Most of the time, the biggest expense of a trip is the flight, so most travelers just ask: How can I save on flights?
And it's also the question my followers ask me most often when they are looking for tips on booking flights.
There are many ways to search for cheap flights, especially the web is full of information and tricks that should magically reduce the cost of airfare. We talk about the "magic" time to search for a flight, the "perfect" time to buy the flight or secret navigation.
The harsh reality, however, is that in most cases these tricks are now obsolete and not only do they not work, but they can also cost us dearly.
Airline rules are constantly changing, what might have been valid a few years ago is no longer valid.
With this guide I have decided to dispel some myths from the web, to really help you understand how to Save on airline flights.
How to Save Money on Air Travel: 10 Myths
In addition to dispelling web myths, in this guide I will share with you some basic tips and rules to follow when searching for an airline flight.
Knowing the truth and really understanding what works and what is just a web legend can be very helpful.
Myth 1: Book your plane ticket on a Tuesday
The first false myth is the Tuesday myth. I often follow the various forums or Facebook groups where we talk about travel. When a user asks for advice on how to save on flights, most people answer: book on Tuesday!
If until a few years ago it could also be true, because airlines loaded the best deals on Monday night, now prices are continuously updated, plus airlines often offer "flash sales". An example is Ryanair, which often offers flights from 3,00 €.
The important thing is not to miss these sudden offers, simply by subscribing to the newsletter of the various airlines orby using alerts.
Myth 2: Don't book on weekends
Most seasoned travelers are convinced that weekends are the worst time to buy a flight. In fact, airlines are said to raise prices on weekends, when people have more time to research and buy flights.
Sorry to disappoint you, but this is also just a web myth. I did a lot of research by recording the price changes of various flights over a given period in an Excel file I can tell you with confidence that there are no big differences, but simply price changes (higher or lower) due to the usual fluctuations.
Myth 3: the "magic" time to save on flights
There are those who recommend buying a plane ticket in the middle of the night, those who categorically advise against it in the morning or those who are convinced that after 15:00 it is possible to find the best deals.
Unfortunately, the best time is absolutely a big false myth. As I said, airfares change 24 hours a day.
I analyzed the trend of some rates for 8 consecutive days at different times of the day, you can find the results in Save Flight Guide.
Myth 4: It is always better to book as early as possible.
Generally, airlines put their flights on sale about 8 months but also a year in advance. So the best thing would seem to be to buy the airline ticket right away.
Unfortunately, this is not always the right choice. Buying too early can result in you paying a higher price. In fact, airlines often set higher prices initially.
Even booking at the last minute, however, will not save you the cost of the flight.
However, there is a perfect time to find the cheapest fare, we often talk about 5/7 weeks for medium-haul flights and 5 months for long-haul flights. In reality, it is impossible to say with certainty how far in advance to book a flight because it depends on too many factors, such as: the period, the destination or the airline.
Therefore, we must continuously monitor the flight you are interested in (starting at least 5 months in advance for intercontinental trips) and if you find a fare that you consider advantageous, do not wait too long and buy the ticket.
In any case, the rule is only one, as soon as an offer or a wrong fare comes out, you must book immediately, otherwise the price may increase even after a few minutes.
Myth 5: Buy tickets at the last minute.
Nothing could be more wrong. At this point, booking at the last minute means paying the airfare up to 3 times the average price.
It's always better to buy your ticket in advance.
Myth 6: One round-trip flight is cheaper than two one-way flights.
Let's dispel this flight myth as well. Sure, it may be easier to buy a round-trip ticket, but it's not necessarily cheaper. In fact, even the most famous search engines for low-cost flights have special functions that combine two one-way flights from several airlines to find the cheapest solution. In Kayak's case, these combinations are called "hacker fares".
Myth 7: Save on flights with incognito navigation
We come to the most famous myth of all! It seems that booking with incognito browsing is the most commonly used trick to save on air travel. The beauty is that it is also very simple, just select incognito in your browser and like magic you will get unbelievably low prices.
Sorry to disappoint you again, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way! If I have to tell you the truth, doing some tests, I noticed higher prices with incognito browsing.
We could talk about "dynamic pricing" but this is quite a complex issue that depends on many factors such as geolocation, the tool used, the type of browser, etc.
In the flight savings guide you will find a chapter dedicated entirely to this subject, where I also talk about the use of a VPN, with concrete examples and all the tips and tricks for booking a flight.
In any case, if during the various searches you notice an anomalous increase in the price, try resetting your cookies, until a while ago it worked!
Myth 8: Book only from the airline's website
The classic process for the traveler looking to save on airline flights would seem to be the following: search on Skyscanner and book strictly from the airline's official website!
In reality, it is not necessarily true that booking directly with airline websites offers the best fares. It is true that the official sites are more secure and you will generally not find unpleasant surprises or hidden costs.
But it is also true that there are now many agencies online, just book with a little knowledge and choose the most popular and reliable sites, such as Expedia.
Keep in mind that buying from online agencies it is possible to create particularly economical combinations with multiple airlines, buy open jaw or multi-treatment flights and advantageous flight + hotel packages.
Finally, I recommend that you always make sure that they are not "fake sites", or sites identical to the originals, created solely to defraud the unfortunate on duty.
Before proceeding with the purchase, it is good to carefully check the URL of the site and verify that it is spelled correctly. Also make sure that the navigation is secure and that the site is protected by the HTTPS protocol. Finally, do not click on strange links that come to you via email or social networks, with proposals of overly advantageous offers.
Myth 9: Low-cost airlines are always cheaper than scheduled airlines.
Certainly until recently this was exactly the case! Low-cost airlines offered very low fares, with service limitations.
Today, even the flag carriers have had to adapt and have inserted low cost fares, with restrictions on standard fares. "Light fares" generally do not include checked baggage and choice or change of seat. Instead, meals are sometimes included.
Myth 10: Rely on only one website
We all have our favorite site, but often make the mistake of looking only at that one. There is no single search engine with the best deals, so it is preferable to experiment with multiple websites and compare the different offers.
READ ALSO: The best sites for flights
We have seen 10 web legends for saving on airline flights. As you may have noticed, there are many tricks that no longer work. The world of the web is constantly changing, so you should try to know all the news that may be related to offers or the inclusion of new routes by airlines.
In any case, the important thing is to do a lot of research and be as flexible as possible.
For more tips, you can download the free guide on low cost flights and subscribe to the newsletter to stay up to date and discover all the news each month.
If, on the other hand, you want to delve into the subject immediately and learn about all aspects of airline bookings then buy Save Flight. A complete guide where I have collected a lot of information, full of tips on the best techniques to save, an overview of more than 50 search sites, several tricks to try and some opportunities not only to save but also to travel almost for free.