I get ask day in and day out from family, friends and readers of the best places to find cheap airfare deals, and where I happen to learn of major mistake fares, last minute getaways or below-cost excursions.
Every time, I tell these folks that it takes work to fins these deals, and, in a sense, I’m not lying. It’s literally a full time job sometimes, and it requires a constant attention and stamina to stay on top of everything…and boy is there a lot to stay on top of!
To keep everything concise and as a resource for everyone, here are my picks for the best places to stay on top of cheap airfare deals.
- I recommend subscribing to forums or emails whenever possible, that way it avoids manual checking.
- Pick a few blogs or resources you happen to see deals posted first in, and bookmark them. Follow those folks as they usually are the “gatekeepers” to publishing the deals to the outside world.
- Keep in mind not all deals are “public,” and may only be known to a few insiders. You may not see things posted widely on blogs or forums, but usually when they are, word will get out fast.
- If you find a deal, book now and think later. Figure out your hotels, airport transfers, entertainment, etc., later. BOOK THE FLIGHT. Deals can expire at any minute, and lucky for you, most airlines offer a free 24 hour refund period.
The Flight Deal
The Flight Deal has an excellent website with deals sorted by city, and you’re able to subscribe to a daily email of the best deals they’ve curated that day. If you really are die-hard and want to know the deals as soon as their published, follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their notifications. That way, as soon as they Tweet a deal, it will pop up on your phone.
Airfare Watchdog is another great curator of deals, and lists the bests deals of the day on their front page. You can set alerts on their website by city or destination, and then receiving a daily digest of deals meeting your criteria to your inbox. I have mine set for the airports nearest my home.
Mileage Run Deals on FlyerTalk
Mileage Run deals published flights that meet certain criteria, usually below 4 cents a mile, in a forum setting on FlyerTalk. You won’t be able to sort by city or destination, but these deals are always well below the average cost of the flights you’re looking for, and is one of the first places I go when looking to fly for cheap. Keep in mind, the deals here may be for specific days, specific airlines, or specific city pairs, so you may have to do some fancy work to take advantage of these.
Premium Fare Deals on FlyerTalk
Premium Fare deals on FlyerTalk publishes flights in premium cabins (First or Business) for well below the average asking price. If there’s a mistake fare in Business Class on a particular flight, you’ll most likely find it listed here first. If you want to fly First or Business but don’t want to pay full fare, make sure you’re subscribing to updates to this forum, which, for me, I receive a daily email update in my inbox every morning.
Secret Flying is a good consolidator of major deals, and publishes them in a pleasing visual format. While I don’t subscribe to their emails (usually finding the content elsewhere first), they’re good to have bookmarked to check daily since their deals are all published neatly on their front homepage.
Founders Card is a member only card (but, everyone is approved…no, it’s not a credit card) that has a tremendous amount of benefits, mostly to do with travel. With the card, you get:
- 20% off Virgin Atlantic tickets to the UK, originating in the US or Canada, plus complimentary Flying Club Silver Elite status after just one flight.
- 5-25% off Cathay Pacific flights, plus complimentary Marco Polo Silver Tier status.
- 5-10% off most Virgin America fares.
- Up to 10% British Airways flights originating in the US, UK, or Canada.
- Save between 8-20% on Qantas flights from the US to either Australia or New Zealand.
- 5-10% off Emirates flights originating in the US.
- Up to 14% off Singapore Airlines flights, originating in the US.
- Up to 5% off JetBlue flights.
This is absolutely unbeatable, and I have the card myself to prove how valuable it is. I get more than my membership fee back each year and then some. For a limited time only, you can save on Founders Card membership just by clicking here.
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