Making Sense of Discount Airline Tickets.
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Finding The Best Cheap Flights
It's not commonly known that the best air travel discounts you can find are for international flights. The best of these still take a lot of searching, but we can help you find and recognize the cheapest airfare deals available.
What the major airlines don't advertise is that they sell off their extra tickets, with different kinds of pricing, to fill empty seats. The best ticket prices are usually from sites on the internet that specialize in cheap flights, and not actually from the airlines themselves.
Though the air carriers try to get as much as they can for tickets they sell directly, they also offer some good deals on their websites. Business flyers and people who need to fly on certain days, no matter what the cost, will generally pay high prices because of the flexibility they offer. But if you know where to look for the cheapest tickets online, there are plenty of places where you can find them.
It's important to realize that airlines can't fill their planes with high-priced tickets, and they don't want to get stuck with empty seats. So, particularly on long trips, they sell their extra tickets to packagers and resellers who offer them to you online. If you're traveling for vacation, or if your business plans are flexible, you can often save a lot of money by searching for your flights on the cheap airfare sites that resell these tickets.
On domestic flights, budget airlines like JetBlue and Southwest offer internet specials. Most domestic carriers offer special flight deals too. Sometimes the direct airfare deals are better than you can get from the discount sites. If these airline specials fit your travel plans, they can be a good way to fly.
On international flights, treaties and regulations prevent major airlines from directly discounting their international tickets... but loophole in international air travel regulations allows airlines to sell off blocks of extra tickets at discount prices to wholesale ticket consolidators. The wholesalers then resell through retail consolidators and online travel agents like OneTravel, AirGorilla, and AirlineConsolidator.com, who help you book cheap international flights online. These are called consolidator fares.
The best discounted fares you will find are for international tickets on routes between major cities. With consolidator fares, you fly on major airlines, and you might find yourself sitting next to someone who paid a lot more for the same ticket. The wholesale price plus the amount of markup the retail consolidator or travel agent charges is what you end up paying. Different sites have different ways of packaging the same tickets, and they often serve different travel needs.
The major travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity mostly feature official airline fares and offerings on international flights, but they also offer web specials and have some consolidator fares, and they're large enough to have exclusive deals with some large air carriers at excellent prices.
Price comparison sites like CheapFlights.com, Kayak, BookingBuddy, etc, allow you to compare discount ticket prices side-by-side, so they're a very easy way to compare prices from mid-level consolidators. But because they often charge their listed travel sites for inclusion, they're not always comparing the very cheapest prices.
While Priceline seems to be an airline ticket auction site, it's basically a site offering cheap discounted flights, hotels, etc, letting you choose your markup. If you compare with other sites offering the same flights, you can often find a "sweet spot," a low bid that Priceline will accept. It's a great way to get good tickets at low prices, but you need to do your homework. Also, be careful not to "bid" on Priceline until you know what the ticket is worth, as they will charge your credit card if they accept your bid.
Explore our site to find the way that works best for you. There are plenty of empty seats waiting to be found, and great places all over the world to fly to.