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How to buy airline seats at the lowest possible price?

While there is no real definitive answer, there are several ways to ensure that you do not pay over the odds for your airline ticket.

Book Early
To begin, airline ticket prices vary more or less as tickets are sold, thus it is highly unlikely that you will ever pay the same price for an airline ticket as the same person next to you (unless you booked your tickets at the same time). Indeed, you may even be paying twice as much for the same seat depending upon when you purchase your ticket.

Each airline works on a yield management system which is used to calculate an airfare based on the season, local events, competition, time of the year and so on. The demand for a particular flight route at one of these times is then calculated into a percentage of airfares available. Using figures from previous similar circumstances, i.e. the same time last year, the airfare is calculated based upon the natural demand that should arise.

In short the earlier you book the better the price you are likely to get, though sometimes it is possible to get cheaper flights after the earliest possible time to book..

Book Online
Many airlines offer web-only special offers as an online booking attracts lower overall administration costs. There are number of major online travel consolidators such as TravelStoreMaker.com  Travel Center as we use here on our site but also companies like Ebookers, Opodo and Expedia which make it very easy to compare the prices of several airlines. If you want to get smart, then compare several travel consolidators best prices as they too will each have their own rates with the same airlines and sometimes you will get the lowest price directly by the flight company.

Fly Business
Incredibly at peak travel periods such as Christmas and New Year, business tickets on major routes can actually work out cheaper than standard economy flights, plus you'll get some extra leg room to stretch.

Think Laterally
If you have the option of more than one airport to choose from for your departure and point of arrival always factor in the cost of airport transfers. The cheapest flight may end up costing more by the time you factor in bus, train and taxi fares.



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