When you are buying tickets every month or even more often, it happens that you learn one or two things about it.
The first ticket I bought first ever in my life was the return one for Budapest Accra distance. I don’t know how you do this but I’m always trying to find the cheapest options. I love to use skyscanner in the last 3-4 years and I can’t even remember how had I done before that… this first one I’m 100% I got it from Egyptair around 190,000 HUF currency which was like a month salary and half at that time.
I always stress about tickets so I remember I even visited the Egyptair Office in my country’s capital… eventually I took my time so I book just 2 weeks before departure.
Anyway for me buying the perfect ticket is kind of art… you will see below why!
Here is my list what I tend to do to prepare for the purchase of the best ticket possible:
- First try to use incognito browser window or a Separate device then your usual one what you use everyday because these websites are showing different prices depending on how often you visit the website and even can follow your current location with the “location service” information. Honestly I am not sure it’s working but I’ve seen few time on one device the price went up and an other “hiding” device it was still cheaper.
- Most of apps collecting tons of data about you and showing a personalized price what you would be paying for the seats… I see it a bit threatening as it tends to show the highest prices… so I advice to use too 1. to avoid these…
- Don’t fall for “only one seat left” things.. it is just in rare occasions these sites actually saying the truth for the flight… maybe it’s saying what the company give seats to them how is limited but even that I don’t really believe…
- Buy ticket on Tuesdays early afternoons. I read it somewhere that cheap companies (ryainair, wizzair etc) changes their pricing always after weekends but it takes time to go through the burocractic and decision making hierarchy inside the company. That’s why not Monday but best time is Tuesday when they tend to adapt after the weekend sales statistics. If it’s higher selling weekend they will increase price but if not it will go down… follow these trends in advance!
- Always use flexible days: like check on the cheapest in the whole month and not one specific date. try to arrange your travel around it.
- Cheapest flights usually are flying on Tuesday and Thursdays.
- It’s also useful with cheap flight companies from Europe to check form other nearby airports and use bus or train too if you want to keep price down.. although pretty uncomfortable with lots of luggages…
- Also some cases it can be cheaper to buy one way and then the other way back separate… only issue is you need to use local currencies if it’s not 3rd party website but like air company. But even then maybe you can win…
- I had this case I wanted to pay GBP and I was flying from Hungary and both the website and app wanted me to be charged in HUF. If I changed the country to UK because my card is in GBP then it didn’t show me the same flight and I wasn’t able to purchase… I talked with their customer service in Hungary, and on Facebook (USA), and their European call center all said it’s not possible. Finally I called U.K. and over phone for free I booked in for the cheapest GBP price and paid without extra bank charges ( near 20£ for payment in foreign currency)! So just don’t give up!
- There are some newsletters and Facebook groups some friends of mine are using to get flights super cheap in something like a year advanced for example France Canada for £100? That needs real flexibility in destination and time too… I am usually fixed in destination…
- If I can I keep an eye on how prices are changing in ~2 months in advance. I use a nearer time to my actual date to test how much it would become if I buy 1-2-3 weeks earlier. Sometimes you won’t see any difference. These cases I like to wait and keep an eye on it weekly until my departure is 2-3 weeks near. If I sense any increase I just secure it straight. Normally 5-10£ max or absolutely nothing will be seen changing. Especially if it’s not a cheap flight company in Europe but a longer distance…
- Try to avoid holiday periods (winter and summer) it’s always way much more expensive..
- If you are in need to change a cheap flight (ryainair or wizzair…) it’s super high fee to modify anything and easier to get a new one for £30… last week I actually did this and I learned for change would be starting from £50 fee and flight price difference as extra while at the other company the same destination and time was just £35 to get a totally new ticket…
- I have booked to other people too some flights where it is needed to be confirmed you are the owner of the bank card which you are using to pay but you are not the actual passenger. One occasion with TapAir the Portuguese airline had to do an extra day administration before flight was confirmed due to payment situation so always calculate possibility like this with extra days before flight… Otherwise they didn’t ask me to mail any documents to prove my ownership for the card, so basically same process then for yourself with instant payment. Just don’t make mistake in name otherwise it’s a lot of money and some time consumption too to modify!
- I made once the mistake of buying one way when I wanted return! AVOID it… lots of money you will loose when need changes… especially if it’s 3rd party and not directly from the airline £135 was lost for me… first the booking agent in the call center didn’t even allow the change claiming the flight operator won’t let it. I called the flight operator airline (royalairmarocc) and they said I can absolutely do it just had to push the 3rd party company more. Second time the chance I had a different call center agent and all was perfect. Despite loosing the money for my mistake 😂
- If you can use the airline directly to book you would save much complications as you see from above.. because it’s easier to deal with them if any changes needed. Like Egyptair I paid £10 only to delay my flight back from Accra to Budapest! And it was not even managed by me but an other person, and had zero struggles. Unlike if it’s a booking website it would be a lot more to pay and to talk/negotiate..
- Once I flew out from London to Seattle for only £450 direct flight spending 2 months there. I believe that was cheap only because I flew out in January and back in March which is pretty much off-peak… kind of dead periods… so if you can check these periods and notice if there any difference in prices comparing to other periods…
- The golden rule is never check prices AFTER you purchased a ticket… only will hurt you! 🙈🤦🏻♀️😅 it’s better not to know how much you lost because it will bug you too much. /story of my life 😅/
- I prefer to fly out from London as it’s always cheaper like drastically. London Abidjan with Air France is like £350 while almost same distance but less popular airport Budapest is £510… both flying through Paris… try to find the bigger airport near you and get a super cheap flight to there… or train/bus.
- Very important in Africa especially: check the transit country’s airport requirements. Once I flew from Cotonou Benin Republic to India New Delhi and it was first transit in Lagos Nigeria. I was fortunate enough to check the Hungarian traveling site a few weeks advance and I learned LAGOS airport needs transit visa… I had time to visit the local Nigerian embassy to obtain the right travel documents… as even if you don’t want to go through immigration you must as the airport works this way over there. First you get out and then get in again to the transit for the second flight… it means lots of time spent in lines waiting to check in and security and migration offices… have enough transit time (3-4 hours) to be 100% sure you will catch your next flight. Always check in with transit airports🤦🏻♀️ sometimes your initial flight will be delayed like 4 hours… my friends had this issue for the same route… they left a day earlier and arrived day and a half after me to New Delhi. Because they missed the second flight… these cases can make your life horrible.. especially with 3rd party tickets where an agency is making the booking and it all seems nice on papers but in reality… just horror!
Just try to be well informed before you purchase anything and if you can read some blogs, ask advice from someone already flew the same road.
I wish you good luck and amazing flights! If you already had some amazing or opposite stories about flight tickets let me know here in comments or on any of my contacts.
Form my experiences I advice to fly between
- Europe – west Africa: francophone- AIRFRANCE, mainly departing from London! Or RoyalAirMarocc
- Budapest – Ghana: TAP Portugal or Egyptair
- Benin – India: most fancies flight ever – ArabEmirates
- London – Seattle: delta
- London – Morocco: £50- ryainair
- European capitals – ryainair (more handluggage, better airport in London) or wizzair