Saturday, December 29, 2012

5 Sure Ways to Snag that Rock-Bottom Air Ticket

Expensive airfare tickets are already a thing of the past! Thanks to the burgeoning travel industry, airlines now make domestic travel accessible to every Juan (ehem).

I remember the time when traveling to nearby Hong Kong was cheaper than a flight elsewhere in my homeland, the Philippines. By instinct, one would choose to travel to the neighboring Asian countries than explore one’s own 7,100 islands.

My first time to Davao, I took the flagship airlines, and I paid a hefty P7,000++ for the roundtrip ticket. Good thing, we saved up on accommodations because we stayed with a relative. Imagine coughing up the same amount every time you fly, in your own country. Difficult ei? You’d have to be rich to be able to travel regularly.

But thank heavens. Things have turned around. And the trend is not only in the Philippines, but almost all over. So snagging that cheapo ticket comes by easy nowadays. Just at the top of my head, AirAsia leads the SouthEast Asian route, then there’s Ryan Air in Europe, and of course, Cebu Pacific, followed by AirPhil Express in the Philippines. For a complete list, I always refer to this website to know which budget airlines fly to a certain destination.

OK so you might be thinking, are the cheap fares really true? Is there really such a thing as Zero Fares or Piso Sale? In a roundup of Pinoy Travel Bloggers, here’s the cheapest ticket they bought for a flight:

The zero fares are really true. Either they just got lucky, or those were complimentary tickets to make up for delayed flights.

How does one find cheap tickets?

1. Subscribe to an airlines’ newsletter. 

Because you’re in their mailing list, you’re usually the first one to know if there’s an upcoming seat sale. Get ahead of the pack, and book on a midnight or the wee hours of the morning.

2. Have a lot of patience. 

The moment the sale starts, expect their website to be busy. Some may not even be able to take in the volume of visitors. So just keep on trying. Better yet, pool your friends together and assign the booking of one destination per person.

3. Have your important details ready. 

Like your passport number and your credit card details. And if you’ll be traveling with a group, have a copy of their complete names and birthdays as well.

4. Be flexible. 

Since these are promo fares, they normally don’t give you the flexibility given to regular paying customers. Any changes with the flight details and rebooking will be an additional charge. They can also be tricky. Normally, they know that people travel within a week, so although you may find a zero fare one way, your flight back usually takes on the regular (or cheaper) price.

5. Breathe and relax. 

After each purchase, I usually get the jitters and the excitement consumes me. I bought a flight to KL once and I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking about my trip. Then, I remember, my flight’s not until the next 4 months. Sheesh. Yes, these promo fares, usually makes you buy way ahead of time. But for less than a hundred pesos? I’m sure it’s a sweet way to part with your bucks, and look forward to that authentic roti and curry dip in your next trip!


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