Save On Airline Tickets, Shop On Saturday Morning

Saturday morning is the best time to find a deal on airline tickets, according to CNN Money. Most airfare sales are released to the Airline Traffic Publishing Company on Friday evening, and then forwarded to travel sites and agencies. With 200 million fares in circulation at any given moment, CNN has a novel solution for ferreting out the best deal:

Okay, you’re at your computer in prime travel-shopping time. Where to go first? Not to one of the big three travel-agency sites. You instead want to visit ITA Software (itasoftware.com), a Boston company that developed QPX, a travel search engine that powers other search engines.

Primarily, it’s a business-to-business site with no frills, but you can log on (as a guest) and search fares, even including those of some discount carriers.

Once you enter the usual information, QPX produces a list of flights with prices, departure and arrival times and warnings about inconveniences such as long layovers. You can also search for the lowest fares at any time during a month and for deals if you stay over a weekend.

You can’t purchase a ticket through ITA, but you’ll receive “booking details” that instruct you how to secure the flight you want. ITA Software lets you send an e-mail to your travel agent (a living, breathing one, not a Web site) to request the specific ticket it found. Or you can print out the details and then hunt for the same flight on a travel Web site where you can make a reservation.

To find an even better deal, be flexible like a gymnast. Fiddle with flying times and airports – anything to squeeze extra savings from the airlines.

Capturing a fare deal [Money]
ITA Software [QPX]
(Photo: Hyougushi)

Comments

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  1. n301dp says:

    If your flight is on only one airline/fare code you can call the airline directly to book it. Give them the code, dates of travel, and amount of travelers and they should be able to book it. It saves time, and there are occasions where the fare won’t show up on the airline’s website.

  2. bilge says:

    All you need is sidestep.com and kayak.com.

  3. Major-General says:

    Kayak.com and learning the quirks of your preferred airline. I have on several occasions flown from LAX to either Tulsa or Wichita, both small with relatively little traffic, for about $220.

  4. jaredharley says:

    Kayak.com – ’nuff said.

  5. sixsnowflakes says:

    a major problem of kayak.com is that it relies on the prices listed on the other travel websites. If orbitz or travelocity has problems as is typical, you will continually see the fare through kayak but not be able to book it or exclude those results from your search. Sometimes the flights through united found on kayak are also not available for booking. ITA in combination with another booking agent such as expedia is a great tool to add to kayak. I routinely find international flights $100 to $300 cheaper through ITA compared to kayak.

  6. Slytherin says:

    I thought the best day to buy tickets is Tuesday night into Wednesday morning?

  7. alpha says:

    @Slytherin:

    yeah no kidding. make up your mind people!
    fwiw, I watched ticket prices for a week and around tue/wed was the cheapest for the flight I was looking at.

  8. RebekahSue says:

    @Slytherin: Thank you!
    Next week, it will be Sunday or Thursday.

    I thought the best day to buy tickets is Tuesday night into Wednesday morning?

  9. Slytherin says:

    @RebekahSue: @alpha: I just check every day throughout the week and book when I think it’s a reasonable price.

  10. alpha says:

    @Slytherin:

    That’s basically what I did, but since I didn’t know the exact day I was going to travel, it ended up cycling a whole week. For the flight in question (which was pretty cheap to begin with) ~Wednesday was the cheapest and the weekend was higher by $15-20