How much cheaper to buy a plane ticket: online or at the ticket office?
Air travel is the most convenient and fastest way to reach a distant location. Travelers are often surprised by the variability of ticket prices. With the same conditions (airline, city of takeoff, city of landing) the cost of the flight can vary significantly.
It turns out that a great many factors influence the price of a flight - day of the week (weekdays or weekends), proximity of the departure date, season, and more. Taking into account all of these points, and using some tricks can reduce the cost of traveling by air by 2 or even 3 times.
How much cheaper to buy a plane ticket: via the Internet or at a ticket office? You can find the answer to this question by reading the rest of this article.
The simple task of buying airline tickets becomes a difficult science when one wants to significantly reduce the cost of travel. The first thought that arises - it is necessary to buy airline tickets directly, that is, directly at the airport.
A person reasons quite logically. The airport is a direct service provider, so it does not produce additional surcharges on airline tickets, and therefore it is cheaper. If it were that simple, I would not have to write this article. The most expensive prices are not uncommon on the official website of airlines and directly at the ticket office. With what this is due, it is difficult to explain. Perhaps because in this case there is a retail sale of the service - one ticket for one passenger.
Resellers get tickets at a lower cost, because they take them in bulk. With long-term cooperation with airlines and the successful implementation of proposals from a particular carrier, agencies receive discounts, bonuses and can offer flights at prices significantly lower than the direct purchase.
As a result, it turns out that buying from intermediaries is sometimes more advantageous. It remains to find the most advantageous offer. The search should be conducted via the Internet. Thus, you can save not only money, but also time. Let's try to understand this issue in detail.
Features of purchasing airline tickets online
When buying airline services through the "world wide web" you need to know how to search correctly. Companies often offer discounts and promotions that will significantly reduce the cost of the flight. Prices often even depend on the time and place of purchase. Knowing all the tricks, you can get a cheap ticket without losing service and quality of service.
Positive aspects of buying tickets online
An electronic ticket purchased through the Internet is no worse than a regular ticket. Purchase through the World Wide Web has significant advantages over visiting the air carrier's office or the airport ticket office:
A variety of offers from various airlines and agencies;
Fast booking of any number of air tickets without leaving home;
Instant purchase with access to online banking or other payment methods via remote access;
Receive full flight, airline, service and other details in seconds;
Access to purchases and reservations from anywhere connected to the Internet at any time of the day or night;
Ability to make an analysis of prices and offers on various sites.
The main condition for purchasing tickets for flights remotely is the availability of a bank card. You need to have your own passport at hand, as well as the documents of your companions.
Problems you may encounter when buying airline tickets online
For all its convenience and profitability, buying online has certain disadvantages that should always be taken into account:
Loss of a large sum of money as a result of technical problems on the site. The situation occurs very rarely. It happens that there is no information on the service about registration and purchase. The problem is solved after a lengthy investigation. Therefore, after confirming the actions of payment, keep screenshots, electronic versions of the document or any other proof of purchase actions.
Buying coupons on fraudulent sites. This practice has long existed on the Internet. The buyer is offered tickets that aren't really there. In this case, no one will return the money. Therefore, the deal should be done only on proven resources.
Each buyer himself determines the most favorable offers. If you buy for the first time is better to consult with more experienced friends or to study the information on forums.
Several ways of saving money when buying tickets for the airplane over the Internet
Using small tricks can significantly reduce the cost of traveling by air. Tips are relevant if passengers do not have a need for a momentary departure and can plan a trip in advance.
Book and buy in advance
The easiest way to save up to 40%. The more time left before departure, the lower the price. The most advantageous offers are 6-7 months before the possible departure date. Then the cost starts to increase every day. It happens that you can get a ticket at half price on the day of departure. Such auction offers are possible if the airplane is half-empty and the airline wants to attract customers for the flight in question.
Buying tickets in the "bad" season
Every traveler has noticed that in the summer, the price of airfare to popular destinations immediately increases. This is understandable, air carriers want to recoup the losses incurred during the "low" season. So if a person knows exactly when he wants to go on vacation in the summer, book and buy tickets better in early spring, or even in winter - savings up to 30%.
You can save at least 10% on your purchase if you make it at an unpopular time, for example, at night from Sunday to Monday, or on the first day of the week. Air carriers consider trips made in the middle of the week to be business trips, so they raise their prices. A return ticket is better purchased on the weekend, on those days prices are usually a little lower.
Buy round-trip tickets
This point is important because it allows you to keep up to 50% of the money in your piggy bank. Carriers offer discounts and promotions only for round-trip tickets. For example, the flight Prague-Barcelona-Prague will be almost 2 times cheaper than Prague-Barcelona and Barcelona-Prague.
So try to plan your departure and arrival dates in advance.
Tickets for a low-cost flight are always lower. A low-cost airline is a carrier that offers flights at low cost. Underpricing is due to the company's lower costs for service, flight maintenance, and more.
Here you should be prepared for some surprises - for example, no luggage room. If a passenger has a large luggage he would have to pay a pretty penny for its transportation.
