The Truth About 80%% Off Sales
Did that get your attention? Good. Now, are you ready to find out you why you shouldn't believe it--or any other advertisements like it, for that matter?
First and foremost, those enticing "65%% Off!", "70%% Off!", and "80%% Off!" ads generally refer to "discounts" off the highest-priced, most restricted ticket classes. What they're really saying is that there are cheaper flights out there than the most expensive ones. News flash! In some cases, they're giving absolutely no justifying support that any of those discounts exist under any circumstances.
Here's the truth: Most leisure travelers never actually buy the highest-priced, most restricted tickets. Those go to business travelers shopping on the company dime. With low-cost airlines, online travel agents, and flexible date searches all factoring into your price hunting, it's rare that you'd ever pay the highest possible price. So that 70%% off "discount" doesn't apply to any flight you're likely to book.
The best strategy? Search for flights from a wide variety of providers. Shopping around is the only way to ensure you're getting a competitive price. It's the closest thing there is to a fool-proof strategy for booking flights. Here are our top tips!
Most U.S. airlines release sales on Tuesdays, with the majority of competitors matching these deals within 24 hours. To take advantage of these sales and have the largest amount of seats to choose from, search for airfares on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Historically, Saturdays have also shown good prices for domestic travel.
Heading to a destination serviced by multiple airports? Be sure to check them all to ensure you're getting the best fare. For example, if you're flying to New York City, search for the large airports (JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark), as well as smaller options (Long Island/Islip).
Be flexible. Searching a range of dates also gives you a good ballpark budget for what you can expect to spend on your airfare.
Search often. Checking fares for your route frequently over a fixed period of time (e.g., once or twice per day over a week or two) gives you an in-depth, realistic understanding of what your airfare costs should be. Then, when you see a price you like, you can book with confidence, knowing you've locked in the best fare for your route and budget.
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