The wide range of fares encountered when shopping for a plane ticket makes this a daunting task. What factors affect the price?
- The price of fuel has one of the biggest ticket impacts. As the cost of raw materials increases, the cost of the airline increases. Airlines that negotiate fuel purchases well in the future can avoid sudden leaps and pass on savings to the customer.
- A weak economy causes people to downsize on insignificant trips. This encourages airlines to give discounts to lure flyers back. Conversely, when business is good and the planes are filled to capacity, there is little incentive to offer low-cost airline tickets.
- Airport taxes are another part of ticket prices. Airlines that use smaller airports save on fees.
- Destination is a factor. Competition will have a significant impact on price. An airline that enjoys a virtual monopoly on a particular route can charge just about anything they want. These flying international routes have strong competition from other countries and have to keep prices in line with what they offer.
- Budget airlines can sometimes provide the cheapest airfare through a no-frills approach. This is most effective for short-haul domestic flights.
- Time plays a role. If the take-off time is approaching and the flight still has many empty seats, the airline can offer them a significant reduction. If flying on a particular day is not critical, it may be worth staying until the last minute.
- Where a ticket is purchased can affect its price. Travel agents get bargains from carriers, but a fee for their services. The internet produces some great deals, but be careful who you do business with. Sometimes the airlines' own websites have unadvertised discounts.
- Simple, old-fashioned greed. Air travel is a market economy and airlines will charge as much as they can to avoid. Don't trust anyone. Do your own research.
When buying cheap flights, keep in mind what you are actually comparing. One airline advertises a flight to an Asian destination as $ 800, while another advertises a cost of $ 1,300. Reading the small print shows that the "cheap fare" has another $ 700 hidden fees and surcharges, which means it is actually $ 200 more than the tariff for everyone involved.
There are many factors that affect the price of a plane ticket. How well the carrier handles these costs will determine their bottom line. Competition is key, and the airlines that most want your business will offer you the best deals. Careful shopping will help you find the cheapest flights.