How to Get Pocket Friendly Domestic Airfare
The total passenger traffic on domestic flights increased from 67.38 million in 2014 to 81.09 million in 2015, according to the civil aviation regulator DGCA, says an article published in The Telegraph in January 2016. More and more people now prefer air travel to trains or road trips. This is mainly due to the fact that airfares are now cheaper than ever before. Airfare has decreased because of an all-time low in fuel costs. Fuel costs account for 40 percent of the total operational costs of an airline. Moreover, in today’s times, where time is money, air travel is the preferred choice for many. However, you would not like to burn a hole in your pocket just to save time. Apart from getting discounts and deals offered by various air carriers, you can save money on air travel by just being a little cautious.
How to Save Money on Flight Tickets
Believe it or not, you can travel from Delhi to Mumbai on a domestic flight in less than what you would pay for a second AC ticket of a premium train. But this is only possible if you book fight tickets three months prior to your journey. Unlike train tickets, where prices are fixed, airfare fluctuates according to demand. When the airlines open up booking for tickets for a certain date, the price is fixed. However, it starts to surge as the departure date draws closer and then falls during the last few hours before departure if there are a large number of vacant seats.
An analysis of flight booking data from 2012 to 2014 by travel search engine Skyscanner revealed that you can save up to 15 percent on airfare if you book tickets four months prior to the journey. Here is how this works. Airlines have limited seats and as more and more seats are taken, the demand exceeds the supply, so the prices automatically skyrocket. Ideally, you should book domestic flight tickets 6-10 weeks before the journey to save money. Booking any later or earlier than this is likely to cost you more.
While booking domestic flights, you must compare different flight timings for the same day, since ticket prices may differ with timing for the same day by the same carrier. Try and avoid weekends and national holidays, since airfares are likely to be higher on those days. You can also save more by booking connecting flights instead of direct ones. Also, check the airline’s own website for some great deals and discounts or subscribe to their newsletter to stay updated with the latest offers.