Booking a flight, whether to escape on vacation or go visit family/friends, is an experience that comes with two drastically different feelings. On the one hand, it's exciting to know that you're going someplace different to escape the everyday grind.
On the other, it sucks to know that it's going to burn a hole in your wallet. But luckily, that doesn't have to be the case. If you're going on a trip and are worried about the cost of flying, check out our tips on how to save money on Delta flights:
Use The Right Websites
Where you book your flight is the number one key to finding great deals on airfare. Place like Google Flights and Bing Travel are great tools to scan the thousands of available flights, to make sure you're getting the best deal possible.
You can pick out the best Delta fare available, and then you'll be redirected through the airline's website to complete your purchase.
Best Time to Book Delta Flights
The timing of your purchase is almost as critical as the site you use to find your airfare. There's a common misconception that booking flights way ahead of time (as early as possible) will get you the best deal on airfare. This simply isn't true.
According to a Delta reservation agent, the window you're aiming for is 6 to 12 weeks before your flight. This way flights that aren't close to booked will begin to go on sale, but the last-minute increases in price haven't kicked in yet.
For whatever reason, booking your flight exactly 47 days before takeoff is the cheapest day, according to the Huffington Post.
Use Exchange Rates
This only applies for international flights, but if you're flying out of country, check the website of the country you're flying to see if the fare is cheaper. You'll have to plug the prices into an exchange rate converter, but oftentimes you can find cheaper prices. For instance, if you're going to France, check fr.delta.com for fares.
Cheapest Days to Fly Delta
Finding cheap fares is all about being available for the cheapest flights. If you're dead set on flying out on Friday, you're already screwed. Good luck finding cheap flights on one of the most popular travel days of the week.
Instead, look for flights on:
These are the cheapest days to fly. Also be willing to fly super early in the morning or ridiculously late at night, when flights tend to be a lot cheaper.
The Layover Maneuver
Ah, yes. The art of deception. This plan involves booking a flight where your true destination is listed as your layover destination, and you just never get on the second half of your flight. It's true that you can find cheaper fares this way, but it only works if you're flying one way without bags.
As soon as you miss a leg of your flight, the whole rest of the trip cancels, so doing this round trip won't work. And if you check a bag, it will just go through to your ticket's final destination, leaving you stranded without your luggage.
Traditional Travel Agent
Sometimes brick-and-mortar travel agents can offer even better deals than online sites. It doesn't always work out, but it's worth looking into. Similarly, if you go through a traditional travel agent, you can oftentimes find good package deals on flights/accommodations.
We've already touched on this with dates and flight times, but flexibility is absolutely key when finding dirt cheap flight fares. That means looking for nearby airports as well. Many times there will be a better deal flying out of a nearby airport.
So if you can figure out some cheap transportation to get to it, you can save yourself a bunch of money. Tools like Google Flights will alert you when you can save big by simply choosing a different nearby airport.
Set up Price Alerts
You can sign up for price alerts to be sent directly to your e-mail, which can help give you an idea of which direction the price is headed in. It's very difficult to purchase a flight at its absolute lowest price, but if a price keeps dropping, let it go for a few days to snag it at a lower price.
Risky Plan: Using a False Discount
Delta offers flight discounts for:
- Medical issues
If you're desperate to shave 15 to 20 percent off your ticket price, you can consider claiming one of these discounts. According to that same flight reservation attendant, Delta never does its due diligence in checking medical records or age when offering discounted tickets. So if you're feeling lucky and a little bit desperate, give it a shot.