As a member of the United States Armed Forces, you often have to travel by Air. And sometimes traveling on commercial flights, whether for duty or personal leave cannot be avoided. When you travel at the last minute, you can expect to pay more, but with a little planning you can save a lot of money scheduling ahead of time. There are some things you can do to help make your trip as inexpensive and convenient as you can.
Rule of Seven: Price increases for airline tickets occur at 21, 14, and 7 days prior to the day of travel. You should try and purchase tickets before each of these time periods, the sooner the better. If you wait till the last minute you will not be able to get the flight you want at anything approaching sanity in price. Don’t buy too far ahead, remember the rule of seven, and buy if you can just about 22 days before you fly for the best fair. Buy Early: If you buy somewhere between 30 days and 21 days before you fly, you will likely be able to find the best price, the time period is the best for buying seats inexpensively.
Do not Limit Options: You can often find a wider variety of airlines if you consult the Internet, or look using online booking services Do not limit your efforts to find a inexpensive flight, look around and try to find the best deal that you can. Limiting because of particular program or a bad past experience will tend to cost you more money in the long run.
After Midnight Purchasing: There are a lot of frequent flyers that say that if you purchase your ticket just after midnight you will access seats put back into service by the airlines from cancellations. Opinions vary about this method, but if you do purchase after midnight be mindful of the rule of seven. Don’t Take the Last Flight: The very worst flight to take is the last flight out of a location for the day. Competition is highest because everyone that missed earlier flights is also vying for seats, and if you miss this flight: you are stuck. So remember that air travel is not perfect, and you run the risk of being stranded another day or overnight if you book the last flight of the day.
Compare Online: Look at online auctions, such as Priceline and Hotwire, and compare fares with their offerings. Sometimes despite all the rules, there will be an exception and you may discover a steal if you have to fly at the last minute.