If you’re looking for the best fare for an airline ticket for your dream holiday, here are a few tips to help you find the best deal.
Low Cost Airlines
Most of the low cost airlines have regular days or times when they put a selection of routes on sale and we’ve gathered a small selection to get you started.
Virgin Australia – Thursday 4-11pm (AEST). The Happy Hours sale offers selected destinations, holiday packages car hire and hotels and international flights often include baggage, seat selection and meals.
Jetstar – Australia and New Zealand, Friday Frenzy 4-8pm (AEST)/(NZ) every Friday. A limited number of discounted domestic and/or international fares are available. Friday Frenzy fares are available in Singapore and Malaysia between 10am and 6pm and there is an everyday special on Jetstar Vietnam from 11am until 2pm.
If you’re looking for on-going sale fares from an Australian or New Zealand airport, they usually have a number of other selected flights on offer on the country site as well. There is also a handy little button towards the bottom of the page where you can ask to be notified of price changes.
Scoot – Morning Glory Tuesday has selected fares available every Tuesday morning between 7 and 9am local time (GMT +8) as well as other on-going offers especially for new routes as the airline expands throughout Asia.
AirAsia – AirAsia has a number of sale types on an on-going basis. They have regular ‘unannounced in advance’ Flash Sales but one of the best times to pick up tickets online is at a travel fair. AirAsia sometimes holds their own fair, but the twice a year (March and September) MATTA Travel Fair is a great place to look for good deals from AirAsia as well as other airlines participating. The next Fair will be in Kuala Lumpur from 4th to 6th September 2015 and airlines usually offer online fares before, during and often after the fair at special prices.
Full Service Airlines
Air New Zealand – If you can book your flight well in advance, try their Grab a seat fare offers. Check on the link for all the Fare rules. They also have a handy LINK to find their currently available lowest fares.
Other ways to save on your tickets
When you are planning your trip, always make a comparison between your intended Low Cost airline and a Full service airline covering the same route. Unless you are travelling very light (i.e. no or little checked baggage) or don’t want a meal or special seat, you may find there’s not a lot of difference between the two types. Make your evaluation based on the factors that are most important to you.
If you can travel mid-week, fares are often lower than on Thursday to Sundays although routes with heavy business traffic may offer good weekend deals as weekday flights are busier.
Likewise, the time of day can make a difference. Red-eye overnight flights are often good deals as are any on routes where business travellers prefer ‘better’ timings.
Check the school holiday dates at your departure location and your destination. If you are travelling during your children’s breaks, expect to pay more, if during the destination school break, the best fare may be lower, but accommodation may be more expensive. Even if you aren’t bound by school breaks, check anyway!
Look for offers your credit cards are co-promoting with an airline. They may be offering two-for-one deals which are often worth the effort when you compare with what else is on offer. Check this example from Maybank/CathayPacific that’s available until 30th June 2015.
Join a loyalty programme and use the points you accrue on either your own airline or on an alliance airline. For example, if you have a Malaysia Airlines Enrich card, or a Qantas Frequent Flyer Card, you can collect points accrued on any of the airlines in the OneWorld alliance. Another big alliance grouping is Star Alliance with such heavyweights as Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand. AirAsiaBIG has recently implemented a new and more user friendly way of utilising BIGPoints collected.