How do I get the best air fares?
The best way to get the lowest air fare for your next trip is when you have some advanced notice about the trip.
Then you can sign up with several Internet sites which will alert you as to fare changes. Sites like www.tripadvisor.com, www.airfarewatchdog.com and www.kayak.com will search through most airlines and give you fares for each one. They also allow you to request an alert email when fares change.
The exceptions are American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. They require you go directly to their websites to find the best rates.
Another interesting site is www.yapta.com which offers refunds for the difference between the fare you paid and the new lower fare if the difference is $75.00 per person or more. This only applies to some airlines and may differ between domestic and international flights, so you will need to check their site to get the specifics.
Sites like www.kayak.com and www.lastminutetravel.com offer bargains on last minute travel but they are usually for specific flights on specific dates. The airlines dump these seats at great discounts when they have planes that are not fully booked close to the travel dates.
You will also find that if your travel dates are flexible you can save a significant amount of money. For example, flying from New York to Fort Lauderdale, FL last weekend leaving New York Friday afternoon and returning early Monday morning instead of late on Sunday would have saved over $100.00 per ticket.