Cheap Flights 101

advertisement

#6: TRY BIDDING ON A PRICE
If you still haven’t found an airfare that fits within your budget, try bidding. Yes, Priceline.com is still alive and kicking. In fact, the site now offers retail tickets in addition to the name-your-price game. But there are a few other players out there, like SkyAuction.com, which also posts deals and takes bids eBay-style.

Determining a bid that’s low but not impossible is a fine art elucidated only by date and destination. Aim too low and you’re wasting your time, aim too high and…well, you know. To start, take the lowest price from the industry-standard search engines (step #2) and the aggregators (#3), knock off 15 to 20 percent, and, using the same search criteria, go from there. Keep in mind, each bidding site likely has its own quirks and tricks. To put more than luck on your side, check out Biddingfortravel.com for additional tips on playing the auction game.

Hotwire.com offers a slight twist on the typical bidding game. Rather than asking you to bid, you enter in your trip info and they generate a deeply discounted clearance price, which is often the best deal going. The catch? All you get is the price of the flight—you don’t see the flight schedule or what airline (or airlines) you’re flying until after purchasing the ticket. For people with flexible schedules, this is a manageable hassle, but if you need to put in a half-day before flying off to the Caribbean, Hotwire.com can be gamble.


advertisement

Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »