How to score inexpensive airfares is perennially one of the hottest topics in travel. The conventional wisdom says say that travellers should know when to make reservations and know about current and upcoming discount offers. They should know how to choose hotel and flight packages, pack smartly, and sign up for alerts with the best online travel agencies. Getting the best deals depends on factors including timing, the time of year/week, luck, being flexible, type of airline, travel class - and of course some amount of luck.
All very true, but additionally, here's a trio of less conventional tips, borne out by a recent study done by a major travel agency:
Follow the '24-hour Rule'
After you reserve airplane tickets, you'll usually have 24 hours to pay for them, so before that time is up, check the price for the same flight and you might well find that the fare has gone down. So you can cancel your existing reservation with no penalty and make a new one at the lower fare.
Choose Last-minute Flights
Going for eleventh-hour flights or hotel bookings is another strategy that might sound a little too strange. Most people think that the earlier they make their reservations, the more money they save. But sometimes, airlines offer big discounts at the last minute to fill up the last few seats on the plane.
Most of the time, this happens on less popular routes where there aren't as many people. This might not work on busy routes like flights between Mumbai and Delhi, but it might help on routes with less traffic.
So, people can use this trick to save a lot of money when they travel in ways that aren't the norm.
Buy from Different Groups Simultaneously
This tip might also seem counter-intuitive, since most people think that the more people who fly, the less they have to pay. But travel agency airlines usually have a cap on the number of discounted seats they can offer. So people who have flown a lot on weekend trips suggest breaking up big groups into smaller ones to get cheaper rates. This is because tourists might not be able to get the lower fares that the airline is offering if they fly with a large group. So the best way to save money is to do two or three different things.