Air travel has been a popular mode of transportation for decades, and it’s no surprise that millions of people take to the skies every year. With airlines constantly changing their policies and fees, it can be challenging to navigate the world of air travel.
However, by knowing a few travel hacks, you can make your next flight more comfortable and affordable. Here are some of the best airline travel hacks of 2023.
Use flight comparison websites
Flight comparison websites have revolutionized the way we book air travel. In the past, travelers had to visit multiple airline websites or call travel agents to find the best flight deals. However, with the rise of flight comparison websites, travelers can now easily compare flight prices from multiple airlines in one place. These airline travel hacks will help aggregate information from various airlines and display it in an easy-to-read format, making it easier for travelers to compare prices and find the best deal.
One of the biggest advantages of flight comparison websites is that they allow you to filter your search results based on specific criteria. Flight comparison websites also often offer additional features such as price alerts and fare calendars. Another advantage of flight comparison websites is that they often offer customer reviews and ratings.
Fly with Low-Cost Carriers
The emergence of low-cost carriers has transformed air travel by offering budget-friendly flights to different destinations. These airlines usually have a stripped-down approach, which means you’ll need to pay extra for things like checked baggage, seat selection, and meals. However, if you’re comfortable with fewer amenities, you can significantly reduce your airfare costs.
Low-cost airlines like Southwest Airlines, Ryanair, and EasyJet are some of the most popular options in the market. By flying with these airlines, you can access affordable travel options and explore your desired destinations without breaking the bank.
Book flights in advance
When it comes to air travel, timing is everything. One of the best ways to save money on flights is to book in advance. Airlines tend to increase their prices as the departure date approaches, so booking your flight several weeks or even months in advance can help you get a better deal.
How far in advance should you book your flight? It depends on a few factors, such as your destination and the time of year you’re traveling. Generally, it’s a good idea to book your flight at least 6-8 weeks in advance. This gives you enough time to find the best deal and avoid the price increases that often occur closer to the departure date.
Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates
Being flexible with your travel dates is an effective way to save money on your flight tickets. Airlines tend to offer lower fares on certain days of the week or during specific seasons, so adjusting your travel dates by a few days can significantly impact ticket prices. If you have some flexibility in your travel plans, consider traveling mid-week instead of on weekends when prices are typically higher.
Additionally, traveling during off-peak seasons or shoulder seasons, when there is less demand, can also help you save money on your flights. You can use various websites and tools to search for the cheapest flights for your travel dates. By being flexible with your travel dates and taking advantage of available tools and resources, you can save money on your flights and enjoy your trip without breaking the bank.
Use Airline Miles and Rewards Programs
Airline miles and rewards programs are a smart way to save money on air travel and other travel-related expenses. Many airlines offer these programs, which allow you to earn points or miles for every dollar spent on flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses. The more you spend, the more points or miles you can earn.
You can use your points to book free flights or upgrade to business class. This can be a great way to save money and enjoy a more comfortable travel experience. For frequent travelers, the benefits can really add up over time.
To get the most out of airline rewards programs, it’s important to sign up for them when booking your flight. You should also use a credit card that offers rewards for travel-related expenses. Many credit cards offer rewards such as airline miles, hotel points, and cash back for travel-related expenses, so it’s worth doing some research to find the right card for you.
Fly During Off-Peak Hours
Flying during off-peak hours is a smart way to save money on air travel. These hours typically include early morning or late night flights, which are often less crowded than flights during peak hours. By choosing to fly during off-peak hours, you may be able to find better deals on flight tickets, as airlines often offer discounts to fill up unsold seats.
During off-peak hours is that you can avoid long lines at security and baggage check-in counters. During peak travel times, such as holidays and weekends, airports can be incredibly busy, making it difficult to get through security and check in your bags. By flying during off-peak hours, you can avoid these long lines and enjoy a more stress-free travel experience.
Of course, there are some downsides to flying during off-peak hours. For example, early-morning flights may require you to wake up earlier than usual, while late-night flights may mean arriving at your destination late at night or early in the morning.
Take Advantage of TSA PreCheck and Global Entry
TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are government programs that can help you save time and hassle at the airport. With TSA PreCheck, you can skip the long security lines and keep your shoes, belts, and jackets on, as well as leave your laptop and liquids in your carry-on luggage. This can help you save valuable time and avoid the stress of removing and repacking all of your belongings. TSA PreCheck is available at more than 200 airports across the United States.
Global Entry is a similar program that includes expedited customs and immigration clearance for international travelers. With Global Entry, you can bypass the long lines at customs and immigration and use a kiosk to complete your entry into the United States. This can save you a significant amount of time and help you avoid the stress of waiting in line after a long flight. Global Entry is available at more than 70 airports in the United States and select locations around the world.
Apply and pay a fee to receive a Known Traveler Number or Trusted Traveler Number for expedited clearance.
Bring Your Own Food and Drinks
When you’re flying, one way to save money is by bringing your own food and drinks. Airlines typically charge high prices for in-flight meals, snacks, and beverages, so packing your own can help you cut costs. It’s important to keep in mind that certain foods and liquids may not be allowed through security, so be sure to check the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) guidelines before packing.
You should avoid bringing messy foods or drinks that could spill during the flight. If you don’t want to pack your own snacks and drinks, you can always purchase them at the airport before your flight, where prices may be more reasonable than in-flight prices. By bringing your own food and drinks or buying them at the airport, you can save money and avoid the high costs of in-flight dining.
Packing light can be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort if you want to save money and hassle at the airport. When packing, consider the length of your trip and the climate of your destination. Try to pack only the essentials and choose versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched. Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can also save space in your luggage.
If you must bring checked baggage, make sure to check your airline’s baggage policy and fees in advance. Some airlines allow one free checked bag, while others charge for every checked bag. In addition to fees, there are also weight and size restrictions for checked baggage, so make sure to pack accordingly.
Remember, packing light not only saves you money on baggage fees but also makes it easier to navigate through airports and avoid long lines at baggage check-in counters.
Use Airport Lounges
Airport lounges can be a great way to relax and enjoy a comfortable atmosphere while waiting for your flight. Many airlines offer lounge access to their elite members or those who purchase business-class tickets. However, you can also purchase a day pass to access the lounge if you’re not an elite-status member.
Airport lounges offer a range of amenities to make your airport experience more comfortable. You can enjoy free Wi-Fi to stay connected, comfortable seating to relax, and even showers and sleeping pods to freshen up or take a nap. Many lounges also offer complimentary food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages.
If you have a long layover or are facing a flight delay, an airport lounge can be a great option to pass the time in a comfortable and stress-free environment. You can use the time to catch up on work, read a book, or simply take a break from the hustle and bustle of the airport. I
Traveling by air can be stressful and expensive, but with the right airline travel hacks, you can make the experience more comfortable, convenient, and affordable. Whether you’re looking to save money on your flight tickets, get the best seats, or travel like a pro, these hacks can help you achieve your travel goals. Remember to plan ahead, be flexible, and take advantage of rewards programs and airport amenities to make your travels stress-free.