The Jakarta Post
Where you travel largely determines the ticket price. (Shutterstock/File)
Cheap airplane tickets can be purchased without the use of travel fairs or promotions.
Below are tips on finding the best prices, according to travel website Skyscanner:
Destination is key
Your destination largely determines the ticket price. If you choose routes that are often served by several airlines, such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Yogyakarta and Surabaya, then expect prices to fluctuate. Hence, if while browsing the web you find the ticket price to be lower than usual, it is suggested that you book the flight right away.
However, when it comes to routes that are rarely served, such as Banjarmasin, Belitung, Tanjung Pinang and Banda Aceh, the price tends to be constant no matter when you book it. This is because the airlines that serve these routes apply a year-round fare system, meaning that ticket prices mostly stay the same, except during high season, such as Idul Fitri and year-end holidays.
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Asses the airline
Prices are influenced by airlines. For low-cost carriers, it is suggested that you order the ticket as soon as possible as the price tends to increase the closer you book to your departure date. On the contrary, full-service airlines use year-round fares. Still, it is possible to get more affordable tickets on full-service airlines than low-cost carriers.
For certain airlines, it is advised to check their booking pages as often as possible. Lion Air, for instance, frequently changes its rates, up to three times a day.
If the targeted airline has increased the price of a flight, consider waiting for several days for the price to decrease. However, do not do so if the price has increased simultaneously across multiple websites or airlines with similar flights. Instead, consider booking sooner rather than later.
Timing is everything
Tickets are usually expensive during weekends, long holidays and high season. Therefore, try to arrange your trip during a low-season period, such as September to November or February to April.
Departure and arrival dates will also influence the price. Friday to Sunday, Friday to Monday, Saturday to Sunday and Saturday to Monday are the peaks for costly tickets. Instead, it is advised to choose Tuesday to Thursday, Wednesday to Friday, Saturday to Tuesday or Sunday to Wednesday departure and arrival dates.
It is also recommended to fly on the 20th of the month as the price tends to be lower compared to early or late in the month.
Watch for airline trends
For frequent travelers, consider signing up for airlines' newsletters and following their social media accounts to learn about promotion trends and types. Doing so will, over time, result in figuring out the lowest price a given airline is likely to offer its customers. (wir/kes)