This guide will walk you through the steps on how to score cheaper flights and airline tickets.

We’re going to start with top websites and apps that you must ALWAYS check before booking any flight. Then, you’ll be learning helpful tips that will save you time, keep you from spending more money than you have to and, by the end of this guide, help you become a flight-booking expert.

Compare fares on multiple airlines

A quick and easy way to do this is to use flight search engines A.K.A airfare comparison sites. Get started by following the steps below:

Step 1: Visit the best flight search engines listed below (click the links to open a new tab).

Step 2: Enter your destinations and travel dates to compare airfares.

Step 3: Go back to this page and select another flight search engine.

Step 4: Repeat steps #2 & #3 until you visit all sites listed.

Step 5: Review the airfare results to find out which airline/site offers the cheapest prices. Take note of all the airlines listed. Use the “Filter” feature to see a list of airlines that fly to your destination.

No single search engine provides perfect results 100% of the time. Check multiple sites to make sure you’re not missing out because of incomplete results. Start with Skyscanner and Momondo, then check other search engines before confirming prices with the airline directly.

When searching for flights online, always use incognito or private browsing mode to ensure prices are not altered based on your search history. To open an anonymous search, simply long tap/right click on the links above (or any links on this page) and select “Open in incognito tab”.

Check airline promo fares

Many airlines offer seat sales and discount fares sold exclusively on their website or booking app. This is very popular among Asia-based airlines. If you’re flying elsewhere, it would still be good to know if the airlines you’re targeting offer promotions regularly so you can decide if you should book ahead. Or, wait for a seat sale.

Now that you have a list of possible airlines to fly with, visit their website and look for promotions currently running. Look for pages named “Fare deals,” “Special Offers,” “Promos,” “Seat Sale” etc. Another way to check is by visiting the latest posts on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. It’s a lot of manual work, but it can provide huge savings if you happen to come across a really good deal.

To save time from checking many websites frequently, sign-up to the airlines’ newsletters and use the “Fare Alert” feature of Momondo and Skyscanner. This way, you get automatic updates by email when a new cheap fare alert is announced.

Philippines promo fares

If you are looking for cheap flights in the Philippines, airline promo updates are also posted here on Detourista. See airlines listed below or view all promo fares:

Get FREE promo updates by email!

Get FREE promo updates sent to your email. Don’t miss the next promo!

After you submit your email, make sure to check your inbox and confirm your subscription by clicking the activation link. Click here to learn more.

Enter your email in the form above to get updates on new promotions from multiple airlines. Promo alerts on Detourista are sourced directly from official websites, newsletters, and social media pages. We regularly monitor new promos from multiple airlines. Then, share these announcements so you don’t have to spend time doing all the manual work, checking each and every site yourself.

Should I book my flight now or should I wait for cheaper fares?

If you already have your destination and travel dates set, the general rule to spend less is not waiting to book, especially if you’re flying within 2 to 3 months.

Airlines typically offer a low year-round fare as a baseline price, and as more seats are sold, the remaining tickets get more expensive. For most routes, the price increase usually starts sometime within 2 to 3 months before the day of departure.

Flight tickets may be sold lower than year-round/baseline fares if these happen:

1. Seat sale/promotions

2. Error fares (also called mistake fares)

Book sooner rather than later if you know when/where you’re flying and your trip is coming soon. More often than not, you’re likely to save more by booking ahead instead of waiting for an unknown sale that didn’t happen and purchasing higher-priced flights last-minute.

Not all airlines frequently offer seat sale/promotions, but the ones that do usually announce them at least 3 to 6 months before the flying date (the cheapest ones are often sold up to a year in advance). These promo fares are only worth considering if you are planning that far ahead, AND the route you’re targeting is served by airlines that frequently announce seat sales.

How to book the cheapest flights possible

The most important strategy is being flexible with your travel plans. You’ll be surprised how often you can find cheaper flights just by checking fares 1-2 days before or after your intended flying date. For example, if you plan to arrive on Sunday, try checking the price difference if you fly on Friday, Saturday or Monday.

Of course, if you want to find the cheapest possible flights, plan far ahead of your trip (several months up to a year in advance). Here are key points to follow (scroll down for the detailed tips):

Use the best flight search engines.

Stalk airlines that frequently offer promo fares.

Plan your trip based on the cheapest days to fly out.

Consider budget airlines.

Book only what you need.

Do your research.

Choose the cheapest places to fly.

Lookout for error fares.

Check fares early and subscribe to fare alerts.

Know the cheapest days to fly out

Flights are generally cheaper when the demand is low. You can spend less by avoiding peak months, holiday and weekends, but this not always the case. The best tactic is to get a quick visual of daily prices for a given month and seasonal price trends over a year.

