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October 15, 2019

How to buy your plane ticket like a pro

Here are some tips to help you purchase an airline ticket online.

1. Choose your destination

Before buying a ticket, research what the temperature will be in the country or city you want to visit. Various sites offer this sort of weather forecast, including current, hourly, weekly and even monthly data. Here are two:

Keep an open mind: why not take advantage of an attractive deal to a destination you have not previously considered?

2. Departure, return, duration: be flexible

The more flexible your departure and return dates, the more you could benefit from a lower rate.

Many airlines offer discounted prices for Monday and Tuesday departures and raise them as the weekend approaches, when demand is much higher.

Avoid travelling during peak season. Do not plan a vacation during Christmas holidays, March Break or the Easter long weekend if you want to get a deal on your ticket.

3. Direct flight or with a stopover: the choice is yours

Pay attention to flights with stopovers that sometimes cost less. If you are not in a hurry, this could be the way for you to go.

On the other hand, if the idea of a long trip makes you moan and groan, forget about flights that involve one, even two stopovers! If you have to spend the night in a hotel, anticipated savings could melt like snow in the sun.

4. Where to fly from? Check all possible options

Do you absolutely have to catch a flight at the nearest airport? Heading to another city could allow you to find an even better price.

Some travelers cross the Canada-U.S. border to take advantage of lower prices offered by some US airlines. Compare offers from our neighbours south of the border before setting your plans in stone.

Take the following into account in all cases:

  • Cost of gas to get you to and from the airport
  • Meals en route, if required
  • Accommodations, if necessary
  • Parking costs if you leave your vehicle at the airport for several days.

5. Practice patience

Shopping online takes time and patience. Visit airline websites or use price comparison websites that will do part of the job for you.

Make the Internet work for you by subscribing to alerts that save you time. You will also be notified about price fluctuations or flights that might interest you. 

6. Outwit the Web!

Some websites save your IP address or use cookies and detect your searches on the same topic. The result? They increase the prices you see to encourage you to quickly buy your ticket. Follow these tips to thwart them.

7. Buy early

Should you get your ticket 54, 70 or 151 days before departure? Recommendations vary depending on the source and destination. One thing is certain, you will not find a reduced rate if you buy last minute.

8. Check what the ticket price includes

Most airlines demand extra fees for checked baggage. To avoid paying this, travel light and only bring a carry-on with you.

Will a meal be served during the flight? If not, buying a takeout meal before boarding will increase your travel costs. Think about that…

9. Did you run out of steam…?

Call a travel agent if shopping for an airline ticket online makes your head spin. This will most definitely save you time. And don’t we always say that time is money?