Joe Bolts asked in TravelAir Travel · 7 years ago

What is the best and cheapest way to book a flight?

Seems like there are sooooo many different travel sites and from what I can tell...they all seem to be about the same price. Don't know why they need so many damn sites..that all offer pretty much the same exact thing?? I've seen ads in the past and heard of people getting lights for like $60-80.00 bux but never really paid much attention, due to never really needing to fly much. But there is an event coming up, so trying to figure it all out now...

Would be going from either Sarasota/Bradenton airport or Tampa/St. Pete airport(both are close by and possible options but Sarasota preferred) to Richmond, VA or close by if cheaper. Event is on August 17th..so would probably need to arrive the day before, on the 16th and then leave that Sunday, August 18th. I know the earlier you book the flight, cheaper it is.

Is it even possible to get flights for like $60-80.00? Most I've found so far are $350+ for round trip. Should have asked the people how they did it at the time.

Any help, tips, information would be appreciated..especially from your own personal experience. Don't know why they make it so confusing? Hundreds of sites...that compare another 200 sites, haha.

(I'd also be open to other methods..if you know of any..like renting a car, etc. and/or tips on how to get cheap bus tickets..looked at greyhound and noticed there is a spot for discounts and promos..how to get those??) Just trying to make it there and back for the cheapest price and easiest, hassle free method..

Update:

(Alex- If you happen to check back... how did you find that rate of $226 for amtrak? When I checked, seemed like it would be around $260. If you could maybe provide a link or what you did to get that price, would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!)

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  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's cheapest to fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday, in most circumstances. That's not always true (Vegas is an exception), but it's a good rule of thumb. Most airlines have weekend charges. In some cases, it could be $50 or $100 more to fly on Sunday than Monday for otherwise the same flight.

    The $60-80 ads are incredibly misleading: that's usually "per way" and it doesn't include any taxes or airline fees. $80 each way plus taxes ends up costing like $180-200 when you are done.

    You can name your own price on Priceline. Be careful with this, though. You get to choose the days you travel, but you don't get to choose the time or the airline or the schedule. You could end up with a 6 am flight that connects in 4 cities and takes 15 hours for a 500 mile trip. (You have to enter a credit card to make a bid. If accepted, there's no refund or cancellation.) I've only used Priceline's price bidding feature for cars, and for that, it works really well. You get to pick the class of car; in practice, the rental agent is irrelevant, and even when you book direct, you would have to pay extra to reserve a specific car.

    But in general, the cheapest fares will come from the airlines sites. They all have these price guarantees that no other website will offer a lower fare and you can be sure that they make sure they don't need to honor that by advertising the lowest fare. (Sites like Expedia are told the rate by the airline, so they find out after the airline sets the cost. Might as well go to the source.)

    Travel agent sites like Expedia are useful for comparing fares from many airlines at once. But I'd recommend booking direct with the airline site. It will save you a lot of hassle if you do need to change something (that costs $$, so get it right the first time!).

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  • Alex
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Search on sites like Kayak.com, then book directly with the airline. Also check southwest.com, since they don't list their prices on any other site.

    "Is it even possible to get flights for like $60-80.00" - No. Ultra-low-cost airlines like Spirit will sometimes have flights for $100 or so, but they make up for it by charging fees for things every other airline does for free. If you're really lucky or really flexible, airlines will occasionally do sales, but these are usually for specific routes on specific days and often short notice.

    Airtran has a flight from Orlando to Richmond for $232. If possible, look at flights that arrive a day earlier or leave a day later. Delta has some cheap flights to Newport News (about 70 miles from Richmond) on nearby dates.

    Make sure when looking at different airports, you take the costs of getting to the airport into consideration (parking, gas, taxi, etc)

    I would avoid Greyhound for that long a trip. 22 hours on a bus would be unpleasant, and it's not that much cheaper than flying.

    Consider Amtrak though. It's a lot more comfortable than a bus. Tampa to Richmond is $226. The only downside is that you'd have to leave Thursday afternoon (5 PM) to get there on Friday and wouldn't get back until Monday at noon.

    Edit:

    For the Amtrak ticket, I looked at TPA->RVR (not RVM) from 8/15 - 8/18. It should be $113 each way on the Silver Star.

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  • 7 years ago

    You're not going to get a flight for $60-80.

    The price is what it is.

    There are lots of sites because these are businesses, each one trying to make some money. Just like there used to be lots of travel agencies in every city. These sites are simply online travel agencies. They all have pretty much the same price.

    You could try the "Name Your Own Price" option on Priceline, but in doing so you give up all control over what time of day you fly, or how many stops you'll make.

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  • 4 years ago

    There are fairly a couple of websites that you could search in an effort to possible give you the first-class costs on hand. Check out the website BookMe and you're going to be equipped to evaluate prices on all of the legitimate travel websites in just a couple minutes. It's very easy and can save you a bunch of money and time. Additionally, make certain you purchase them on-line... Or else they charge so much bigger costs for cell orders. Just right luck.

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  • 7 years ago

    I've been pricing out airfare for months. I agree that most of the pricing is the same and it doesn't change much. Over the past 2 years the prices for my "normal" vacation spot have doubled! I've tried multiple airports, flights, and times and can't get a decent price.

    I have given up. I think I'm just going to drive it and suck it up.

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  • 7 years ago

    travelocity

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