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.