Thursday, September 18, 2014

How I Buy My Flight Tickets

Good news people, I am finally going on a well-deserved holiday soon! The last holiday I took was to Hong Kong back in May of this year. While many of my friends went on fabulous trips throughout the summer months of June and July, I have been quite busy with work the whole year actually. Oh well, here's not the place to complain about work, but rather make other jealous by announcing my holiday plans!

Just like for my Hong Kong trip, I used Skyscanner to shop around for cheap flights and help me do comparisons. Although Kayak actually has a better platform (better user interface, more options, multi-city planning, price trends), I am still very pleased with using Skyscanner. Perhaps I am a bit biased since I have been using Skyscanner since 2012 and it has been my best friend helping me plan my overseas trips even back then.

One of the things that I like about Skyscanner is the fact that they generate prices in real-time. Even if websites display a certain price, they already know how the taxes and charges add up for each site so that the amount that they display is really the final net amount to be paid.


The picture above is a good example. It went over to hit 8 different websites to generate immediate quotes with the same flight itinerary and then suggested the cheapest one.

However, unlucky me, but Travelgenio and Travel2Be are both the same companies and they had a major flaw with their website:


Yup, their website couldn't process my name because my surname was invalid. I guess that's what happens if you're born Chinese with a short last name!

I couldn't figure out how to change the currency of ebookers, and since I didn't want to pay in pounds sterling, I didn't bother to try to check out.

I finally struck it gold with Expedia! I breezed through my booking pretty quick. I am quite happy with them.


Anyway, my tips for booking cheap flights:
1) Plan early (better feel of the prices, as well as opportunities if a promotional deal is offered)
2) Book early (flights booked between 1-2 months before departure are usually cheaper)
3) Compare compare compare
a) airlines (sometimes mid-tier carriers are cheaper than budgets because they don't charge for baggage)
b) timings (very early morning, noon and late afternoon flights are usually cheaper)
c) days (arriving before the weekend is cheaper, and avoiding Sundays for depature)
4) Discounts (use discounts, coupons or rebates)

Using my OCBC Frank card, I should be getting back a 6% rebate, which is about $20 off from my next credit card bill!

Anyway, I will still be around for the rest the of the month, I have a ton of work to finish up before I leave for my holiday. Just when work is slowly getting more relaxed and I am about to go for a holiday, does the market start to look very exciting.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Observe the house rules.