Cheap Flights 101


If you still haven’t found an airfare that fits within your budget, try bidding. Yes, 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, 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 for additional tips on playing the auction game. 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, can be gamble.


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