On any given airline, there can be up to ten different price points for a single economy seat. Someone who bought a seat for €80 could be sat next to someone who paid €400. On average, however, a flight of less than 90 minutes should not cost more than €150, and a flight of two to four hours shouldn't be more than €400. If you're paying more, you're not doing a good job shopping! I have always been a bargain hunter. I have bought some of my favorite clothes in charity shops and that ethos follows me whenever I am paying for anything, if a bargain can be had then the experience of buying is elevated. Plus the savings can be used for better and more holiday experiences.
Timing is everything! Start shopping around for tickets three months before your departure date, which is when sales start. Around 65 percent of sales last just three days, so check frequently. Most sales occur earlier in both the week and the day. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are the cheapest days to fly. Departures early in the morning, during mealtimes or on red-eyes are cheapest, and flights with connections often cost less than non-stop ones. Shopping on budget airlines isn't always cheaper: those tickets often start very low, end high and fluctuate quite a bit in between.
Some experts have a theory that airlines’ automated systems dump blocks of unsold seats on Wednesdays between midnight and 1 am in the time zone of their home city.
Another trick is to erase your browser history. The more you visit an airline’s website and look up a particular fare, the higher the prices go.
Compare fares. Use sites such as www.whichbudget.com www.Opodo.com, www.FareCompare.com, www.SkyScanner.ie and www.Expedia.ie to look across the board at airlines (some do not include budget airlines, however). These sites are also good for mixing and matching airlines to find cheap combinations. Airlines themselves sometimes run special deals for booking directly on their site, so take a look there, too. Web alerts from Skyscanner.com and FareCompare let you know about special sales and deals, and www.Kayak.com offers daily updates about the price of any given ticket. Finally, when booking more than one ticket, compare individual versus group fares.
November is the cheapest month to travel from Ireland: savings of up to 14 percent can be made compared with average price flights. July is by far the most expensive month to travel.
When making your booking, bear in mind that you don’t have to take the same airline to and from your destination. The days of getting cheaper flights when booking return flights are long gone.
Seek hidden costs and savings cost of your trip does not stop with the airfare. Factor in charges for checked bags - up to €70 per bag on Ryanair, for example. Transport to the airport counts, too. A return Tube ride to Heathrow can be up to £11; the Stansted Express is £33. But there are ways to save. Websites such as www.Quidco.com and www.TopCashBack.com often give one to two percent cashback when you access an airline's site through their links. Some booking sites also present cheaper airfares if you chose a "flight plus hotel" or "flight plus car" package, even if that just entails one night in a hostel. Finally, remember that award miles are valuable. Points earned on a slightly more expensive British Airways flight to California can pay for a free flight within Europe later on.