We all love tips on how to get cheap flight tickets. 2020 hasn’t kicked off to a great start for travelers around the world, but this might be the time for even more cheap flight hacks as airlines, hotels and tourist attractions aren’t seeing their usual crowd.
Lots of travel gurus and online travel guides claim to know how to get cheap flight tickets, and we are personally fans of Nomadic Matt’s really comprehensive list of great flight booking tips. We ourselves also travel frequently between our various offices, and we want to share our own set of tips to have gotten us cheap flight tickets for our recent work trip to the USA.
Travelling in 2020 might be the time to take advantage of more discounts, and here’s 5 techniques for how to get cheap flight tickets this year.
5 Techniques for how to get cheap flight tickets this 2020
Technique 1: Exploit alternate location ticketing on flight aggregators.
Don’t be intimidated by the fancy speak – alternative location ticketing is basically tricking flight aggregator sites like Skyscanner into thinking that you’re getting a flight from someplace else instead of where you actually are at the moment.
Why does alternative location ticketing work? Business Insider provides a good summary of how this technique takes advantage of flight aggregator’s tendencies to price flight tickets dynamically (AKA dependent on a number of variable factors), and that’s basically what this is all about – finding a different location to lets you get the flight tickets you want at a cheaper rate.
Does this technique actually work? It does with some caveats. This game of flight ticket arbitrage is constrained by fare rules that vary from country to country, so it pays to read up on them before exploring this technique.
Technique 2: Book in segments / Don’t book a direct flight unless necessary.
We almost always do this with all of our work trips. A direct flight from one office to another can get ridiculously expensive and isn’t always our fastest option, and usually we would settle for separate flights to transit hubs like Tokyo or Shanghai first.
This practice is also called “split ticketing”. Simply put, it refers to splitting a long-distance flight into smaller segments. Depending on your transit arrangements and end destination, doing so may save you quite a bit for every segment.
Take note that this isn’t the same as “throwaway ticketing”. Business Insider has a detailed write-up explaining it in detail (“the money-saving trick that airlines do not want you to know about”), but basically, it’s just booking a flight that transits at your destination and then getting off at transit and not completing the full flight. Throwaway ticketing does save you money, but many airlines frown upon it and will not hesitate to ban you from their frequent flyer programs.
Technique 3: Go into incognito mode when searching for flights.
Unlike our first two techniques that require quite a bit of hustle on your end, technique 3 is quite effortless. Simply switch on incognito mode before searching for flights and you might be able to grab some cost savings.
This works by preventing your previous searches (and other web browsing data) from being stored on your device, and apparently some pundits claim to airfares advertised online do increase after repeated searches.
We tested this technique ourselves to mixed results. With incognito mode switched on, we did notice some changes in flight ticket prices, but it’s better to say there’s some correlation rather than causation going on especially since dynamic pricing means price fluctuation could be a result of other factors rather than our search history.
Still, it’s a super-easy technique to put to use. Want to figure out how to get cheap flight tickets with minimal effort? Give this technique a try.
Technique 4: Use a power combo of flight booking apps.
The number of tourist arrivals worldwide topped 1.4 billion last year, and the same trend can be seen in the travel app space. The average traveler apparently uses almost 10 to 12 apps to search for, book and make travel arrangements for their trip, and two-thirds of travelers are avid users of travel apps.
There are obviously a lot of travel apps out there today, but not all of them can give you the best savings. We don’t claim to know who’s who in the travel app space, but we personally use Skyscanner’s mobile app in combination with Skiplagged and Hopper.
Here’s why. Skyscanner is great for giving us a broad overview of most, if not all, of our options; Hopper complements this with their fabulous price prediction capabilities (up to 95% accurate!), and Skiplagged exploits hidden-city flights (a form of throwaway ticketing) to give us even bigger cost savings within windows where the cheapest flights are at.
Know how to get cheap flight tickets using another app power combo? Please let us know by commenting and sharing here.
Technique 5: Use a VPN to book flight tickets
And finally we arrive at everyone’s classic solution: the good – old VPN.
Why VPNs work is similar to why being in incognito mode and exploiting alternate location ticketing work. VPNs mask your IP address and change your virtual location to someplace else other than your actual location, and this allows you to take advantage of dynamic pricing to get some cost savings.
In fact, a better way of putting it would be that VPNs are really a combination of both techniques.
Does using a VPN actually work? We chanced across a really good experiment on this, and it does seem like there was some cost savings most of the time. We also did our own tests when we booked flight tickets to the USA earlier in the year, and we were actually able to save some money (more in the two-digit rather than three-digit range, but it’s still savings).
Get cheap flight tickets in 2020 with VPN Vault
There are lots of VPNs out there, but when we booked our flight tickets earlier in the year we simply used our very own VPN Vault.
VPN Vault makes sure that your IP and web history are not logged. Our military -grade 128-bi AES data encryption keeps your information safe from prying eyes, and also keeps a tight seal on your location so that flight tickets do actually appear cheaper. With connection at just one touch and open usage on multiple devices at the same time, our VPN Vault make booking flight tickets for all 5 of us really quick and convenient.
So those were our 5 techniques for how to get cheap flight tickets in 2020. Get cheap flight tickets now with VPN Vault on iOS today!