There's no magic day to book flights - and other myths debunked

It is possible to get a refund if a ticket price sinks too low after you've bought it. Photo / 123RF
It is possible to get a refund if a ticket price sinks too low after you've bought it. Photo / 123RF

The entire ordeal of booking cheap flights can, at times, feel like entering the matrix.

With so many sites to choose from, and countless "hacks" being circulated, it's hard to ever know if you're really scoring the best deal.

But as travel expert Gilbert Ott reveals for the Daily Mail, you can at least save yourself the bother of falling for the most common following myths around air ticketing. Here he debunks the top five.

Tuesday is the "magic" day to buy tickets
Mr Ott, who runs the popular blog God Save The Points, claims that this suggestion is completely false.

"There's no magic day," he says. "If there was no one would ever book any tickets on any other day."

He adds that although there is a general range of time during which you'll find the best deals, it's pretty wide - anywhere from 200 to 21 days before you book.

"In a world of increasing flash sales it's far more important to have an understanding of average prices than to think about days," he advises.

Clearing your browsing history will get you lower fares

"There's no evidence that fares have actually spiked because of browser history," he remarks, a fact re-enforced by flight comparison site SkyScanner.

The website's FAQ section reads: "It isn't possible for the Skyscanner cookie to influence prices because until the point of visiting the airline or travel agent's site to book, your session is anonymous.

Ott does, however, advocate using your search engine's Incognito function.
"It might not lower fares," he says, "but it will keep you from getting those creepy emails telling you to finish booking your flight, even when you're not logged in."

You can't get a refund if you pay too much for a ticket

Have you ever suffered the anguish of booking a flight, only to see the ticket price plummet later on down the line?

Well, you may just be in luck.

"There are some cool apps out there like Yapta and FairFly which monitor the price you paid," Ott reveals.

"On many airlines if the "best price guarantee" from the airline changes by more than $50 you are eligible for a refund of either the entire ticket amount or at least the difference in price."

When an airline says "sale", it means cheap tickets

According to Ott's research, airlines are having a 'sale' almost every day of the year.

"With few exceptions, if an airline is actually announcing a sale, there's a high likelihood that it's hardly a deal," he explains.

"You should at best glance, and then keep calm and carry on."

"This one website always has the best deals"

"Everyone else would be out of business overnight," Ott remarks.

"Not all sites display all airlines or fares and occasionally one undercuts its competitors."

To be sure you're been shrewd, he advises using Google Flights to compare different travel agencies against one another, as well as comparing fares booked directly with an airline.

"You'll get a different outcome almost every time," he says.

- Daily Mail

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