Find Your Halal - Compass

1. Book Early for Cheap Flights

Usually, plane tickets jump in price during the final three weeks before departure. Booking as soon as possible is one of the easiest ways to ensure you will get the lowest price. You should be able to secure the best rates if you book within three months to 30 days from departure.

Also, if you use our travel search engine, we have a price predictor algorithm that analyzes historical price trends to help predict if ticket prices will increase, decrease, or remain the same. These predictions are not 100% accurate, but, they are usually pretty good as they crunch the numbers on thousands of different routes.

Another reason to book early is to ensure you get the seat you want, especially for peak season flights. You may pay the same price for a seat that’s next to the bathroom and one at the front of the cabin. If you wait too long book a desirable seat, you will need to pay the extra money to for a “premium” seat.


2. Be Flexible

Another way to save money is by having flexible travel plans. Two of the easiest ways to find cheap flights is to fly mid-week or on the actual holiday (i.e. Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day) since fewer people travel on these days. You might also consider flying to a different airport, for example, flying into Tampa instead of Orlando can save you $30 a ticket. The alternate airport or travel dates might not be an option, but, flexibility is one of the easiest ways to lower your airfare costs.


3. Book a Connecting Flight

If you aren’t in a hurry to get to your final destination, booking a connecting flight can be cheaper than a non-stop flight. The search engines will let you filter flight itineraries by non-stop, 1 stop, and 2+ stops. Even flying mixed carriers might be able to save you some cash as well.


4. Browse Airline Specials

If you’re going to wait until the final weeks to book, you might be able to find some last-minute deals directly from the carrier.

This option can be hit or miss as it depends on how badly the carrier wants to sell any remaining seats. Or, if they recently launched a new route and are trying to generate interest. The good part is that these specials don’t always require you to fly a redeye flight just to save a few bucks!


5. Try Budget Airlines

Apart from the traditional costly airlines, there are many cheap and budget airlines these days. These airlines allow you to travel on a low or mid-level budget. Of course, there might not be any luxurious meals or the latest gadgets but most of the time you do not need them. So, if you want to fly cheap without making a dent in your pocket, consider and try budget airlines.

6. Go Incognito

The booking websites and engines store the previous search history and cookies from your browser to increase the airfare of a repeatedly searched route. If you search a particular route time and again, the websites manipulate you into thinking that the price would rise further and, thus, booking the ticket then and thereby increasing the price. You can always avoid this by using the incognito mode of your browser.

7. Use an Airline Credit Card to Avoid Baggage Fees

If you need to check a bag, most airline rewards cards will let you waive the baggage fees for at least one traveling companion. The Delta Amex credit cards will let you check up to nine bags for free. The only two stipulations are you must book a flight directly with the carrier and use that credit card to pay for the flight. No problem, right?


8. Pay with Credit Card for extra Protection

Even if you think an airline’s safe as houses, it’s important to protect yourself as fully as possible. The easiest way is to book on a credit card, as when a flight costs more than £100, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act means the card company’s equally liable if something goes wrong (see the full Section 75 Refunds guide, or the Chargeback guide for protection on debit card purchases).

So if you book a flight and the airline goes bust, you can at least get your money back from the card company. Always pay your card off in full at the end of the month so you’re not charged interest.

With package holidays, most operators are members of the huge ATOL and ABTA travel protection schemes. This means if the firm goes bust or there’s another issue, your getaway’s protected that way. However, if you book flights and/or hotels directly, this won’t apply unless the provider’s ATOL-registered.

If you book a flight and/or a hotel via a travel agent, you’re unlikely to be covered by Section 75, because there’s no direct relationship with the supplier (though you may still be covered by ATOL/ABTA).


9. Don’t forget Travel Insurance

If you book but don’t have travel insurance, you won’t be covered if you get ill or need to cancel, so buy it straight away.

But beware – some cheap airline and holiday websites try to add expensive travel cover when you book. Always double-check the full cost, and beware tick boxes for any rogue policies before paying. Holiday firms’ own insurance is usually a massive rip-off and offers more limited cover.


10. Get Cheap Airport Lounge Access

Airport lounges aren’t just reserved for first class, business class or elite frequent flyers. Access can be free with certain credit cards or bank accounts, or you can get it cheaply via frequent flyer schemes such as Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club.

One-off passes typically start from around £20 per person. Given you could pay that for food, drinks and snacks alone at the airport, it can be good value, especially when you usually get a comfy seat in peace, and a newspaper or magazine thrown in too.