful time, with a lot of work, but also with a lot of freedom. For about 2 years, I returned to the people with 8 hours, with office, bosses, but that didn't restrict my freedom to travel. You will understand below why I brought these issues up.
By 2011-2012, I understood better what mass tourism means, individual tourism, occasional tourism. I documented myself and I understood better what the promotions in tourism, the promotions and the offers at the plane tickets mean. And obviously, I got used to selling the best prices.
Many ask me what trick I use to travel so cheaply. There is nothing illegal, there is nothing outside the trade rules, there are no tricks. It's just a lot of analysis behind these low prices and the quick click on the right offer.
About cheap airline tickets
In the 8 years of AirlinesTravel, I discovered several types of promotions and offers on airline tickets. I will try to detail them as much as I understand them and how I understand them. I am not an expert, I am not a guru and I am not a hacker of these promotions.
I recently appeared in one report by Vitalie Cojocari for ProTV, in which I boasted that I flew with 19 money to Italy, 2 people. Yes, I flew Bucharest - Turin - Lamezia Terme - Turin - Bucharest with 19 money two people and complete that it was on the segment. In total I paid 76 money (19 money / segment x 4 segments = 76 money (0.76 lei)).
There was another case when I flew for FREE, that is plane tickets at price 0, on the route Bucharest - Berlin and return. I flew with 18 euros on the route Bucharest - Milan and return. And many other flights at 5-10 euros from Bucharest to Timisoara, Iasi, Milan, Venice - Treviso, Hamburg and the list is much longer.
First of all, I want to mention that the notion of "cheap" is subjective. In my opinion, it is cheap when you allow it. For some, 5 euros can be money for a coffee, but for many it means food on 2 days. What I consider cheap may not be on the same wavelength as what you think is cheap.
How to find the best deals and promotions
And now let's talk about promotions and offers on airline tickets. In the approximately 10 years of travel, I have come to have accounts with most airlines with flights to / from Romania - low-cost and legacy / traditional. I have loyalty cards on the big air alliances: Skyteam and Star Alliance.
I made miles after my flights and so I managed to get some benefits. Most miles I have used them and use them for class upgrades or to include some ground or in-flight services. For example, most companies have removed hold luggage from light prices, so the miles help me buy hold luggage. This is the case for legacy / traditional companies.
I am a subscriber to dozens of airlines and frequently receive all kinds of promotions on airline tickets, but also on ground and in flight services. I am a subscriber to many such sites momondo.ro, kayak.com, kiwi.com, vola.ro. Each airline or site dedicated to booking airline tickets has developed tools to monitor certain routes, to receive notifications when price fluctuations exist.
I'm not going to tell you what to set and where to look, but each of you can do it according to your preferences. As I said above, this is not a trick, but a lot of leaked information and some time. It should be mentioned that airline promotions are when the companies want it, not when we want it. And for that, you need the flexibility to be able to travel even during the week. For these reasons, I brought to life the freelancer of paragraph 2.
Promotions are subject to the number of travel days. In order to take advantage of the offer you must travel at least 7 days, or at least one Saturday at the destination, or only during the week. You won't find Christmas, New Year's and Easter offers too often. And in general, there are no promotions during very busy periods over the year. How you won't find promotions too often for the weekend only.
Types of offers and promotions on air tickets
And now briefly about the types of offers identified by me among the airlines:
- The airlines are launching spontaneous fast-selling deals, and the trip must be made shortly. Places are limited, generally below 10. As a rule, such promotions see low-cost operators. They are looking to load planes at an LF of over 90%. An extra passenger on the flight can mean extra revenue for the company. Passengers consume in flight, buy various other services besides the ticket. Wizz Air and Ryanair are the best examples.
- Airlines launch themed deals: December 1 - Romania Day, February 14 - Valentine's Day, March 1-8 - Ladies' Day, on public holidays over the year. In this case, the offer is limited as a travel period (it can be done around the dates mentioned above), places are few. We have seen such offers at low-cost and legacy companies. And the best examples are TAROM, Blue Air and RYANAIR.
- Airlines launch 2-3 very big promotions in one year. It involves dozens of destinations and reductions can be in the order of tens of percent. The sale period is long, and the trip can be scheduled for a year. But places are limited. The best examples are KLM, Air France, TAROM, Turkish Airlines.
- Airlines launch bids for certain routes. There are situations when airline operators want to push to a certain destination. The best examples are British Airways and Lufthansa.
- Airlines often launch deals with a percentage reduction. The percentage reduction applies to the existing fare at the time of booking the flight ticket. There are no other regulations here. The best examples are Wizz Air and Blue Air.
- There are offers launched by airline alliances and applies only if you fly under certain conditions only with the airline operators in those alliances. Example: There was an offer from SkyTeam to get around the Earth at a very good price. You could plan your route yourself, you had to have a certain number of stops, and the prices were very good.
Other types of promotions for airlines
In addition to the above offers, there have been cases when airlines launched promotions for different services. There was a time when Blue Air offered a discount of 5 EURO / meaning to pay the ticket with the card. That's how I managed to fly with 19 money / segment 2 people. We combined a one-time promotion to a destination with the card payment promotion.
RYANAIR offered 10 EURO vouchers for those who enrolled in their myRYANAIR program. That's how I managed to fly free on the route Bucharest - Berlin. We combined the offer of 5 EURO / way with the myRYANAIR promotion.
Wizz Air offered discount vouchers for those who signed up for the Wizz Tours program (now off).
If you have subscriptions such as Wizz Discount Club or Blue Benefits, you will definitely benefit from various other one-time promotions only for members. The same goes if you are a member of Miles & More (Star Alliance), Flying Blue (SkyTeam), or other types of loyalty programs. There are always offers for their members.
The aggregating sites and the conclusion
If you call the aggregator offers websites, pay close attention to where the final transaction is made and read all the booking information. There are sites where connections are not guaranteed. Or, certain services that you normally don't include in the standard fare are included if you take the airline. KIWI.com combines low-cost flights with legacy, but pay close attention to how many stops you have, which airports you land on and which airports you have to take off, etc.
In conclusion, there is nothing hidden in the back. You have to filter a lot of information. Have the patience to look for the best prices. Be flexible in your travels. Buy only from accredited systems, and in this case I recommend the airlines. Do not exclude aggregator sites because they can offer you some unique combinations in price and availability. You can also rely on travel agencies, especially for charter flights, but also frequent flights.
And the most important, buy when you consider it a good price. There is no recipe for time and space combinations for the best prices. I'm all kinds of studies to find the cheapest airline tickets, but no one guarantees. I'll come back with a detailed article about how prices fluctuate on air tickets. Also, I will tell about another multi-city flight in another article. It is true that you can save a lot of money on multi-city flights, but you have to accept more stops.
That being said, I did buy plane tickets. Travel as much as possible!