How to Save on Airfare in 2011

Rick Seaney, co-founder of www.farecompare.com, offers five tips for finding cheap airfare in 2011:

1. Shop for Airline Tickets on Tuesday at 3pm Eastern

I’ve been watching this rule play out for the past several years, and I know it works – because no airline wants to offer fares even a dollar more than its rivals. See for yourself:

  • Normally, an airline (or two or three) will launch an airfare sale Monday evening
  • Other airlines then begin matching the new lower prices
  • This matching is typically finished by 3pm Eastern Tuesday

2. Be Flexible – Travel Days

Fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays: These are almost always the cheapest days to fly. Avoid travel on Fridays and Sundays, usually the most expensive days to fly.

3. Be Flexible – Time of Day You Fly

These are usually the cheapest times to fly:

  • Fly at dawn, lunch time, the dinner hour, as well as the later evening hours
  • Catch an overnight red-eye flight

Fly when most people don’t want to fly, and you will save.

4. Fly in-and-out of Major Airports

Larger airports, especially airline hubs, have cheaper airfare prices. Not always, but usually. Here’s an easy way to find the best prices:

  • Select a destination
  • Sign-up for airfare alerts from multiple airports near you

Look at the prices you’re sent and decide if a longer drive to a larger airport makes sense for you.

5.  Don’t Pay Airline Fees

Always avoid the worst of the airline fees and we show you the prices in the FareCompare Domestic Airline Fee Chart:

  • Use a carryon bag: a single checked-bag adds $50 to your airfare price
  • Pack a lunch: do you really want to pay $10 for a meal you don’t like?
  • Bring a neck pillow and a sweater: JetBlue and US Airways now charge $7 for a pillow/blanket combo while American Airlines charges $8

FareCompare.com is an independent airfare website that helps you sort through and compare airfares through various airlines and ticket agencies to find you the best deals on flights all over the world.

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