Cheap flights. How to search for cheap flights and cheap flights? [GUIDE]

Cheap flights - the basis for departure

Finding an attractive flight offer often becomes the key to planning an interesting trip. Many people tell me that the great offer of the carrier has just become an inspiration for some trip. The next step is to find the right hotel, and then all the rest, like a car, attractions, entrance tickets, etc. Alone, I usually do the same. I start with analyzing the offers of air carriers. When I get a treat, I immediately check if I'm able to add this hotel at a good price and ... if so, we know! I book and have it!
Thanks to this, several times I managed to organize a great trip, for the proverbial "pennies". I am sure that you will also save a lot of money, and at the same time visit and see more than you think. Check the following tips in practice!

For the sake of clarity, I will add that I will conduct my search on the cheap flights search engine Skyscanner - [click]

Cheap flight ticket - before you start fishing

Well, before you start fishing, it's worth realizing a few things that will make fishing more effective. Many people looking for an air connection know where they want to go, where they want to go, and when they want to go. Enters your data into the search engine on the website of the nearby airport or airline and gets the result. A small problem when the search result is acceptable. However, it is unlikely that an extremely attractive flight will take place in the expected direction in the expected direction for which there are still free seats. You would have to be extremely lucky. I think it's easier to win the lottery than it is to hit it.
It is necessary to change the approach to flight search. The key here is your flexibility and ability to adapt to the possibilities offered. What I mean?

Step one: starting place

The selection of a start airport is extremely important. Departure from the nearest airport is not always the most advantageous. Many factors influence the ticket price. There is no airport from which all connections are cheap. It is often the case that one or more low-cost flights operate from one airport and the others are no longer attractive. It is worth looking more broadly, considering also airports located outside of Poland. Those who live close to airports operating in Germany are in a particularly favorable situation. Connections from them are often very attractive.

Suppose you live in Poznan. You have the Ławica airport under your breath. Looking for a flight to Majorca around the May weekend. On the calendar, the May weekend this year looks like this:

You can see that basically it starts 29 April and ends 5 May.
We enter the following data into the search engine:
- departure: Poznań
- to: Palma de Mallorca
- departure date: April 29
- return date: 5 May
- 1 adult, economy class

... and press "Search".

The result looks like this. The cheapest offer costs 1 116 PLN / person. In addition, the total travel time (due to a change) one way is almost 11 hours, and return almost 16 hours. It goes faster overseas. Complete massacre. For two people you would have to spend: 2232 PLN (!!!).

Well, let's do it differently. Poznań is relatively close to Berlin (around 3h by car). Nothing prevents you from checking how much a flight from Berlin will cost us.
We enter the following data into the search engine:
- departure: Berlin
- to: Palma de Mallorca
- departure date: April 29
- return date: 5 May
- 1 adult, economy class

The result looks much better. The cheapest offer is 571 PLN / person. Flight times are not all 3h to there and 6 h (with change) back.

Not much more expensive (only PLN 16) but another offer is more interesting. No transfers. The round trip flight time is almost the same and it is not the whole 3 h. Cost 587 PLN / per person. Two people together are 1174 PLN. We have already saved PLN 1058 (!!!) compared to the previous offer. But that's not all. We'll save even more in the next steps.

Step two: a flexible deadline

Unfortunately, air connections are not as frequent as train or bus connections. For this reason, most often we do not have full freedom to choose the date of flight. A large number of connections are served once every few days. By entering a rigid term in the search engine, we impose on the program to search for a connection on a specific day. Hence, as a result, we often get connections with transfers. There is simply no direct connection to the airport of interest on this day and the program is trying to match other existing connections, thus creating interchange connections. However, if you make your approach to the date of flight a little more flexible, you can gain a lot.
Let's check the example.

Let's modify our current search. To do this, click the magnifying glass symbol as indicated by the red arrow in the image below:

A window will open in which we can change the search parameters.
We leave the data regarding the place of departure and destination unchanged:
- departure: Berlin
- to: Palma de Mallorca

In the case of departure date, instead of entering a specific date, click in the window with the date of departure (as shown by the red arrows in the figure below) and the calendar opens. Then click on the "Whole month" icon and choose the month of April, because we plan to depart in April.

Then click in the window with the date of return and in the window that opens choose May (as shown by the red arrows in the illustration below).

Now it remains to press the button: Search
As the search result we see the table as below. The left part of the table is the following days of the month of April with the best prices for each day. Prices placed directly under the number of the day. The right part is a summary of all the days of May, with the corresponding prices.

By clicking on the days of the month in the left part of the table, we immediately update the prices in the right part of the table. We click on different departure days to receive return prices. In the bottom part of the window with the calendar, after selecting the day of departure and return, we can see how much the option chosen by us costs.
After several clicks, the most interesting option seemed to me as the picture below. Departure on Sunday 28 April, return after 5 days: 3 May. The total cost of airline tickets for one person (visible at the bottom of the window) PLN 412.

