If you're a frequent flier, you probably begrudge the amount of juice the major airlines manage to squeeze out of you every time you travel.
And by the time you've added on all the extras - luggage, meals, extra leg-room, priority boarding, insurance, etc - the price as initially advertised has sky-rocketed beyond anything you'd hoped for, laughing in the face of your budget. Cheap flights don't always wind up being that cheap.
There's all kinds of tips and tricks you can engage for getting the best price on air fares:
The cheapest time to book is on Tuesdays at 3pm Eastern Time.
The cheapest travel days are Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Saturdays.
The most expensive days are Fridays and Sundays.
The cheapest travel times are when nobody else wants to go: either the crack of dawn or at lunchtime.
Domestic flights are cheapest when booked between 3 months and 30 days before departure.
International flights should be booked between 5.5 and 1.5 months before travel.
Flights with layovers are often cheaper.
You should book fares for multiple passengers separately - it works out cheaper that way.
But most of us mere mortals are not bearing all of these variables in mind when we're looking for flights. We want cheap fares, and preferably, for someone to just tell us where and when to book them. Simple as that. The following 11 iPhone apps will take all the donkey work out of flight hunting, and ensure you get the best price on your fares, without the hassle.
Hopper boldly claims it can save you up to 40% on air fares by predicting exactly when you should book your tickets. By continuously monitoring the routes you're interested in, the app will alert you when fares go down and if they're about to increase, so you're sure to get in there at the right time.
One of the most user-friendly travel apps out there, KAYAK is a one-stop-shop that takes the grunt work out of booking flights when you don't have time to peruse the web. Flight trackers, price alerts, airline directories, and even suggested packing lists make this app a great all-rounder.
Hipmunk not only seeks out the best-priced air fares around, but sorts the results beautifully by 'agony' factor: not just by cheapest to most expensive, but in order of least number of stops and shortest duration. The lower the numbers, the lower the agony score - and the more pleasant the journey for you.
The official app of the well-established, well-trusted website, Skyscanner delivers the same great functionality and filtering options to make your life easier and your traveling cheaper. Check out the globe view to see prices from your departure location hovering over the map, and track fare trends over a month or a full year.
If you need all the legroom you can get when you catch a flight, SeatGuru is the travel buddy you've been looking for. This indispensable app ensures you a comfy flight by offering 700+ seat maps for nearly 100 different airlines, alongside honest passenger reviews. Work out exactly what the seating options mean before you go ahead and book.
CheapOair is a slick app that guarantees the best price on flights, hotels, and car hire. CheapOair aggregates fares and prices from over 450 airlines, allowing you to make big savings and book with multiple airlines for a round-trip. It also comes equipped with a ton of traveler tools, flight status info, and more. Once you've tried CheapOair, you're unlikely to go elsewhere.
From the makers of CheapOair comes Geneo, an app for the less travel savvy which walks you through the flight-search process by asking you a series of question about your trip. Once you've found the perfect match for you, you can book over the phone or online (via the CheapOair website).
Orbitz is a comprehensive app for booking flights, hotels, and car rentals, all covered by the Orbitz best-price guarantee. It not only offers a slick interface with multiple filtering options, but rewards you for bookings with Orbitz Reward points, redeemable against future trips and activities.
Skypicker Search and Book Low Cost Flights and Airline Tickets
Skypicker is a cheap flights search engine in the truest sense of the word, aggregating air fares for low cost airlines operating in Europe. This clever Czech app can save you up to 90% on air fares, by showing you routes and flight combinations that the airlines would rather you didn't know about.
This start-up offers fares so low that it has already landed itself lawsuits from both United Airlines and Orbitz. Skiplagged saves you big bucks on flights by uncovering 'hidden fares' - when you book a multi-city flight but only use part of the journey — saving you up to 80% on regular tickets. Beware though, the practice violates some airline T&Cs.
Bravofly compares over 350 different airlines to make sure you get the best deal possible. If spontaneity is your middle name, the Best Fares of the Week function feeds your the best last minute deals to destinations all over the world.