4 Essential Apps for Airfare Savings

August 30, 2015 - Comment

From: US News You can track airfare prices with your phone. I used to set my alarm for the middle of the night on Tuesdays to cash in on the so called “golden hour” of airfare savings. Surely my dedication to searching “best time to buy airfare” and commitment to implementing the suggested practices would

From: US News

You can track airfare prices with your phone.

I used to set my alarm for the middle of the night on Tuesdays to cash in on the so called “golden hour” of airfare savings. Surely my dedication to searching “best time to buy airfare” and commitment to implementing the suggested practices would prove successful.

Unfortunately, my frugal savvy wasn’t quite as effective as I’d hoped. “This strategy gives you nothing more than a bad night’s sleep,” says Gillian Morris, CEO of Hitlist, an app that monitors airfares and sends alerts when prices drop.

“Unless you book hundreds of flights a year, the chances that you will save money this way are statistically insignificant,” she adds. A recent analysis of airfare pricing featured in Money Magazine confirms Morris’ myth busting, finding that notable savings are only applicable to about 1.6 percent of domestic Markets. In other words, when you’re searching a specific route, it’s highly unlikely that booking at one consistent time will ensure significant savings.

Unfortunately these price drops can happen at just about any moment. “Flight prices change constantly due to demand and other forces that can’t be predicted like weather,” she confirms. Rather than sitting around refreshing flight listings every hour for days at a time, a burgeoning world of online travel tools and apps have emerged to help consumers cash in on these otherwise fleeting savings opportunities.

If you’re in the market for an affordable flight, be sure to utilize these top apps to secure airfare savings no midnight wake-up call required.

Hitlist. Whether it’s tracking flight options for an upcoming business trip or projecting the costs of flying to your bucket list locales, Hitlist makes it easy to monitor fares, alerting you when deals arise and letting you know just how good those prices look based on historical fare data. Get specific with dates and times or explore the latest deals based on your interests. Hitlist has you covered on everything from “African Safaris” to “Urban Escapes” to “Game of Thrones Getaways.”

Hipmunk. If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of flying Spirit Airlines, you’ve likely learned that some savings strategies are simply not worthwhile. Hipmunk works to make sure you enjoy airfare savings without enduring any undue frustration. This unique travel search engine seeks to strike the ideal balance between price and convenience, featuring fares that exemplify that often elusive combination. You can also do your own searching based on the factors that are most important to you, such as price, schedule and layover time.

Skiplagged. Ever heard of hidden-city ticketing? I was searching for a flight to Charlotte last week and found it was cheaper for me to buy a ticket to Atlanta with a connection in Charlotte than it was for me to fly to Charlotte as my final destination. This frugal travel hack can be uncovered with some creative searching on a flight aggregator like Kayak or made simple with the Skiplagged app. Just enter your dates and destination and Skiplagged will show you potential savings through strategies like hidden city ticketing that you won’t find elsewhere.

Hopper. If tracking flight fares leaves you with purchase paralysis, worrying over whether now or later is the right time to pull the trigger on your booking, you need Hopper. Hopper analyzes historical fare data to help you make better decisions about where to go and when to buy, helping you ditch the purchase anxiety and secure a flight deal with confidence.

Apps provide new, consumer-oriented solutions for approaching airfare and scoring affordable flights with serious savings. While airlines will undoubtedly come up with more fees and greater price fluctuations to endure, taking advantage of these technological innovations will equip us with increasingly simpler and more effective strategies for skirting high costs.

Note that you should reserve this strategy for one way bookings and flights in which you plan to carry-on your luggage as a missed connection may result in a cancellation of the remainder of your reservation and checked bags will otherwise arrive in your final ticketed destination.

Photo by mighty.travels

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