If the chosen option satisfies us, press the button: Show flights.
We receive a summary of specific flights, including departure and arrival times, and the carrier. It looks like this (only the first items can be seen in the graphics 3, but the list is much longer. There are many more proposed connections and they are ranked from the cheapest to the most expensive).
You can see that the prices are even slightly lower than it appeared from calendar prices:

Now all you have to do is choose the flight that suits you best and move to the next stage.
Personally, from the above proposals I would choose the middle one (for PLN 396), because the departure and return is to the same airport. In the first and third proposals, we leave the SXF (Schönefeld) airport and return to TXL (Tegel). This is an uncomfortable solution.
The total cost of the trip for two is PLN 792. We saved another PLN 382, and PLN 1440 from the initial price (!!!)

Step three: we are looking for even cheaper connections

Let's be honest, the May weekend is quite a difficult time. Many Poles already use German connections and the cheapest places sell quickly. Can we, however, do something to fly even cheaper?
Yes. Shell we. As far as we are willing to fly at another, less popular time.
Let's examine another example.
We assume that if the prices are sufficiently encouraging, we will fly to Majorca at a different time than the May weekend. We will lose 2 vacation days more, but maybe it will pay off. Let's see in the graphic below how April looks in the flight calendar.

At first glance, you can easily find significantly more attractive offers and fly to Majorca for the proverbial "pennies".
As you can see in the graphic, I chose and marked the week that seems optimal. Departure of April 8 (Monday), return of April 14 (Sunday). Week stay in Majorca. 177 return trip cost PLN. The total cost for two people, both ways is only PLN 354 (!!!). With this small change, we saved another PLN 438 from the previous, quite cheap offer.

Let's gather and see everything together

In the pledge below I collected what we just analyzed. In this way, the differences in costs will be even more clearly visible.

The difference is obvious. The impact of a flexible attitude on price is obvious. You don't need to convince anyone any longer.

Book in advance

When booking flights, the old-world rule applies: first come first served. And there are no exceptions. This was clearly seen in the example just analyzed. During the long May weekend at 100%, very cheap flights were available. Unfortunately, there is not much time left until May and they have sold. The higher the occupancy of seats on the plane, the more expensive those seats remain. So if you wait with the decision to buy tickets too long, it may turn out to be too expensive for you.
Of course I will another example:
There is still some time to vacation (I write the article in March). Let's see what is currently happening with flight prices, at the most attractive holiday dates, e.g. in August. Theoretically, prices should be higher than in April, because it's a high season. Is that so Let's see:

As you can see, the prices are identical and very attractive throughout the month. One-way flight can be bought for PLN 86. Higher prices, exceeding PLN 200, appear only on individual days. Luzik! Truth?
Nothing could be more wrong !!! It's time to book your flight. There are not so many of these cheapest places and they will quickly disappear. To see it better, just check what the previous month looks like at the moment, i.e. July:

In July it is definitely tighter and it will be much more difficult to shoot a super attractive offer. It will get worse in a few days. In 3-4 weeks August will look the same. It is worth deciding earlier.

Is it always the sooner the better?

It would seem that booking even more in advance than I showed above should bring further benefits, if not prices, at least in the freedom to choose dates. Unfortunately, overtaking is not always in favor.
Time for another one example.
Let's see what the ticket prices will be in November (i.e. 9 one month in advance).

Well, it is clear that such overtaking does not work in our favor.
Conclusion: it's worth observing the prices and attacking at the right time.

Price alerts

Regular price checking can be a bit tedious. You don't always have time to do this and you don't always have a head to remember. You can make your life easier by assuming price alert. The price alert works in such a way that after each price change, information is sent to you about its current value. If you set up a price alert early enough, you will usually observe a drop in price first, then it will stay near the minimum value for some time, and then it will increase as the available space decreases. Price alerts will help you make a booking decision at the right time, without undue involvement of your attention and time.

The price alert can be set up at one of the last stages of ticket selection, in the step immediately following the selection of departure date and return date in the price calendar. The alert works only for specific dates and requires logging in or registering in the portal.
The price alert activation button is located in the place indicated by the red arrow in the graphic below:

"Everywhere" option, which is a cheap window to the whole world

I consider the "everywhere" option to be one of the most interesting flights in the search engine. Its operation is very easy, but the results can be inspiring. If you do not have specific travel plans and are wondering "where to go here", use this option.
Its action is that you only indicate the airport, city or country from which you want to fly, and as a destination you do not enter anything or enter the word: everywhere.
The search engine, as a result, will show a list of directions (countries) to which you can fly, from the cheapest to the most expensive. By clicking on the country of your choice, you will receive a list of cities in the country you can fly to, again in the order from the cheapest to the most expensive.
Let's see how it works:
- enter the country of departure, e.g. Germany (they are close and have the best offer of cheap flights)
- I do not enter anything in the other fields
and press "Search flights"

Then on the page with preliminary results, I click on the date and choose: "whole month" (to expand the scope of search), and then for example "April"

I got this result:

Of course, the list is much longer and worth seeing. Suppose I am interested in Portugal, which is on the list slightly lower. I click on the arrow on the right and expand the list of results for Portugal. I can see city names and the prices of the cheapest tickets. By clicking on the price button, I will receive a list of airports from which I can fly together with ticket prices. In the next steps, we go to the calendar we know of specific dates, etc.

Such a blind search can be very inspiring and often results in a reservation in some exotic direction for little money 😉
I recommend. The search itself is addictive: Skyscanner - [click]

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