Explore our expert travel tips
How to get the best deal when booking a flight online.
WE all love to economise, and knowing how to be savvy when booking a flight online can result in considerable savings.
If you are looking to find the best deal out there, there are lots of comparison sites to help you compare airfares from low-cost airlines, charter flights and full-service scheduled airlines.
If you have never booked online before, first check which airlines go to the destination you have in mind. Write the websites down in a list so you can check each one for price and convenience. Remember the cheapest option may not be the best for your needs.
Travelling at less popular times will often mean cheaper fares, so consider travelling mid week, early morning or late at night. However, an early or late flight that requires an extra night’s stay at an airport hotel may not turn out to be the cheaper option.
Similarly, a destination airport that is quite a bit out of town may result in costly transfer costs which should be considered, too.
In most cases, the earlier you book, the cheaper the prices will be. This is especially true if you are travelling at peak times such as Easter, Christmas or school holidays, though occasionally some of the large travel companies will offer huge last-minute discounts if you are very flexible on when and where you travel.
Will you be travelling for several hours? Check if meals are included in your costs. They are often extras with budget airlines but included on scheduled flights.
Finally, can you change your flights if your arrangements change? Some airlines have a two-tier payment system where you can opt to pay more for flexibility, while some airlines allow no changes. Make sure you opt for the one which suits your needs.