With gasoline prices going through the roof and increased costs due to new security measurements, airline ticket prices have risen drastically in the last few years. Flights that were once under two hundred dollars can now cost up to three times as much as before. However, it is still possible to find a cheap ticket if you are willing to be flexible and to do a little research. The Internet is a great tool for helping you find affordable deals that leave you with a little extra cash to spend on your vacation.
Today's most popular way to locate cheap tickets is through online discount sites like Expedia and Hotwire. These two sites and others like them are devoted to finding discount travel rates on cars, flights and hotels. You can type in a departure and arrival city and the dates you want to travel, and the site will search its databases and bring up a list of budget rates. The more flexible you are, the greater your chances of finding a cheap ticket.
There is a catch, however, when you book flights on Hotwire or Expedia. Most of the discount rates are available on unpopular flight times, typically with early morning or late night departures or arrivals. Also, if you have set dates and times that cannot be adjusted, it can be hard to find a cheaper rate. These website services work best if you have a two or three day window for both your departure and your return. That way, the site can choose from a wider variety of flight combinations, giving you the lowest ticket prices available.
Another cheap ticket seller on the Internet is Priceline.com. This website allows you to enter your travel dates and to offer your own ticket price. If your price is accepted by an airline, you can purchase the ticket at that guaranteed rate. This process can several hours, and if you receive the price you proposed, you are obligated to purchase the ticket. Because of this, you are not able to choose which airline you use. Though Priceline is not as flexible as other ways of purchasing cheap tickets, sometimes you can get amazing deals that you can't find any other way.
Travel sites like Priceline and Hotwire do offer another advantage in addition to cheap airplane tickets. They also offer the options of booking hotels and car rentals at the same time as your flight. When you book all of your travel needs at once, you can save even more on your expenses, leaving you more money to spend once you reach your destination.
Some airlines offer cheap tickets directly through special web deals. Visit an airline website and locate links for special Internet offers, and you may be surprised at what you can find. Most offer weekly or monthly specials to particular destinations, and you can often save a lot of money by booking your flight online.
If you are a member of a frequent flier program, you can save money of flights not only by using your miles to purchase tickets, but also by taking advantage of the special rates offered to club members. Sign up for email updates from your affiliated airline, and you will become privy to many of their discount specials. On rare occasions, airlines may offer two for one tickets to certain destinations when you use frequent flier miles, or they may offer extra miles when you rent a car from a certain company or stay in a certain hotel. Take advantage of credit card affiliations, as well. You can often earn frequent flier miles by making purchases on a specific credit card affiliated with your airline of choice.