Common Airfare Myths – Debunked!

When it comes to airfare, people go through great lengths to grab a deal! While sometimes that extra effort can save you money, other times that effort is expended without any impact to the end result…

Enter the Common Airfare Myths!

Let’s take a look at 6 common myths out there and put them to bed once and for all!

  1. Tuesday is the best day to buy airline tickets

While the day you actually fly is a price factor, the day of the week and time in the day in which you purchase the airfare is NOT. Airline pricing systems are complex and have the ability to increase and decrease prices by the minute, regardless of your Man-crush Mondays and Throwback Thursdays…

Crazy - AYP Post
When you waiting to book your ticket on Tuesday…. but Monday was $100 cheaper!

 

  1. You need to purchase way in advance

I frequently see studies claiming to “reveal” the most opportune time to purchase a flight, but these are just click-bait… If you have time, do your research. Become familiar with the typical prices on the specific route you wish to fly. Set a fare alert (on Kayak for example). Purchase the fare when it dips below that alert threshold.

Kayak Price Alert - Ayp

Whether it is two months, two weeks, or two days before a flight, there is really no strict rule. While it is often the case that prices increase closer to the flight date, there are many cases where the price can drop significantly on a same-day or next-day flight!

Last Min SW Flight
Monday morning TPA – ATL one-way was at a reasonable $63 as of yesterday evening!

 

If you don’t have a lot of time (i.e. the flight is in the next two weeks), bite the bullet and buy now, or risk it for the biscuit and book closer to your departure date… fares might increase, but you might also get lucky on a huge fare reduction (as a result of a low-capacity flight)!

Another tip – follow sites that will prompt you on various fare deals and fare sales!

 

  1. Round-trip tickets are cheaper than two one-way tickets (and vice-versa)

Neither is a “rule” in my opinion. Search both options and choose the one that is cheaper for your specific travel needs. One-way fares give you some flexibility regarding your airline, as you can pick the cheapest carrier on each leg of your journey… while round-trip tickets often give you a “bundle” discount and make it easier to keep track with one confirmation code.

Example: Here is a round-trip flight NYC to TPA.

Round-trip Myth Example - AYP
RT totals $247…

Versus two One-Way flights on the same route and dates:

One-way NYC - TPA - AYP

One-way United Tpa - EWR - AYp
The two one-way flights total to $211 ($82+$129)…

In this case, the 2 one-way flights provide the lower total price of $211, versus the round-trip price of $247! However, this is not always the case so make sure to check out both options before booking!

  1. Airline tickets are non-refundable

Though pricey, many airlines offer fully refundable fares. If you don’t want to shell out more cash up front, know that many booking sites offer 24 hour cancellation policies; just make sure to actually read the terms prior to booking! In addition, the U.S. D.O.T. rules require airline carriers to refund fares without penalty within 24 hours of booking (some restrictions apply).

US DOJ

But remember, this is governed by the U.S. D.O.T. and will not apply to international fares not involving the U.S.

FullSizeRender
READ the fine print! This OTA only allowed 4 hours cancellation on this airfare booking!

More than 24 hours has passed since you booked? If your flight is cancelled or if your flight experiences a significant schedule change (more than 2 hours) you can receive a refund, so make sure to follow up with the airline or site that you booked through!

OR… fly Southwest! Free cancellations/changes, always!

 

IMG_0297

  1. (XYZ Site) Always has the cheapest fares

If you utilize a single booking site in order to book all of your airfare you will not always be able to book the cheapest fare. Airline websites and OTA’s (online ticketing agencies – i.e. Kayak, Priceline, etc.) provide many ways to purchase airfare – take advantage of them all and make decisions accordingly! Utilize search tools like Google Flights that will show you where to book the best fares, and also make sure to reference exclusive sites like Southwest.com – since Southwest Airfare cannot be purchased anywhere else!

Google Flights 5
Google Flights makes airfare searching much more efficient!
  1. The airlines increase prices based on your internet searches

There is no conspiracy here. Feel free to clear cache and cookies and operate in private/hidden window, but the airfare prices you see are not influenced by your actions. Researchers have really looked into this and have found no evidence supporting price increases based on search history. Believe it or not…

Cat Watched...
I see you…

Final Thought

We are all looking to get the best price. Sometimes we find it, sometimes we don’t. What matters in the end is that we take the trip and experience it to the fullest! 

Now, stop worrying about these airfare myths and spend more time planning the activities on your next adventure!

Happy Travels!

DW


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