The cost of airfares will rise again in 2019, but that doesn’t mean that cheap tickets are not to be found - it just means that the best deals are going to be fewer and farther between.
The key to getting that special airfare in 2019 will be in catching it before it expires or inventory is sold out. A few websites and newsletters have popped up recently to monitor fares and send alerts for when fares drop.
The most established site is Tripadvisor-owned Airfarewatchdog. This website and search engine that catalogs sale fares across the industry.
In addition to newsletters that can be customized to a traveler’s point of departure, one of Airfarewatchdog’s best advantages is also that it’s got a search engine built into its site design, so it’s possible to run a search for a live fare based on a departure airport directly from the homepage. The site is also free.
Scott’s Cheap Flights
Founded in 2015, Scott’s Cheap Flights is built around finding and sharing the best deals as fast as possible. To participate, members can sign up for a free account on the service to get direct emails when a fare sale launches.
For $39/year (R550), it’s also possible to sign up for premium service, which guarantees faster delivery for when inventory is limited and expands the volume of deals in each email, allowing users to filter by departure airports. Free and paid members can also sign into the company’s website to see the spectrum of currently available deals.
Premium service through Scott’s Cheap Flights also adds mistake fares to the deal alerts sent to each member. Several times a year, airlines will incorrectly load a fare into a booking engine, resulting in a ticket sold for $100 instead of $1000.
Part of the pitch from Scott’s Cheap Flights premium product is that its team will keep an eye out for those fares and share them with users as soon as the deals launch.
With a similar focus on breaking and error flight deals, Secretflying’s deals are shared publicly on the site’s homepage and for $3.99/month, (R56) users can get access to an app which immediately pushes fare deals out to mobile users.
The Flight Deal
One of the most comprehensive solutions on the market today is from a group called The Flight Deal. That tool uses automated technology to scour thousands of searchable city pairs each day and flag potential deals. A team of curators around the world checks each fare and then publishes the details to the site’s homepage and Twitter feed each day, giving a live play-by-play for breaking deals. It’s 100% free.