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Airfare myths that could cost you money

Posted October 7, 2019 6:15 p.m. EDT
Updated October 7, 2019 8:06 p.m. EDT

Consumer Reports identified three common airfare myths to find the best ways to save money on plane tickets.

Myth No. 1: Tuesdays are the best days to book airfare

This myth started when airlines used to load fares at the beginning of the week, but airlines are much more sophisticated now, according to Consumer Reports. Airlines now use “flash sales” to stimulate business each day.

Consumer Reports recommends following your preferred airline on social media and setting up alerts so that you’ll be notified immediately when sales become available. Flash sales sell out quickly, so you have to act quickly.

Myth No. 2: It’s always better to book as far in advance as possible

Airlines don’t start actively managing inventory for a specific flight until about five to three months before departure, officials say. If you buy earlier, you'll likely pay more than what you’d pay if you waited.

Myth No. 3: Round-trip airfare is a better deal than two one-way fares

That's not necessarily true thanks to booking websites that can easily find money-saving one-way flight combinations.

Kayak offers so-called “hacker fares,” where a flight search will look for two one-way tickets that make a round-trip flight. You might have to use different airlines for departing and arriving, but you could get the cheapest flight combination.

More tips

Another good way to save money is to have flexible travel plans. Sites like Kayak and Google Flights have great last-minute deals, and Hopper has easy-to-use “flex dates,” which offer a variety of cheaper alternative dates to your destination.

Consumer Reports says another way to find good flight deals is to look for air and hotel packages. You can find plenty that include a business-class seat and a five-night hotel stay by going to the websites of your favorite airlines.

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