The Fast-Start Guide to Landing the Cheapest Flights

Written by Michelle Greene

Your new travel BFF. I share tips, insights and resources to help you travel the world with grace and ease.

November 5, 2022

The Fast-Start Guide to Landing the Cheapest Flights

Please note that some links in this post may be affiliate links. It simply means that if you follow a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commision. Thanks for your support.

Ask anyone who enjoys travel and one of the biggest issues they’ll encounter is finding value for the best value cheapest flights. Airline tickets can eat up a significant portion of your travel budget; but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Do you know that you can get amazing value for your travel dollar? If it’s your first time flying or you haven’t flown in several years, and want to travel smarter, you’re in the right place.

In this Fast-Start guide to Landing the Cheapest Flights, you are going to discover some proven real-world techniques, tips, strategies and travel hacks to squeeze more value from your wallet and land amazing cheap fights. 

Maintain Flexibility

As you embark on your quest to discover cheap airline tickets, one of the best things that’s going to serve you is to embrace flexibility. It’s still entirely possible to get cheap airline tickets if you have specific travel dates.

However, if you entertain flexibility with your travel plans and don’t need to travel on specific dates, your chances of uncovering cheap tickets are excellent.

This does not mean that you cannot use some of the tactics in this post to land the cheapest flights even if you have fixed travel plans, are fixed such as for weddings, funerals or family reunions, there are still tactics you can use. 

Be Mindful of Business Travelers

 Another way to seek out airfare deals, consider business traveler’s schedules. Airlines know that these types of Travelers need to travel on specific dates and times to attend meetings, conferences and other events.

Business travelers usually have expense accounts and are not as concerned as leisure travelers because they are more concerned with price says that include non-stop flights and getting them to their destination in the shortest time possible.

 Because of this, they may not mind paying a premium cost to be there. So, if you can try to avoid these times that those traveling for business, you increase your chances greatly in getting a cheap ticket.

Consider that Sunday afternoons are usually going to be an expensive travel date. Since many people are working remotely, they may need to fly to be in the office for a Monday morning meeting.

 Also, Thursday evenings and/or Friday mornings tend to be preferential times for these business travelers to fly back home.

Most leisure travel is done on the weekends. They may start their vacations on Saturdays or Sundays. So, keep in mind the business traveler for the cheapest possible flights.

Use the Airlines’ Websites

Although it is convenient to have a travel agency book your flight; especially if it’s a special vacation. However, it may be cost effective to check for flights yourself from the Airlines. Travel agencies charge extra for their services and can take a few hours to get back to you. You can search for flights yourself from your smartphone or laptop at your convenience.

Not all airlines have their fares and schedules loaded into many of the online travel search engines. Many low-cost airlines may only publish their fares on their own websites. So don’t neglect paying a visit to the website to search for fares that may not be listed on OTA (Online Travel Agencies) websites.

After that, you can certainly perform a search on the popular travel search engines. The top search sites are Google Flights, Momondo, Priceline, ITA Matrix, Skyscanner, etc. These sites are easy to use and they give the cheapest flights as well as connecting flights. The best feature these sites offer? They give a comparison between airlines and breakdown the itinerary.

Clear Browsing Cookies

A sneaky tip to land the cheapest flights is to clear the cookies and browsing history on your devices. These include your mobile devices, laptops and desktop computers. Cookies are used to maximize the browsing experience.

Consider this. Airlines can use these cookies to offer you dynamic pricing. The reason for that is dynamic pricing constantly changes based on YOUR search pattern and according to demand.

Go Incognito or Use Private Windows

An alternative way to avoid dynamic pricing is to search flights from a private window or incognito. Incognito browsing is anonymous browsing if you don’t want to clear cookies or browsing history.

Most web browsers have this feature. If using the Google Chrome browser, select ‘Incognito’. In Firefox, choose ‘New Private window’ and in Microsoft Edge, select ‘New InPrivate window’.

This will increase your chances of finding cheap airfare without the ‘only 1 seat’ left notice that is sometimes displayed on pricing charts.


A Virtual Private Network (VPN) gives you a virtual location of your choice where you can search for airfares available in that location. It also hides your data and search traffic patterns from the Airlines to prevent them from customizing prices for you based on your data.

Book With One Airline, Fly with Another

It’s possible to book your flight with an airline but fly with another if they’re part of the three major airline alliances. In the aviation industry, this is an arrangement between airline. These alliances include One World, Sky Team and Star Alliance. These airline partnerships are arrangements between airlines to share routes and benefits. You can compare airfare prices among these airlines to find the cheapest price.

Search Airfares in Other Currencies

Sometimes, it is cheapest to search for flights using a foreign currency, especially if you are flying on foreign airlines. If you’re going to use this tactic, ensure you use the foreign version of the website. Keep in mind to use a credit card with zero foreign transaction fees. If you do this, your credit card incur no additional charges for foreign transactions.

Be Aware of Round Trip Fares

 Round-trip flights can sometimes be cheaper than purchasing two one-way flights. While a roundtrip flight gives you the convenience of going directly to one destination and back, a one-way flight only flies to your destination, which may offer you more flexibility.

One-way flights are usually flown by business travelers and may be priced higher. Plus, since the airline is not sure you’d use them for your return trip, they price it higher to recoup potential losses.

Open Jaw or Multi-city Searches

Open jaw/multi-city searches are another opportunity to land you the cheapest flights for a roundtrip itinerary. You fly from one destination to another, but return to the starting destination. For instance, going to Tokyo from San Francisco, USA, and returning from Tokyo through Los Angeles, USA.

Search Layover or Stopover Flights

A layover or stopover is a break in the airfare routing before catching the next flight on your itinerary. Flights with stopovers or layovers are usually cheaper than direct or non-stop flights. Plus, you can stay in the stopover city without additional costs.

Layovers and stopovers are similar, but there are some differences. While layovers are breaks of less than 24 hours, stopovers last for 24 hours or more.

A non-stop flight goes from one destination to another without fuss, but direct flights make landings in between cities and you don’t get off the plane.

Many airlines will provide in-transit accommodation; so, check to see if your airlines offer this. It’s a great opportunity to get to see another city for free.

Use The 24-Hour Regulation

There’s a 24-hour regulation for flights in or out of the US. It allows you to freeze or cancel your flight within 24 hours. However, if it is 7 days before your departure, you can buy the ticket but decide within 12 hours if you still want it.

Keep in mind that if you pay for a ‘freeze’ for your ticket, in case you want to think about it, know that the fare is not guaranteed to be available and your fee to hold it may be non-refundable.

Use this option wisely; you don’t want to be out money for ‘freezing’ a fare only to end up finding a fare much cheaper.

Travel Lightly

Another tip to avoid additional costs and land the cheapest flights is to travel lightly. Hand luggage/carryon luggage is usually free on most carriers.  They usually include a carryon, which can be a roller board or a duffle bag.

Briefcases, backpacks or handbags are considered personal item. Again, visit your airline’s website and pack accordingly. You can wear jackets or put items in your pockets to avoid carrying extra bags.

If the weight or dimension of your luggage is over the airlines’ weight limit, this will incur an additional cost for you; which defeats the purpose of finding the cheapest flights.


You can save dollars on airfare when you use these tips to search for flights correctly. The best way to land the cheapest flights in 2023 is to check from the airline or search stopovers, round trips, and open jaw using a VPN.

You can save dollars on airfare when you use these tips to search for flights correctly. The best way to land the cheapest flights in 2023 is to check from the airline or search stopovers, round trips, and open jaw using a VPN.


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