Every frequent traveler has their own tricks for booking the best and cheapest flight possible.
Luckily, some were willing to share their secrets on a Quora thread that asked, "what are the best flight booking hacks?"
Keep scrolling for some tips and tricks that may make all the difference.
- Look at all your options.
Quora user Saran Udayakumar, who has 45,000 miles in the sky under his belt, says that when he's booking flights he makes sure to check travel search engines like Kayak, Priceline, and Skyscanner, as well as airlines' websites.
- Don't be opposed to layovers.
This may seem like an obvious one, but nonstop flights are typically more expensive than flights with layovers. So if you're looking for the cheapest possible option, Udayakumar says to consider booking a flight with a layover.
- Clear your cookies or open an incognito tab before booking.
According to Udayakumar, travel agencies and airlines often use your computer's cookies to determine what kind of flight you're interested in booking. Once they discover what you're looking for, they'll often raise prices accordingly.
- Book a connection you know you're not going to make.
This hack is better suited for risk takers, as it involves gambling with airlines. Udayakumar suggests booking a cheap flight with a super short connection time that's almost impossible to make.
- Don't only rely on big-name airlines when flying internationally.
According to Quora user Patrick Keane, a frequent flyer with Star Alliance and a Lufthansa eXperts member, some airlines you probably haven't heard often offer the cheapest fares for transatlantic flights.
- Fake your computer's IP address to fudge your location.
Flight prices differ widely from country to country, says Quora user and avid traveler Anya Mary. Often fares are cheaper in countries with lower living standards, so pretending you're booking from, say, India, instead of the US, can make all the difference.
- Book a flight with a layover that's actually your end destination.
Quora user Gaurav Srivastava refers to this hack as "hidden city ticketing." Here's the example Srivastava uses to explain the trick: Say you're flying from New York to Chicago and you find a cheap flight that goes from New York to Kentucky, but with a layover in Chicago (chances are a flight like this will be cheaper than a nonstop flight from New York to Chicago). Book that flight and then just disembark in Chicago (don't board the connecting flight to Kentucky).
- Look out for "fifth-freedom flights."
Srivastava explains that the "fifth freedom refers to the right for an airline to carry revenue traffic between two foreign countries as part of a service connecting the airline’s home country."
- Book an early flight when you can.
Turns out waking up at the crack of dawn for an early flight is worth it. Quora user Dan Birchall highlights a few reasons why.
- Consider booking one way tickets and flying into and out of different cities.
While booking a round trip ticket in and out of the same city might seem like the easiest, most logical way to go, Quora user Jeff Mccoy says that it's not always the cheapest. Sometimes, booking two one way tickets that arrive in and depart from different cities can save you a lot of money.
- Search for one-person flights even if you're booking for multiple people.
If the first search you perform for a flight is for multiple seats, the airline might hike up prices, McCoy says. So instead, start by searching for a flight for just one person, and look into booking for multiple people later.
- Use Points Loyalty Wallet to trade and/or buy points and miles.
"Trading or buying a few extra miles might be all you need to earn a travel reward," McCoy says. Points Loyalty Wallet lets you do both of those things, and it's worth checking out.