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What's the best place to find the cheapest airfares?

by Carolyn Hopping (follow)
Travel (12)      Holidays (8)      Airfares (1)      Budget (1)      Savings (1)     

Image courtesy of redlegsfan21 / Wikimedia Commons

Airfares are one of the major expenses on a holiday abroad, and it always pays to shop around to find the best deal, as prices vary dramatically.

While some people swear that the best deals are always online, others claim that tickets purchased from travel agents are better value, as they have access to special trade discounts.

What do you think is the best way to find the cheapest air tickets? Do you go to the same place to book your flights, or do you shop around for the best deal?

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Top Answers
I think going to trade shows about travel are a good idea. They usually give discounts and help you decide the best kind of holiday for you.
I am a frequent flyer with Qantas, so I generally am happy to pay a bit more as I like Qantas and I think they are safe.

I am therefore not into finding the cheapest airline as I think you get what you pay for and I enjoy eating and like getting food on a plane -and entertainment and service.

I do however look around online first, but mostly come back to booking direct with Qantas even if the price is slightly more.

I do not look online at the same place always but just do general searches and sometimes Webjet
by Finy
Thank you Finy, for your support of our fabulous National Carrier!

I, too, only fly QANTAS! Safest airline in the world, & it's got TWO Cumberbatch Trophies to prove it!
NO other Airline has won it TWICE, only OUR Qantas! Hooray!
by donjo
We use a website called SkyScanner.
Travel agents only tend to have discounts if you are booking a package style holiday, if you are putting together a more customised break then we've found it's much cheaper to do it all online yourself.
So many people make mistakes in their bookings online, because they haven't a clue what they're doing!
They book wrong dates & a flight around-the-wrong-way, then have the audacity to ring Airline & say 'your computer booked me on the wrong date'! Idiots!

Then they turn up at Airport with no Visa for country they travelling to! Computer didn't tell them they needed one!

Online travel bookings hold many traps for the unwary! And it costs them mega $$$$ to sort! Serve them right! Might READ information in future, or better still, deal with an Airline or Travel Agent P E R S O N!

by donjo
How is this relevant to my answer?
Don't get your knickers in a twist! Geesh, VG, your comprehension not too good today?
Re-read YOUR last sentence.....
by donjo
Both my knickers and my comprehension are fine. Thanks for asking.

I don't like your reply and I was querying why it was relevant to my answer. I have stated that I have found it cheaper to book online. You replied with a rant about other people, in frankly quite an offensive manner, that didn't seem to have anything to do with what I had written, nor was it adding anything, so far as I could tell, to the general discussion.

And my name is Verity. Not VG. You are not entitled to address me by a nickname or a shortened version of my name or by any other name than the one I use to publish under. Please respect this in future, if you have anything relevant, friendly or positive to contribute. If you wish to rant in an offensive manner, then please don't do it in connection with anything I have written.
Gee lady, you're quite a piece of not nice work.
You STILL haven't comprehended what I wrote about, & yes, it's relevant. Your loss. Was just trying to point out problem(s) re: Internet air bookings, but you obviously know better. When things go wrong, who are YOU going to call?
by donjo
I always book my domestic and international travel online with some of the best bargains found on the internet. I'll cross check on sites such as iwantthatfight.com.au, cheapoair.com and skyskanner.net for flights and booking.com for hotels. Additionally I will check on the airline's website to see if there are any specials. I'm a member of Virgin and One World, so generally the airlines I search out will fall under these two umbrellas. The great thing about the budget sites is you can tailor the information to suit - therefore if you only want to travel with Qantas for safety reasons you can tick the box for Qantas etc ...

Just under a month ago, I was searching for a flight from Sydney to Adelaide to travel on a Friday. Flights that I wanted were either fully booked or the fares I wanted weren't accessible (read only business class fares available)!.

I searched direct through Qantas, Jetstar, Tiger and Virgin. I then checked for the same flights on cheapoair (an American provider) and could purchase my ticket at virtually cost price (even though it was in American dollars) it was still by far cheaper than purchasing direct with the airline. Also on offer were seats on flights being shown as fully booked.

I've also flown on Ryan Air when in Europe and had some brilliantly cheap flights across Europe (all done over the internet).
Annalisa, if travelling within Australia, & you book on an American website, it would be a good idea to check with the ACTUAL Airline it's booked you on, or you may be in for a nasty surprise when you check-in at Airport!

If the Australian website of the Airline showed the flight 'was fully booked', it would be more up-to-date than an American website.
Also, ALL flights Domestically here, carry CARGO. The American website may not be factoring that in. Equation is: more Cargo, less passengers' can be on flight, as all aircraft loads are 'weight' governed.

An aircraft can only get airborne with the correct weight for that aircraft, which includes weight of fuel, passengers, luggage AND Cargo.
Good luck!

by donjo
It may be luck or not. It's worked for 10 years without letting me down. It's not only American sites that show available seats but Australian ones as well. Working closely with airline agents in the film industry, I have been told by these agents that a certain percentage of seats are sold to them, so when one avenue may show no seats being available it may not necessarily mean there are NO seat available. There are deals out there if people are prepared to look.
Thank you, Annalisa, a very interesting observation, from a different angle! Cheers!
by donjo
I use skyscanner
We use Webjet and Flight Centre to book our domestic flights. (In Australia) Flight Centre is often the best price but having said that we prefer to travel Virgin or Qantas rather that Jetstar or Tiger. My husband often travels from Melbourne to Adelaide to visit his elderley mother. Our children have used Jetstar and Tiger and got some incredibly cheap fares but they've also bee stuck overnight due to flight and booking problems.
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