3 Tricks I Use To Find Cheap Flights

When you're searching for cheap flights to any given destination, the endless search engines and continually fluctuating prices can be overwhelming. 

Now, Due to the national elections and the Ethiopian embassy being closed for the next two weeks, I decided to leave Kenya, Nairobi earlier. I made the decision last Sunday to fly back to my home country, South Africa, because I couldn't really do much due to all the “excitement”. Now, this meant that I only had a couple of hours to find an affordable flight if I planned on leaving first thing Monday morning. Talk about stress, right!

So, I've taken it upon myself to lighten your load and share some tips that i have used to save you some time, frustration and most importantly money.

1. I Keep my searches top secret
Have you ever searched for a flight and noticed how flight price usually change after searching a few times for a particular flight on your web browser?! Trust me, you were not going crazy. Based on the cookies on your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched. Reason? Because the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher.

Tip:  Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.
Your cookies are reset each time you re-open an incognito window. So if you want to start with a clean slate for each flight search (so your previous searches aren’t “remembered”, potentially inflating costs), close all your incognito windows, open a new one, and then perform your flight search.

In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”. This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search. 

2. I use the best flight search engines
All search engines have inflated flight costs as part of taking a cut from the airlines. Some search engines (e.g. Expedia) consistently inflate much higher than others (listed below). It pays to familiarise yourself with sites that offer the best prices.

I Use These to Book
1.    Skyscanner
2.    AirFare Watchdog
3.    Momondo
4.    Cheapoair
5.    JetRadar
6.    Google Flights
7.    TripAdvisor

Remember no single search engine is consistent nor perfect. However, i have found momondo to be pretty good. With that said,  you may need to try a combination of search engines to ensure you’re not missing any results. 

3. I sometimes use a travel agent
Travel agents have special undercut rates that are inaccessible to use normal people, even though this doesn’t always mean they can provide the best price. I always do my own research first, find the cheapest flight and then go to the travel agent with the information to see if they can match or beat it. This would be especially beneficial for long-haul flights where even slight savings could equate to a few hundred Rands. They can also help you extend your layovers so you can enjoy a few days in a different city, rather than just sitting in the airport.