First of I would like to address the first question after you’ve decided on your holiday and where you’re going. In the context of an interstate or overseas holiday it is probably what is the cheapest airfare or plane ticket you can get. I love cheap or budget plane tickets or airfares but I don’t like the draw backs that it often comes with. So there is my explanation on why cheap airfares can be bad and cost you more than a value for money airfare !
Also remember that my advice is conditional and based on a 2 week or shorter holiday and where the destination is over and 8 hour flight time! 2 weeks seems like a short period of time but often that is all most people can afford to take a year.
Problems with cheap airfares or plane tickets includes the following:
1. The departure time of your flight is usually at the wrong time of the year to visit that destination
2. The actual flight departure time from your airport can also be inconvenient. Your flight will probably be overbooked since there are more people like you who only considered things this way and travel agent bookings of course.
3. Your flight may be in the winter peak, hottest or wettest time at your destination.
4. The departure time from your airport may be early in the morning like 6am which means you have to be at the airport by 3am in the morning which means your evening has been wasted and you are already tired out!
5. The arrival time at your destination may be inappropriate like 2 am in the morning but your hotel won’t check you in till 11am in the morning – which is a shocker unless you’ve prepaid for the day in advance!
6. The flight does not include little things like baggage, in flight entertainment or meals. If you must try and pack everything in one carry on bag for a week or two holiday good luck to you. Unless you want to waste money buying things you already have in abundance at home and throw them out when you again. You will be hungry and Airport food is expensive and inflight food defeats that purpose of your chela airfare. These budget carriers don’t have power sockets that work so using your phone or tablet in flight means you won’t have any power when you arrive or need it most. That said you’d probably be too tired from staying up all day to catch the cheap flight!
7. If using multiple airlines on the one trip, connections times can be tight so you may miss your connection.
8. Thinking you can avoid all these factors and still be ahead financially. No, you can’t outsmart them! Airlines actually employ people who have all these factors in a spreadsheet or program so they have all the factors to calculate in seconds. That’s why the flight was cheap.
9. Buying a cheap airfares often means that you do not get a decent number of frequent flyer points of air miles! These benefits can mean cheaper or free flights at a later stage so worth the effort to collect. For example my return flight to New York gave me enough points for a return airfare locally!
There are plenty more reasons not to buy an airfare purely because it was cheap. But if you read my post and considered these things you may be able to avoid these issues, usually by buying a value for money plane ticket which will give you a better holiday.
You may not even have to pay more but more often than not paying slightly more for your plane ticket by simply avoiding looking at the price of the airfare and focusing on departure and arrival times you could be lucky! I consider these value for money airfares!
Things to take away from this: cheap tickets may be cheap but you may be losing out on additional baggage/food/accommodation costs, sanity and wasting something far more valuable, your time which is priceless.
Check out my screen shots below on a random flight I picked:
The cheapest airfare to LA is $1484 but the flight time is 29.5 hours vs the next cheapest airfares of $1780 the flight time is 18.5 hours the conclusion is simple, my holiday time is reduced by buying the cheapest airfare as I’m literally wasting time in transit or on the plane. So in this example prefer the 2nd option and the more expensive flight. That said that flight departs at 6.10am in the morning so I would need to be at the airport to do the check in by at least 4am in the morning so I will need to be at the airport very early in the morning say leaving home at 2am in the morning! As a result I would probably pick the later flight at 8.10 am so that it’s not so hard on the body. Further more the bonus of the 3rd option means that the flight time is a mere 16.5 hours!
Bearing in mind that in LA many hotel have late check in, on popular hotel was 4pm! so a later arriving flight may be the better option!
By all means take the take cheapest flight but the holiday is not just about the cheapest tickets but the destination. If you need a day to recover from the flight you are wasting precious time.
Conclusion the cheapest airfares may not be the cheapest.