How to book a flight at short notice & get the best deals.
Travelling on business is stressful enough without the hassle of trying to get a flight at short notice. But in a business it’s not always possible to plan that far ahead so that you can book a flight a month or two in advance. Many times it’s the person you are meeting that dictates when you can meet especially when you are trying to sell to them.
I’ve found when I’ve travelled in the past, along with dealing with jet-lag and time management, the hardest part is finding a flight deal that isn’t going to cost the earth.
Knowing at first hand that last minute trips are sometimes inevitable here are a few tips to find the best deals on flights;
Do your research
As soon as you find out you have to fly across the world next week research your options. Start with your preferred airline that you may possibly have loyalty points with. If they don’t fly to your particular destination or they don’t have good enough deals then look elsewhere.
Look at sites that specialise in helping you find cheap tickets. After looking at a few sites you should get a feel for the average price you might have to pay and the lowest deals. If you have time sign up for price change alerts.
Be wary of outrageously cheap deals
If something looks too good to be true then it probably is. So if you find the average price for the flight is £650 and there is a deal at £300 then you should check out the small print. Before you buy a ticket read the small print thoroughly so that you understand all of the hidden costs.
In my opinion, when you see a flight advertised that’s really cheap, then it’s usually seeing a one way flight. Sometimes, when you click through you’ll then find that taxes, baggage fees and other fees are then added on so it’s not until you have to pay for the flight that you get the true cost.
Use a Budget Carrier
Budget carriers do have their place and certainly if you have a restricted budget and you are flying short haul you will probably get a good deal if they have availability. They are known for having ‘hidden’ fees; you pay for seats, snacks and even cabin bags in the overhead locker in some instances. However if you are not bothered where you sit , can carry on a sandwich bought in the airport and you just have a bag to put under the seat the price you see is the price you pay.
Be as flexible as you can
While it’s easy to say it’s not always easy to do. We all have personal commitments with family and friends but if you can be flexible on time and date weave this into your criteria and there may be cheaper options. Day and time of travel is certainly a key criteria that determines the cost of a flight.
Another option is that it may be cheaper to fly from a different airport and if you can easily get to that airport then you may be able to save hundreds of pounds.
Use a Business Travel Agent
If you really are stuck for time you can come to a travel management company such as Mint Business Travel and just one phone call to explain your requirements will be all that is needed to have them plan your travel itinerary for you. Travel management companies also have access to flight options that you as a consumer do not and these can sometimes save you thousands of pounds.