Booking your flight? Here's how to get the cheapest fares


Posted at Mar 03 2014 04:41 PM | Updated as of Mar 05 2014 01:08 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Are you planning to spend your summer vacation overseas? Before you book your flight, here are some tips on how to get the best price for your flight.

Based on its study, leading global travel search site Skyscanner said on the average, three to four weeks in advance is the optimal time to book flights. However, this would depend on the type of flight or the airlines you book with.

For budget airlines, prices tend to go up as the day of the flight approaches.

For long-haul flights or flights for more than five hours, prices are likely to fluctuate as the flight day grows near. Plus, there is no guarantee you will get the best seats.

In the Philippines, Skyscanner said booking early is key to get the best deals.

Here are a few of the top outbound destinations for Filipinos, and how many weeks in advance should you book your ticket:

China - 28 weeks in advance (around 7 months)

Skyscanner said booking 28 weeks in advance can mean savings of as much as P7,000 per flight to China.

Malaysia - 31 weeks in advance (nearly 8 months)

Skyscanner said one can pay only 46% of the actual flight cost when booking 31 weeks in advance.

Japan - 14 weeks in advance (around 3 months)

Skyscanner said booking a flight to Japan 14 weeks in advance may mean savings of as much as P6,300.

Thailand - 16 weeks in advance (around 4 months)

One can save as much as P2,990 when booking a flight to Thailand 16 weeks in advance.

Singapore - 25 weeks in advance (around 6 months)

The best time to book flights to Singapore is 25 weeks in advance, with savings of as much as P1,600, according to Skyscanner.

Skyscanner's Best Time to Book study showed, on average, it is best to book 20 weeks in advance regardless of where you want to go.

The study also suggests that the cheapest month to travel is in February and it is most expensive in April.

Skyscanner said booking early will allow you to save as much as 18% off the average ticket price.

Here are some tips on how to get the best price:

1. Book smart

If you book during the non-peak season and fly at less popular hours of the day, you get get lower-priced tickets.

2. Be flexible

Costs to different destinations can vary significantly depending on the airlines and airports. If you are planning your next trip but are open to destinations, running a search to ‘everywhere’ can help find the countries that offer the best value flights at any time.

3. Compare and contrast

Use a travel comparison site like Skyscanner to compare airlines and online travel agents to ensure you can find the best deal.

4. Track prices

Based on Skyscanner’s analysis, it has found that keeping an eye on the flight prices a few months in advance of travel, is the best way to find a good value flight. Using a flight tracker price alert service, either by email or via the app can help monitor when prices drop on a chosen route.