Sunday, November 26, 2006

Cheap Ticket for Travelling

Cheap flights are at the other end of the spectrum from cheap holidays. With holidays the greatest savings are made by those who are willing to book at the last minute. With flights, the converse is true. As flights get booked up, the prices tend to rise. (Bernstein J et al., 1999)
Two of the most commonly used mechanisms for obtaining cheap flights are flight-brokers and screen scrapers. The flight brokers make their money by selling you a flight that gives them a commission. There is therefore a balance between the amount of commission that an airline pays them to fill their seats and the requirements of the student. The screen scrapers are web-based tools such as TravelSupermarket, TravelJungle, and SkyScanner. You effectively enter your requirements and these sites send the details to dozens of airlines (and some brokers) and display their findings with the cheapest first. (Sheth A et al., 2002)
There are variations on this process with sites like Expedia and Travelocity specialising in long-haul flights and Expedia and Opodo allowing flights to one airport then leaving from another. Flights Direct will specifically examine the charter market for occasional bargains.
If you intend to fly on certain dates a few months in the future, it is well worth signing up to the e-mail lists of the appropriate airlines. They will send out details of short-term sales so that you can snap them up at the right moment if they come up. British Airways, Opodo, American Airlines and KLM are particularly good for this type of approach.