Airline travel might be a popular way to get around, but it’s popularity and convenience has allowed the industry and local airlines such as Fly Mango to determine its pricing structure on any given day. This has given rise to several rumours and stories of how to cheat the system to get your hands on cheap flights that no one else knows about by using inside secrets of the airline industry.
The truth is, there are no secrets to getting a good deal. These are some of those myths, debunked:
- Stick with one airline that you know offers the best deals
Different airlines will always offer sales, early bird deals and changing pricing structures. If you don’t shop around, you’ll never know if you’re getting the best deal on your flights or not.
- Tickets are always cheapest on a Tuesday
Airlines are constantly adjusting their pricing and they are often determined by the route and the amount of time before the flight departs. If you’re buying a ticket on a Tuesday 2 months before your flight, you might get a good deal, but on a Tuesday a week before, it’s a lot less likely you’ll be paying for a cheap flight.
- You can get a cheap flight if you wait until the last minute
A while ago it was possible to pick up a cheap ticket if you were willing to risk the chance of the plane not being full. These days, airline companies are a lot smarter at understanding the buying habit of consumers and that means that by stopping the sale of last-minute cheap tickets or charging full price for them, they fill their planes quicker with people choosing to book early in order to get the best deal.
Last minute tickets can be more expensive as airlines now know that they are mostly sold to business people.
- The best deal is the cheapest ticket price you see
The best ticket price may not be the best deal at all. Some domestic airlines make you pay for non-carry-on luggage, your seat selection, as well as food (at exorbitantly inflated prices). So look beyond the ticket price when you are comparing airlines and make sure that when you’ve paid for all the extras it doesn’t end up costing you more than it would on what appears to be a more expensive ticket on another airline that includes the frills.
- You can book a ticket over a year in advance and get the cheapest flights
Booking early may get you the very best deal, but there is a limit to how early you can book. If you want the best deal, then start looking out for flights around eight months before your trip. Most airlines won’t release tickets much earlier than that.
- All carry-on luggage is free
Here in South Africa airlines such as Fly Mango will allow one carry-on and a handbag or laptop bag at no extra cost. In other countries some airlines only allow a single bag the size of a laptop bag or handbag. Anything bigger you’ll have to pay for, and if you haven’t paid in advance, you’ll pay a fortune at the airport.
Tip: Never assume all airlines are the same. Ask the travel experts if you aren’t sure and always read the fine print to ensure that your excitement at finding the cheapest flight doesn’t end up costing you more than you bargained for.