Every seat on the aircraft is being sold at different price. Some may be even paying 25-50% more for the same seat and meal. If you make a good planning and book at the right timing, getting a return ticket to Europe can get as low as S$880. Find out how you can get the cheapest air ticket and choose a flight with the best seat product.
1. Weekly Sales By Budget Airlines
Morning Glory Promotion
Every Tuesday, 7am-9am
Every Thursday, 24Hours
All discounted fares from their promotions are typically one-way fare. On some weeks, you could find ScootBiz (Business Class) tickets for less than S$200 or $0 fares to hot destinations like Bangkok and Hong Kong on a normal seat.
Picture taken from Scoot's Facebook.
2. Special Dates & Anniversary Sale By Scoot
Scoot promotions are quite predictable. If you follow them closely, you would realize that they like throw out random promotions on special occasions like Labour Day or Scoot Anniversary. You will be able to find better deals than their Tuesday Morning Glory sale in these random promotions. I am predicting a big sale this coming December as Scoot will be receiving their first B787 Dreamliner aircraft. It is another milestone for Scoot.
Picture taken from Scoot's Facebook.
Taking reference from the first and second picture, the recent Scoot anniversary promotion offers even cheaper rates than their Tuesday Morning Glory sale to China if you are on two to go. Note that the Tuesday Morning Glory fares indicated in the first picture is for the return sector only. The first sector typically cost more than S$100.
3. NATAS Fair
There are 2 NATAS Fair each year. They are typically held on February-March and August. These periods of time are very important as you could see fluctuation in prices and flight availability.When NATAS Fair is around the corner, airfares get cheaper when airlines and travel agencies introduce Pre-NATAS & NATAS promotion. There are also some Post-NATAS promotions. However, airfares can get higher or have less favorable flight timings after NATAS Fair.
Picture taken from MisaTravel
4. Do fare comparison between travel agency website and airline website.
Before I move on, I need to emphasize that budget airlines are never always budget. The picture says it all.
When looking for my flight ticket, I will conduct 2 basic search:
1) Price comparison between airlines at a travel agency website.
The price ranking between airlines at MisaTravel usually corresponds with the ranking you derive if you do your own search at each individual airlines website. Alternatively, you can look up at Expedia. Rates offer by travel agency websites can be cheaper or more expensive than what the airline offers. Hence, the second step is to visit the airlines website.
2) Visit the airlines website.
Once I know which airlines are cheaper from the travel agency website, I will visit the airlines websites to check their rates. Through these steps, you will know whether to book via travel agency or directly from the airline and which airline to book with.
From my experience, Cathay Pacific tickets are usually much cheaper if you book through travel agency website. Two things to note when booking your tickets with travel agency. First, usually you are not qualified to redeem mileage from airlines. Second, if you want to change or miss your flight, your airline may ask you to make arrangement with your travel agency, which is more troublesome and time consuming.
5. Plan and Book Early
The safest time to book the flight ticket is usually 2-3 months before your date of departure when you are very likely to find some airline promotions. Flight choices get limited when you do late booking. Fares usually get higher if you book too early or late. However, there are some exceptional if you book way in advance. For instance, budget airlines like Air Asia love to offer ridiculously low rate or free seat tickets for next year departure in more than 6 months time.
Picture taken from Air Asia Website
Having a holiday in Europe or USA is no longer dream anymore. You can easily fly to Europe for less than S$900 if you purchase your ticket 2-3 months in advance. Qatar Airways offers really good promotional rates to Europe and USA regularly.
Pictures taken from Qatar Airways Website on 31st August 2014
6. Avoid Travelling on Peak Period
Airlines love to impose Peak Period Surcharge. Try to avoid travelling on holiday seasons. If you have to fly during holiday periods and weekends(including Friday), consider booking 3-5 months in advance and when there is a promotion.
7. Characteristic of a Transit Flight
Transit flight is a flight that fly from Point A to Point C, making a transit stop at Point B. This kind of flight can be very full, especially if point B or C is a hot holiday destination like Bali. If you have a high frequent flyer status, the chances for being upgraded is higher. Otherwise, be prepared to be squeezed in between your seat and wait in a long queue for the toilet. Hence, try to avoid a flight with a transit stop. A lighter flight brings a better experience and more value to your ticket
8. Aircraft type
1) Older aircraft type usually comes with older seat product.
2)Aircraft for long haul flight is usually fitted with nicer and more comfortable seats that comes with larger leg room and space. Aircraft for short and mid haul flight usually comes with older seat product or if you are lucky enough, a new regional product (less favorable than long haul seats).
Let's take the picture below as an example
Picture taken from Singapore Airlines Website
Aircraft for short & mid haul flight (less favorable seat): Aircraft for long haul flight (more favorable seat):
Airbus A330 Airbus A380
Boeing 777-200 Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range)
On some other airlines' website, you can see some aircraft type comes with a letter behind the digits. These aircraft are usually fitted with the newest seat product. For instance, on Cathay Pacific website, aircraft indicating 77W represents Boeing 777 aircraft fitted with their latest product.
Picture taken from Cathay Pacific Website
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