How to save money when buying an airline ticket online

In this article, I give you some tips on how to save money while buying an airline ticket online and get rewarded with free gifts, tickets and more. If you'd like to save your hard earned money and save around 10-20% of your travel expenditure, read on..

Travelling by air is not only for the rich anymore. With the advent of low-cost airlines, flying has now been made available to the common man. Thanks to technology today, we no longer have to stand in long queues and are now able to book our tickets with the click of a button. In this article, I'm going to show you some of the not so well known tricks that can help you save some money the next time you decide to fly.

1. Online Booking through a travel site?

Isn't is easy to just head onto a travel website like Cleartrip, Yatra, Makemytrip, compare the ticket prices offered by various airlines and book the cheapest one? Well, it most certainly is! What we forget is that the cheapest fare available here might not be the cheapest after all. Here's an example:

I need to fly from New Delhi to New York tomorrow and I need to book an airline ticket urgently. I head onto a travel website, enter the travel details and pop comes the cheapest flying option:
Airline fare - travel website

Here as you can see, the cheapest available fare is Rs. 49,513 by Air India. Now, lets head on to the official website of Air India and try to find their cheapest fare:
Cheapest fare - Airline website

Here as you can see, the cheapest fare for the same flight is Rs. 48,990. Instant saving of Rs. 523. This may not be a huge saving when compared to the cost of the airline ticket, but in a lot of cases I have witnessed similar differences for a fare ranging between Rs. 5000 - Rs.10,000. That's nearly 10%.

Here's a video explaining the same.

2. Book return tickets to enjoy better fares.

Whether you book an airline ticket from a travel website or directly from an airline, return fares often save you around 15-20% of your money.

Compare this:
New Delhi - New York one way - Rs. 49,513
New York - New Delhi one way - Rs. 48,680
That makes it Rs. 98,193 if booked separately.

Whereas, a New Delhi - New York - New Delhi return flight for the same dates costs Rs. 80,348 on the same airline.
That's a saving of Rs. 17,845, nearly 18.5%

3. Always enroll yourself with the airline's Frequent Flyer Programme

How would you like a Delhi - Mumbai return ticket absolutely free of cost? Well, after completing the above flight from New Delhi - New York that we are finding best fares for, you could easily get a free domestic return ticket with the miles you earn if you are a member of the airline's frequent flyer programme. I have worked for an International airline's frequent flyer division myself, and I most certainly approve this message.

Enrolling yourself is a mere 2-minute form filling on the respective airline's website, and you instantly get a membership number to use in your flight bookings.

4. Try and book tickets using your credit card.

Using your credit card to book tickets and then paying the credit card bill on time won't cost you anything extra. However, it would most certainly get you a lot of reward points that you may be able to use for free gifts, fuel, another airline ticket etc. I have an ICICI Bank credit card and while booking my tickets, I always pay using the same and in return get rewarded by a bag full of Payback points that I redeem to pay my utility bills. Smart, isn't it!

I hope the above tips would help you plan your next travel itinerary. Please let me know if this was useful to you and don't forget to share it with your friends.

Check out the Travel apps that will be helpful for frequent travellers.

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