If you’ve tried booking a flight lately, you might have noticed a couple of things: The prices are high, and the options are limited. This isn’t particularly surprising. The Transportation Security Administration says it screened 2,167,380 passengers at airport security checkpoints, thebeginning. Meanwhile, airlines have not yet resumed offering as many flights as they did pre-pandemic after making schedule reductions over the . The result is higher supply ― ergo, expensive tickets.
“As of June 2021, it seems flights have rebounded back to their pre-pandemic pricing,” said Rocky Trifari, travel blogger at The Rocky Safari. “In some cases, I’m noticing flight costs are even higher than during the summer of 2019. I believe prices are costly because of all the last-minute travelers looking to take advantage of the summer to travel now that many domestic and even international destinations have reopened.” Although airyears ago, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal. Below, Trifari and other cheap flights.
Prioritize cost over date and destination.
“To book cheap flights, you must make cheap flights a priority,” said Darci Valiente, a senior member operations specialist at Scott’s Cheap Flights. “All too often, whena vacation, they first sit down and think about where and when they want to go,” she explained. “Imagine you and some friendsplang to take a trip together, and it is decided, ‘Let’s go to Greece for the last two weeks of August.’ As a result, when you gook your flight, you’ll likely end up paying $1,200 roundtrip for one ticket to Athens for your dates.”
It’s common to prioritize destination and dates over cost, particularly for families limited by school holiday schedules. But if you can take another approach, Valiente advises beginning your search by asking, for example, “Where are there cheap flights to out of our airport?” and “Are there any cheap destinations in August?” “In [this] scenario, you might find $480 roundtrip fares to Rome available for the first two weeks of August,” she said. “You and your friends book these tickets instead, have a great time in Italy and save $720 per person on airfare.”
Use flight search engines.
“If you’re looking to find affordable flights, you should always use a source that aggregates flights from numerous airlines stocompare the rates,” Trifari said. This can be useful for search purposes even if you intend tocarrier ― though you may change your mind. “Certain websites can shave a bit off from the bottom price, than had you booked directly through an airline’s website,” Trifari said.
He advised checking out websites like Skyscanner, Expedia, Google Flights, and CheapOair for good deals. Brian Kelly, CEO and founder of The Points Guy, told HuffPost he recommends Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, and CheapTickets as an addition to comparison-based search engines. There are other tools aimed at helping travelers find affordable options. If you’re willing to give up “some of the comforts of travel such as taking , you can use booking tools like Skiplagged to discover connecting flightswithe layovers to secure a better deal,” Trifari suggested. “The trade-off is that it will take you longer to arrive at your destination since you may have to stop at one or two other airports along the way.”