If you’re looking for cheap airfare, it’s not far away. These days, there are tons of ways to find good fares. For starters, there’s skyauction.com. This site allows you to bid on airfare, hotels, and trips just as you would bid for a TV on ebay. Direct fares are also available through the site but the best deals are found by bidding. Bidders can scan the site to see what auctions are ending and jump in at the last minute to secure a cheapo flight.
Kayak.com is also a nice little site. The site allows you to run multiple airfare searcheson popular booking sites like orbitz, cheatickets, travelocity, hotwire, priceline, etc. so you don’t have to go through them one by one. Kayak also informs you when the best times to buy tickets will be. If fares are set to increase next week, a graph will show how costs of your travel is about to rise – convincing you to book now before that happens. The reverse is also true. If rates are set to fall for your journey, the fare graph will convince you to hold off on buying until the rates drop.
The drawback to Kayak.com is that it doesn’t search the real discount carriers like Spirit Air, Southwest Airlines, or Virgin America – now offering coast to coast travel for around $220. To take advantage of these airlines, sign up for their newsletters.
Spirit recently ran a $99 sale to Costa Rica I took advantage of only because I get their newsletter. The fare lasted 24 hours so if I wasn’t addicted to my crackberry, I never would have gotten to Costa Rica for $200.
Last but not least is Priceline.com. You’ve all seen the commercials; you can get cheap airfare and hotels on this site but you have to be a bit savvy. The site seems to inflate the prices of things so that when you bid on a fare, you think you’re bidding much lower than you are. Example: I searched for airfare from Boston to DC and got a rate of $200. When I checked Orbitz, I got a rate of $160. I had planned on bidding 30% under the Priceline rate, $140, but that would have really been a bid of about 12% under the real fare, $160. So be sure to get the rates on a site outside Priceline before bidding on something.