One of the things that stop people from traveling regularly is the expensive price tag of plane tickets, especially for hard to reach destinations. Thank God for budget airlines and their promo fares! [P.S. Don't get heartbroken when you book 'piso fare/free seats' promos and end up paying over a thousand pesos and NOT 0-2 pesos for a round trip ticket, it's just a marketing strategy, like how you think P99 pesos is cheap ].
Here are some of Gem’s tried and tested airline seat sale online booking tips and tricks to scoring cheap flights:
1. Be informed ASAP
The challenging thing about booking during a seat sale is that you’ll have A LOT of competition. So, you need to know the news as soon as airlines announce it.
- Subscribe to their newsletters. If you like to stay up late, you’ll be happy to know that there are some airlines that announce first through newsletter emails at midnight
- Follow their Twitter account
- Gem’s favorite: Enable the Get Notifications option for their Facebook page updates
- Some have flash sales at a specific day every week which will only run for a few hours.
2. Know the regular rates
For the destinations that you wish to go to someday, do a test-booking in the airline websites to find out what the regular rates are so you’ll know if you’re really getting a good discounted ticket price or not. For example, a round trip ticket to Incheon, South Korea will usually have a Php16-20k price tag (one way for Php8-10k). When we booked during a seat sale, we got our round trip tickets for Php7.8-8k (one way for Php3.9-4k) — half of the regular price.
3. Be prepared with your details
Promos have the ‘until seats last’ fine print, the fewer seats left, the more expensive they get. When booking online, you must be swift as a coursing river, be a man! Even a minute or two is crucial. One dilemma that we’ve encountered when booking is when we’re inviting our friends to join us in the trip, we tend to waste a lot of precious time on waiting. Inviting friends to join you will involve a lot of calling, texting, and waiting for their replies and decision making. As we’ve said, every minute is vital! So if you have friends who you wish to invite for your future travels, better collect their information beforehand (full name and birthday).
4. Don’t pay upon booking
Now, what if your friends have to ask for permission from their boss or check if their schedule is clear on the dates you’ve chosen? What we do is we book the sure and unsure group separately and choose the payment center option (over-the-counter bank deposit, pay at convenience stores, etc). This will give you 24 hours to settle the payment, which will be cancelled if you don’t. This way, you won’t end up paying for people who won’t be coming anyway with your credit card. This will also give you more time to decide for yourself if you really want to push through with the trip.
5. Ditch the additional charges
Think about it, do you really want to spend a couple of hundred bucks for a reserved seat when you can actually just request a seat beside a window during check-in or pay for miscellaneous fees like in-flight meals when you’ll only be flying for a couple of hours? You’ll be paying for a cheaper plane ticket when you uncheck those boxes.
6. Travel light (Beep’s special skill)
Did you know that you can modify your baggage allowance when booking plane tickets online? We hope you do because this one is important if you want to get big savings. Choose the ‘hand-carry only/no baggage’ option so you won’t have to pay for baggage allowance that you don’t need anyway. Just take note of the hand carry weight limitations of each airline. (We’ll be talking more about packing light soon in the blog!)
Photo from Lifehack
7. Adjust your dates for peak season
If you’re going somewhere for a festival or event, expect that the plane ticket prices will be more expensive on the days before and after the festival, even during seat sales. Travel on dates ahead or later to get the lowest prices.
How about you, do you also have some tried and tested seat sale booking tips and tricks that you want to share?