By Lisa Bellavin
Good news, lovers of compromised legroom and the dreaded middle seat! Reports indicate airfares will fall to historic lows in the coming months.
According to Hopper.com, domestic airfares will be down 12.5 percent by December thanks to lower fuel prices and increased competition from low-cost carriers. Last November, Icelandic airline WOW came out with fares from Boston and Baltimore to Reykjavik for only $99 each way, and WOW has been keeping fares low throughout the summer and into the fall.
We might have to wait a couple of months to see what 2016 brings in the way of super-ultra-low-cost bargains, one thing is certain – fall airfares may be up to 30 percent cheaper than they are this summer, and now is the time to start researching to get the ultimate airfare bargain. You can get started with these great tips.
- Want to find your deal before everyone else? Sign up now for airline emails and airfare alerts. One of the easiest ways to find airfare deals is to have them delivered right to your inbox. Sites like Skyscanner and Kayak let you choose parameters for where want to travel and when, and then alert you when prices fall. The service is free, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Also, with so many options, many carriers are eager to land your business through promo codes and special offers. Sign up for multiple e-newsletters from airlines that specialize in flying to your desired destination and watch the deals and frequent-flyer offers roll in. Simply choose your favorites! Here’s another reason why it pays to go direct to the airlines: More and more airlines – including many of the lowest-cost carriers – don’t feed their fares into third-party flight aggregators like Kayak, Google Flights, and even the big OTAs like Expedia. To get the best fares from Southwest, WOW, Air Berlin, Ryanair, Spirit, Frontier, and more, you really need to subscribe to their emails and follow them on Twitter. It’s definitely more work than one-stop shopping, but isn’t saving $200 or more per ticket worth it?
- Add alert sites to your twitter feed immediately. Are you a social-media user? This can be a great advantage to you as you search for last minute, low-cost fares. Deal consolidators like AirfareWatchdog (@Airfarewatchdog) and The Flight Deal (@TheFlightDeal) exist to alert followers to the best deals on both international and domestic flights on a given day. If you can be flexible on your destination and dates of travel, a smoking deal is guaranteed!
- Get adventurous! Although it seems a little backwards, sites like Google Flights and Kayak Explore let you choose your departure airport, and then surf the map for the lowest prices to anywhere on the globe. Let the deals select your next vacation destination! Today from Chicago O’Hare I found Tokyo at $825, Turin, Italy, at $658 and New Orleans round-trip for $97! Trust me: If you love to travel, this will be your new favorite website.
- Get comfortable with the “dead zone.” The cheapest times of the year to fly just about anywhere are the “dead zones” of travel, which are generally the first two weeks of December, the last two weeks of January and the first week of February. It may be wintery in many popular European destinations, but the museums, post-holiday shopping deals and of course the amazing food remains. And the beach is always welcome in the short, cold months of January.
And now for the deals…
- Hawaii: Fares are predicted to fall shortly for Winter 2015/2016 travel. In the meantime, Hopper is listing a $400 round-trip fare from Seattle to Honolulu for travel in the late summer and fall.
- Florida: Flights have recently been reported as low as $74 round-trip on Spirit Airlines, and lodging prices generally fall 10 percent to 20 percent beginning in September.
- Toronto and Montreal: After school begins in the fall, many deals are offered on flights and hotels to these Canadian hotspots through the holidays and into January. The temperatures may be sinking, but the beautiful fall colors and the ice wine can’t be beat!
- Berlin: AirBerlin recently put out an email advertising fares from Chicago to Berlin for January and February 2016 travel beginning at $549.
Begin searching now and discover why fall is the best time to book travel. Happy hunting for those amazing deals, and of course report back to us what you find on Twitter @bhtp!
Lisa Bellavin is community-relations director and event coordinator for Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection — and a veteran traveler.
Make sure your great airfare deal remains a great deal with AirCare flight protection from BHTP. It covers the most common flight mishaps easily and inexpensively. Get it here.