etihad business class photo: versatileagent

How To Find Cheap Flights

Air travel has become more and more affordable these days thanks to the drop of fuel prices and constant competitive fares published by budget airlines. If you’re not a picky traveler, it wouldn’t take you long to book the next cheap flight available to your desired destination, it could easily be done in just under 15 minutes.

British Airways Club World A380 

As for myself who can be particularly picky about which airline I fly with, what type of aircraft and which seat options I’ll have then it would take a little longer for me to book my flights. Either way, it is safe to say that most type of travelers (picky or not) would always prefer to pay the cheapest and fairest amount of all… but where can we find such deals ?

 

1. Comparing Travel Search Engines

If you have decided which airline you want to fly with, then the preferred way is always to book directly with the airline as it will make the process of changing itineraries in the future a lot less complicated.However, I would always look up the travel search engines first just for the sake of comparing prices, for instance just earlier today I had found airfares published in Orbitz for American Airlines economy class from Chicago to Los Angeles was half the price of what American Airlines’ website is publishing – for the same exact flight, day/time and cabin.

AA Flight from Website - Travel BlogFlight 2225 – $297 One Way in Economy, $496 One Way in First on AA Website.  

AA Flight from Orbitz - Travel Blog Flight 2225 – $159.10 One Way in Economy on Orbitz.

Same exact flight but half the price in Orbitz!

 

 If you are still shopping for prices, I have always found these sites to be helpful:

1. Google Flights – my number one go-to website (it will compare prices from several websites including other search engines and different airlines).

2. Orbitz – can book packages (hotels, car rentals, activities), earn Orbucks reward points, free cancellation within 24 hours

3. Skyscanner – similar features to Orbitz

4. Experflyer – create seat alert on the flight you want including searching for award seats and upgrades availabilities (membership fee applies for Premium Account)

 

2. Consider Other Departure City

Airfares are varied from city to city, with some departing city can sometimes be half the price of airfares originating from a neighboring city. For example flights originating from Kuala Lumpur to Europe or US are often much cheaper than flights originating from Jakarta or Singapore.

One of my favorite travel bloggers, Ben from One Mile At A Time repeatedly pointed out that flights originating from Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Casablanca (Morocco) are always a bargain, particularly in Business or First Class.

For example if you want to fly round-trip from Jakarta to Munich in Business Class:

CGK MUC Business Class

Jakarta (CGK) – Munich, Germany (MUC) with Etihad Airways is $4,030 (round-trip)

 in comparison to:CMB MUC Business Class

Colombo (CMB) – Munich, Germany (MUC) 

Qatar Airways is $1,417 or Etihad Airways is $1,448 (round-trip)

CGK to CMB Business Class

From Jakarta (CGK)  to Colombo (CMB)  you could easily fly Business Class with Malaysia Airlines for $422 (round-trip)

This brings out your TOTAL TRIP in Etihad Airways business class to $1,878 ROUND-TRIP! instead of paying $4,030 if you book from Jakarta.

That’s more than 50% savings! And there is no need to use any miles or points, instead you’ll be earning extra reward points for flying in a premium cabin.

I find itineraries like these would be much more beneficial when you’re trying to book for seats in business or first class. If you have the flexibility in schedule and wouldn’t mind the extra stopovers (positive side: more cities you’ve been to!), this would be a great way to fly from Asia to Europe!

Etihad Airways Business Class A380 - Travel Blog Etihad Airways Business Class A380

3. Subscribe for Travel Deal Alerts

Other than subscribing to updates from local travel agents and various travel bloggers, there are a number of websites who specializes in finding the best travel deals such as:

Secret Flying

Travel Pirates

Travel Zoo

The Flight Deal

I’ve had many occasions where I get my source of deal alerts from another travel blogger or by following a Facebook page of one of the travel deal websites.

Like/Follow Wanderlust Mama on Facebook so you’ll never miss an update.

 

 

4. Travel Exhibitions and Fairs

In many countries,, there are recurring travel exhibitions held for travel agents, tour operators, airlines and other travel services to promote their business and services. More often the perks for attendees are to purchase flights or travel packages with a massive discount if they’re willing to pay on the spot. This has proven to be quite popular even though it would require people to attend the event physically, get in line and pay on the spot with strict fare restrictions apply such as no-refunds, no travel changes and no name transfers.

USA – Travel Shows

World Tourism Exhibition Schedule

Indonesia Travel Fair

Garuda Travel Fair

4. Credit Card Promotions

Banks and their credit cards have always been in the right game to grab the travel market and they regularly have short to long-term marketing promotions that allows you to book flights using a particular credit card with an instant discount or offering members extra reward points to encourage credit card usage or as a way to allure new customers.

Indonesia:

Garuda Indonesia BCA E-Promo

Citibank Travel PromoCitibank Indonesia Travel Promo - Wanderlust Mama

US and Australia on the other hand are more generous in offering credit card sign-up bonuses which are highly appealing for customers with the chance of redeeming free flights and upgrades.

However it is not an instant benefit customers can use if they are looking to book for flights at that moment, because there is a minimum spending required until the bonus points are deposited into the customers’ account (usually after a few months) and more legwork to be done in researching award ticket availability from several airlines. Although at the end it does pay off when you’re able to redeem a first class ticket for next to (almost) nothing.

Australia:

Citi Qantas Signature Card – Bonus 70,000 Qantas Points

Amex Explorer Card – Bonus 100,000 Membership Rewards Points

Citi Qantas Signature Card - Wanderlust Mama

USA:

Chase Sapphire Reserve – Bonus 100,000 Ultimate Rewards PointsChase Sapphire Reserve - Travel Blog

Other benefits that are alluring are the 3x reward points earning on purchases, airport lounge access and annual travel credit like what the new Chase Sapphire Reserve is offering. 

Final Words

Airline fares can be tricky as not every traveler would pay the exact same price as the traveler sitting next to them even though they are experiencing the same product and service.

It helps to take a bit of time to do a bit of research so you know what you’re paying for.

Always note the unexpected cost you’ll be paying when flying budget airlines whether there will be extra fees for a check-in baggage, seat allocation or on-board entertainment and food?

However if you come across unbeatable premium cabin travel deals such as flying between US and Europe in Business Class for $1,200 or flying from Asia to Europe in First Class for $2,000, well don’t think twice if you can afford it as these deals generally won’t last for too long!