With so many travel websites to choose from it’s hard to ever know if you’re really getting the best deal when it comes to booking your international travel.
But travel expert Gilbert Ott reveals you can at least save yourself the bother of falling for the most common myths around air ticketing. Here he debunks the top five.
1. ‘Midweek is best time to purchase tickets’
No it isn’t. Travel expert Gilbert Ott points out that based on recent statistics, it’s far more important to have an understanding of average prices than to think about days of the week
Mr Ott, who runs the popular blog God Save The Points, claims that this suggestion is completely false. ‘There’s no magic day,’ he says. ‘If there was no one would ever book any tickets on any other day.’
He adds that although there is a general range of time during which you’ll find the best deals, it’s pretty wide – anywhere from 200 to 21 days before you book.
2. ‘Clearing your internet browsing history will get you lower fares’
Perhaps one of the best-documented ‘hacks’ out there, this one simply isn’t true – but using your search engine’s Incognito function will stop you from being bombarded with flight ads
‘There’s no evidence that fares have actually spiked because of browser history,’ he remarks, a fact re-enforced by flight comparison site SkyScanner.
The website’s FAQ section reads: ‘It isn’t possible for the Skyscanner cookie to influence prices because until the point of visiting the airline or travel agent’s site to book, your session is anonymous.
Mr Ott does, however, advocate using your search engine’s Incognito function. ‘It might not lower fares,’ he says, ‘but it will keep you from getting those creepy emails telling you to finish booking your flight, even when you’re not logged in’.
3. ‘You can’t get a refund if you pay too much for a ticket’
Have you ever booked a flight, only to see the ticket price plummet later on down the line? Well, you may just be in luck.
‘There are some cool apps out there like Yapta and FairFly which monitor the price you paid,’ Mr Ott reveals.
‘On many airlines if the “best price guarantee” from the airline changes by more than $50 you are eligible for a refund of either the entire ticket amount or at least the difference in price.’
4. ‘When an airline says “sale”, it means cheap tickets’
According to Mr Ott’s research, airlines are having a ‘sale’ almost every day of the year. ‘With few exceptions, if an airline is actually announcing a sale, there’s a high likelihood that it’s hardly a deal,’ he explains.
‘You should at best glance, and then keep calm and carry on.’
5. ‘This one website always has the best deals’
If just one website had all the best deals then everyone else would be out of business overnight, says Mr Ott.
‘Not all sites display all airlines or fares and occasionally one undercuts its competitors.’
To be sure you’re been shrewd, he advises using Google Flights to compare different travel agencies against one another, as well as comparing fares booked directly with an airline. ‘You’ll get a different outcome almost every time,’ he says.