How to Buy Airline Tickets

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Fly the friendly skies without your wallet taking a wallop.

Step 1: Shop four months before the flight
Start shopping online and over the phone for tickets about four months before you want to fly out. Typically this is when airlines sell their cheapest seats.

Step 2: Understand that prices fluctuate
Understand that prices fluctuate randomly during the day, due to sales and other factors. Tickets are not necessarily cheaper earlier in the week than later, but Saturdays are usually the cheapest day.

Step 3: Stay connected
Sign up for e-mail alerts on travel, airport, and airline websites to keep up to date information on ticket prices.

Tip
Look for hotel and airfare packages as package costs are often lower.

Step 4: Make connections
Book your own connecting flights. Airlines will not sell tickets for connecting flights less than forty-five minutes apart, but you can buy two separate tickets that are often cheaper than one fare ticket.

Warning
Book your own connection at your own risk. Be aware that if you book connecting flights separately and you miss your connection, the airline is not obligated to rebook you for free.

Step 5: Book your fight
Visit a particular airline’s website or a booking website like Travelocity or Orbitz. Select the details of your flight, including the dates, destination, and whether you want a one-way or round-trip. Choose the best flight with the best price, and pay for your flight with a credit card.

Did You Know?
In 1930, Boeing Air Transport was the first airline to use female flight attendants.

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