The process of booking cheap flights to your destination could be highly baffling with a number or airlines and travel agents promising to offer you the best. I implement the following procedure to find cheap flights to India and find it really effective.
Step 1 – Check with Popular Travel Agency Website
Opt for Flexible Date Search in the travel planner. This option queries the website for your travel dates +/- 3 days both on your departure and return dates.
Although you may prefer one particular carrier over other, search for fares on all the airlines by selecting ‘all’ or ‘any’ for the choice of airline. This would present you with an opportunity to compare the fares on different airlines.
Indirect flights are usually cheaper than the direct and non-stop flights. Leave the option which prompts for choice of direct or indirect flights blank to maximise you chances of finding cheap flights.
Submit the travel details in the travel planner and pick the lowest fare for flights to India from an array of fares displayed based upon your preferred date of travel and preferred airline. Note down the detailed travel itinerary and the fare now and in every step forward.
Step 2 – Check on the Airlines’ website
Check directly with the airline for the cheapest fare offered by them. It is recommended that you first check with the airlines that have Indian origin like Air India, Jet Airways or Kingfisher. Apart from increasing your chances of getting cheaper fare, this will also allow you to get the best baggage allowance.
Step 3 – Fare Comparison on Travel Search Sites
Now query some travel search websites which can provide you with a comparison of the fares and itineraries directly from different airlines and various travel sites. kayak.com, Expedia, Orbitz etc are few popular ones.
Step 4 – Finally, Call Travel Agent(s)
Once you have done your research as above and are in the possession of the cheapest fare, call the travel agencies directly. Simply, quote the fare which is available with you and ask the agent to get you something to beat this fare. Some travel agents such as southalltravel.co.uk are able to match their fares with the one that you found online subject to certain conditions.
Sometimes destination specific sites are also able to quote highly competitive fares.
Booking different legs of your journey separately also helps cut down on flight costs.
Booking package deal including flights and hotels can result in great savings.
Ask for further discounts as many popular travel agents have great negotiated deals with the airlines and are in a position to slash their mark up.
Always book well in advance as the fares tend to rise as the travel date draws closer.
Air travel during the off season is cheaper.