Getting cheap flights from the US to Europe can be hard. European airlines tend to charge much higher fares to US customers than they do to their fellow countrymen back home. The good news is that there are ways you can get cheaper tickets, even if you’re not a frequent flier or don’t have elite status with the airline. Here we explain how.
Know the cheapest days to travel
As with any trip, the best time to fly depends on your destination and when you’re traveling. For example, you’ll likely fly less if traveling during the winter season, when fewer people are traveling. If you’re visiting your family in the spring or fall, you may want to try to fly during these off-peak times. You’ll also want to avoid flying during major holidays, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Chinese New Year. These are peak travel times, so be prepared for heavier crowds and higher prices. If you must fly during these times, try booking flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays when fewer people are traveling.
Be flexible with your dates
A good way to save money is to book your trip in segments. This can be especially helpful if your plans change; for example, if you were originally planning to visit your parents for a few weeks but decide to stay for longer. In this case, you can fly back and forth across the country to save on airfare. If you’re visiting Europe and your trip is extended by several weeks, consider flying back to the United States and flying back to Europe. This can save you money on your outbound flight. Another idea is to fly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays when flights are less expensive. These are less busy days and are often referred to as “low cost travel days.”
Join a frequent flier club or use an airline’s website or app
If you have a credit card that offers rewards or a frequent flier program with an airline, sign up. This can seriously cut down on your expenses. For example, if you fly United Airlines, American Express Membership Rewards allows you to earn up to 55% in bonus points when you fly. That means you could fly for as little as 1 cent per mile. As long as you fly at least 10 flights per year, you can redeem those points for flights, hotel stays, and other rewards. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay an annual fee with this card, but if you fly enough, it’s likely worth it. If you don’t have a credit card with a frequent flier program, many airlines now offer their own online travel websites. British Airways, Southwest, Alaska, and Delta all have their own websites, so you can conveniently compare prices and pre-book your tickets.
Book directly via the airline’s website
If you plan to book your tickets directly with the airline, you can save a lot of money on your tickets. Airlines often offer a significant discount on tickets if you book them through the airline’s own website. For example, Southwest Airlines sells one-way tickets for $49.99 if you book them through the Southwest website. However, if you buy them directly from the website, Southwest will sell them for $29.99. Similarly, if you’re flying United Airlines, you can often find tickets that are $50 or less if you book them directly through the airline’s website. For the most savings, book your tickets as far in advance as possible. This allows you to find tickets that are as early or close to the front of the boarding group as possible. This grants you the best chance of getting a cheap flights domestic seat.
Check alternate routes and low-cost carriers
Some European airlines fly shorter routes between smaller airports and have lower ticket prices than their European competitors. These are sometimes referred to as “secondary carriers.” For example, Ryanair flies to many US airports, including Chicago, Dallas, and New York City. These flights are often significantly cheaper than flights on Delta and United, which may fly from more distant airports. You can find these low-cost carriers by searching online travel booking sites and using the “nearby airports” feature to find nearby airports. Keep in mind that these flights may not be available during peak travel times, so try to book them during off-peak times.
Don’t fly on Fridays or Sundays
It’s tempting to fly on Fridays and Sundays, as those are the days with the most flights. In reality, however, those days tend to have the highest fares and are often peak travel days. If you need to fly on Friday or Sunday, take a day off or fly during low travel times. You’ll save a lot more money if you travel during those times. You can also try to fly on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday. These flights tend to have fewer people on them than other travel days and are often less expensive.
Final words: Is price really the most important factor?
Yes, price is a big factor in airfare. But there are other factors involved, like the number of flights available, the time of day the flights leave, and the distance the flights cover. If you’re flexible with your dates, you may be able to find flights that are less expensive than the cheapest domestic flights usa listed. There are also several strategies you can employ to get cheaper tickets. Join a frequent flier program or use an airline’s website or app to get discounted tickets. Book directly with the airline’s website when possible. And don’t fly on Fridays or Sundays.