Global travel is expected to hit a 3-year low according to Hopper, a great tool to use when predicting future travel and the right time to buy your ticket. However, you can take advantage of other resources on the internet that are constantly scouring for cheaper flights.
The Flight Deal and Secret Flying are two of the many resources out there that have saved me some good money on my travels over the past couple of years. In October, Sunny and I flew to Belize for our honeymoon at under ~$300/ticket roundtrip! In fact, as I began writing this article we flew to Seattle on Alaska Airlines for ~$115/ticket roundtrip. With Travel plans locked in for February to Austin and June to Nashville you bet we will be frequenting these websites for future rock bottom deals.
How cheap is cheap?
Let me tell you!
On The Fight Deal website they have stated “We will only publish fares that meet a simple criterion: 6 cents per mile or less. This means a nonstop roundtrip from New York to Barcelona should never be more than $425.” And while their business model suggests all flights will be less than 6 cents per mile, they weed out the Ultra Low Cost Carriers (ULCC) such as Spirit and Frontier where add on fee’s make up for the seemingly “cheap” fare. (For perspective we flew on a premium airline in Alaska Airlines, 1990 miles roundtrip for $.05/per mile.)
Similarly, Secret Flying posts deals in the same manner. While the terminology used in most posts may seem unfamiliar to the occasional traveler, such as “Return” and “Open-Jaw”, they become second language quickly. Return being short for Roundtrip and Open-Jaw meaning that while the flight starts in City A and lands in City B, the return flight to City A originates from City C (Flying LAX to JFK, but returning LGA to LAX).
“Okay great, that’s interesting. But what do I have to do?”
Glad you asked, voice.
There are a couple points to carry with you when booking cheap travel through either of these websites.
1) The deals come to you, you don't request them. (i.e. you cannot say “Hey, fly me to Hawaii for cheap!”, the website does not work that way.) Sometimes you luck out and see the destination you want, sometimes you don’t.
2) In most cases you want to be able to act fast. The window to purchase these tickets is usually 24-48 hours before the flight is sold out. Some trips linger, but the absolute best I’ve seen are here today, gone tomorrow. (During Thanksgiving break there were 2 instances of roundtrip tickets between LAX/SFO to Hong Kong for ~$600, each sold out within the first 10 hours.)
Since I use The Flight Deal to find the majority of my travel I will walk you through my process.
1) Head over to www.theflightdeal.com
2) Scroll over the tab on the left hand side labelled “Flight Deals” and select your departure city
3) Select a destination you want to see from the deals currently available
4) Follow the booking instructions (*note that booking cannot be made through The Flight Deal, but they will tell you how to search out the flight you are wishing to book)
The majority of the deals available have been found through ITA Matrix, a great resource made available by Google that will let you search flights a month out from a selected date. This tool gives you seemingly limitless options to choose from for booking your next trip and making the purchase that is right for you.
"I’m sold! Sign me up! But how…?"
Oh voice, it’s like we are on the same wavelength…
When I created Designing for Miles I knew the only way to establish any sort of presence as a blogger was to expand my Twitter knowledge to gain exposure.
During this process of studying social media platforms I read about how you can set tweets to forward to text message. Immediately I set up both The Flight Deal and Secret Flying to text me when a new deal pops up.
2) On each account press the settings button and select “Turn on mobile notifications
Once this has processed a notification will pop up saying “You will now receive mobile notifications for @TheFlightDeal’s tweets.”
If this option does not show up for you make sure to enable your account for text forwarding.
An added step for iPhone users would be to set your text alerts from 404-04 (the number you will receive the alerts from) to Do Not Disturb. Most deals come in between 1am and 6am PST.
If you have found this post useful or have any other suggestions please share and add your comments below.