How to find cheap flight deals: 5 expert tips
  • How to find cheap flight deals: 5 expert tips


    Most airlines – especially east Asian ones – get their business from local passengers. This means prices are set according to national holidays and in Asia this means that flights around western holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, are often underpriced – as the airlines don’t anticipate demand then. This is when good deals can be available. For example, last year AirChina had flights from the UK to Australia over Christmas in the low £400s. Garuda Indonesia also underpriced its flights to Bali and across Indonesia during the Christmas and New Year period. All east Asian airlines, and in particular Chinese airlines, are worth watching for this.打折機票
    Savings are available on last-minute flights from the UK if you look into charter airlines. Most airlines, even budget ones, will typically raise fares for nearly all routes a couple of weeks prior to departure, purely because they know that last-minute travellers are less budget-conscious, as they are often travelling for business or due to an emergency. However, specifically in the UK, there are two charter airlines that are an exception to this: Thomas Cook and Tui (formerly Thomson).

    This is because they structure their business around package holidays and, often left with undersold capacity, will offload their last-minute seats for low fares. If you’re keen on a last-minute one- or two-week getaway somewhere exotic but where the specific destination is not that important to you, I’d look there to score the biggest savings. Here is an example of how to spot them on Tui, showing fares such as Cancun at £229 return.

    It’s rarer to find cheap last-minute flights with non-charter airlines. With those airlines the best time to book is around 6 to 12 weeks in advance – which is based on statistics garnered from tracking all flights. However, it varies heavily by airline, route and season, making it difficult to predict these. It’s all based on supply and demand, so if a certain route has a lot of demand this year it won’t fall in price.

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