Skyscanner makes this task really easy. Simply pick your destinations. Then, on the “Depart” and “Return” dates, choose “Whole Month”. Select the “Cheapest Months” and search.

Momondo also offers an easy day-by-day comparison worth checking, but what I really love is their flight insights report. On their site, enter your destinations and random flight dates. Then, select the “Flight Insights for” link on the upper right corner. Here, you can learn the biggest factors that affect airfares including the cheapest months/weeks of the year to fly.

Momondo offers more flight insights on their “Trip Finder” feature. Simply visit this page. Select your origin location on the “flying from” option. Then select “Anywhere” on the “Flights to” option. Select a World region & finally the country/city you want to visit.

When to fly budget

If you want to travel on the cheap, going with budget airlines is the obvious choice. Budget airlines keep prices low by offering affordable basic fare, then charge extra for add-ons that are typically complimentary when you fly with full-service airlines. These add-ons may include check-in baggage, food/drink on-board, comfy leg room etc. Basically, you only pay for what you need.

In Europe, the price difference between budget and full-service airlines are often huge, making it easy pick a clear winner. In Southeast Asia, however, it’s not uncommon to see prices closely matched after factoring in the cost of add-ons.

Here’s a list of popular budget airlines around the world:

Asia

Australia & New Zealand

Europe

North America

South America

Africa

A more comprehensive page with budget airlines listed by country is posted here.

To be sure that you’re not missing possible airlines to fly with, check the airport pages on Wikipedia & scroll down to the list of airlines and destinations. Simply go to Wikipedia.org, and enter the name of the airport on the search box. Type “Singapore Airport”, for example. Or use Google Search and key in “Wikipedia Singapore Airport”.

Do your research & book only what you need

Always, check the booking details before purchasing tickets and read the airlines’ terms. Remember to do the following:

Check the location of the arrival airport. Larger cities are served by multiple airports. Some budget airlines fly to airports farther out of the city, which may add to your transport costs.

Pre-book the exact luggage allowance that you’ll be needing. Make sure you’re not over the specified size (length/width/height) & the number of bags allowed. Don’t just look at the maximum weight. It’s ALWAYS cheaper to purchase check-in baggage before flying, preferably when you book the ticket. It’s going to be massively expensive if you go over, and you purchase during check-in at the airport AND even more if they catch you last-minute at the boarding gates. If you want to know much it’ll cost to upgrade your baggage allowance, check out the comprehensive list of airline baggage fees on Tripadvisor.

Use web/online check-in if available, which will provide some leeway if you’re running a bit late to get to the airport. During web check-in, most airlines will give you the last chance to pre-purchase cheaper priced add-ons. Have your credit cards ready.

Check the specific airport terminals if you’re booking a connecting flight on different airlines or separate point-to-point tickets with the same airline. Make sure you have enough time to transfer between these terminals so you don’t miss your next flight (and be forced to buy a new flight).

Check the breakdown of fees before booking. Some budget airlines have a sneaky habit of pre-selecting add-ons during the booking process. You can end up spending money on add-ons you might not need, without even knowing about it. The usual culprits are travel insurance, seat selection, meals & baggage allowance.

Print your own ticket. Ryanair is infamous for charging a hefty fee if you don’t have your plane ticket on hand when you arrive at the airport. You can easily avoid this by bringing your printed copy. If you decide to use an e-ticket saved on your mobile device, make sure the airport accepts e-tickets.

Choose the cheapest places to fly

If you want to travel the cheapest way possible, plan your trip based on cheap fares instead of primarily chasing destinations. Strategies on WHEN to book cheap flights are already posted above. Not it’s time to know WHERE flights are cheapest.

Flight search engines with a map view make this super easy. Simply enter where you’re flying from and your target dates. Estimated prices then appear over hundreds of countries around the globe from your departure point. The list of destinations is sorted by price, allowing a quick way to plan a trip based on where it’s most cost-effective to fly.

Here are the best ones you should check out:

Lookout for error fares

In rare circumstances, airlines make mistakes when posting fares, which can result in ridiculously discounted flights. Mistake fares happen for a variety of reasons including human error, technical issues, or currency conversion glitches.

These sites are good at spotting them:

Error fares are often so cheap that they seem too good to be true. They’re the real deal! The airline, however, can dishonor the error fare if they catch it on their system. They usually notify the booker if that happens.

Get free flights on airline rewards programs

Why pay for your flight when you can get them for free? Join frequent flyer program offered by your favorite airlines and sign-up for credit cards that rewards miles for every purchase you make.