Also on such flights may be absent any entertainment on board, no meals are served. Lowcosters tend to sign agreements with airports where the service charge for the aircraft and passengers is minimal. The airport may be old, remote from major cities. That is, these airlines are trying to save on almost everything, thereby providing a low cost of air travel.
Be prepared for the fact that the low-cost companies, working on the principle of low-cost, sell non-refundable tickets. That is, in the case of the trip cancellation money for the tickets will not be refunded.
European airlines are represented by low-cost airlines:
EasyJet and others.
Flights on boards of such airlines are quite safe. It may be uncomfortable for people with large height and weight, as the distance between seats is 71-76 cm. Simple carriers use boards, where the distance between seats in economy class is not less than 86 cm. Low-cost carriers have no class separation.
Don't take tickets on direct flights
Direct flights without connections save time, but not money. It is better to choose a route with one connection. You will save 20-30%.
Participate in promotions
It is necessary to be subscribed to the newsletter of offers from airlines, so as not to miss the next promo. Special offers are valid for a limited time. Promo fares are used when new destinations are developed or hubs are opened.
Change your departure and arrival point
A flight from Prague or Istanbul will always be more expensive. If you use the services of international airports located in regional centers, you can save on flight 20-30%.
You can reduce the cost of the flight if you change the final destination. For example, a passenger flies to France. You can land in Paris, Nice, Marseille, Lyon or Grenoble. The first two destinations would be the most expensive.
Turn "invisible" when searching for tickets
It is better to search in incognito mode, through tools that provide anonymity. This is due to the fact that tracking user requests on the Internet has reached a high level. If "cookies" and "caches" of views are not cleaned, then the search engine may give out not the most favorable offers.
Here, so-called "bugs" that track a computer's location can work. If the user has confirmed his location in the capital, marketing tricks may be applied to him. For example, he will see the wording: "There are only two tickets left in the specified direction at so-and-so cost. Or displayed proposals with inflated cost.
So make your reservation and order tickets only in "incognito" mode, and do not forget to clear your cache.
Use one airline
This advice is relevant for people who frequently travel. If you buy tickets from one company, you automatically become a regular customer. In this case he can take part in loyalty programs, earn miles and bonuses, get considerable discounts and participate in promotional events.
How to collect miles
This is a popular offer of many carriers. In order to use it you should register on the company's website and confirm your participation in bonus program. Each time you buy a ticket, your miles accumulate in your bank account. This way you can accumulate miles for a flight, which you won't have to pay for.
Often air carriers are united in partnership groups, so the bonus programs can be valid for flights with different airlines. You should check the company's website for details.
Buying airline tickets at aggregators
In order to vary your choice and find the best option for your flight you should use the search with the help of aggregators. An Internet aggregator is a search program that allows you to find the best option for a flight. Search engines are not tied to a particular airline. They are engaged in the analysis and comparison of prices. If you apply a flexible search (ie, move the date of arrival and departure by 1-2 days), you can greatly reduce the cost of the trip.
You can find many sites on the Internet that offer the sale of airline tickets. The best resources are those that have an excellent reputation:
Skyscanner. The service has advanced offers on airline tickets, car rentals, search for the best hotels. The site is convenient because it has information about flights to any part of the world. The resource periodically arranges shares. For example, if you buy a round trip ticket, you are offered a discount on a hotel room.
lowcost.club. A convenient search platform, which allows you to form a request to search for tickets for complex and simple routes. A request is processed in a few seconds. The user is offered the best available option. The service then redirects the person to the airline or agency website, where tickets can be purchased. People who use airlines frequently can subscribe to the site to receive interesting offers.
Using the services of all of the above search engines is safe - they are proven and reliable platforms. You can try other services, but before making a purchase on them, make sure that they are reliable. This is indicated by a long period of operation in this area, a large number of reviews, not necessarily only positive. You can check the company by calling the phone numbers listed in the contacts.
Where to buy the cheapest airline tickets - on the Internet or at the ticket office
To summarize all of the above, it can be noted that the most favorable offers exist on the Internet. To find options, you can use the official websites of airlines, online stores, airline agencies or aggregators. The search on the latter site is more variable, because the resource is not tied to specific airlines, and analyzes the offers from several hundred companies.
An airport or agency box office is not a profitable option. The passenger will have to spend time traveling to the site and will be limited to the minimum offers that are available at the moment. Such an offer is appropriate if a person is already at the airport and has decided to fly "wherever he wants to go. But you can't cut costs with last minute offers. The airline is well aware that only people with money can afford not to "bother" with the search of air tickets found in search engines or operators. And for business travelers, there are appropriate rates.
You will also need to buy tickets at a ticket office if you need a subsidized ticket. Guaranteed cheap airline tickets for residents of the Far East, for example, are only sold at ticket offices and agencies with original documents.
But in general, in order to buy cheaper airline tickets it is necessary to spend time searching for bargain offers in online stores and aggregators, it should be done 2-3 months before the planned date of departure. One should buy tickets in both directions at once.