Cheap flights – The affordable Sky dream
The recent relaxation of Foreign Direct Investment in the aviation sector by the Cabinet Committee on economic affairs means good news for the common people of our country. This decision means that foreign airlines can now invest up to 49 % in the aviation sector of our country. The majority investment, i,e, 51% ,still lies with the national players.
For those who are bitten by the travel bug, you have every reason to be gung ho about this news.How to find cheap flights is now a matter of a few clicks. For those who love to travel and would like to minimize their travel time by opting for flights, the fare for flights has always been a deterrent. As a result, most families with kids and in laws opt for trains since travelling by flight would be a very costly affair.For a solo traveller, or a couple, booking a flight may still be feasible.
Although train journeys are enjoyable, they eat up precious time from your vacation. Most people opt for overnight train journeys to save time. Most journeys say, from Howrah station or Sealdah station to Siliguri usually take 10-12 hours and you have overnight train journeys that drop you off in the morning. Still, since vacations for most people last 7-10 days, a day or two spent commuting to and from the place is a great loss of precious leave that you had managed so hard in your busy office and family schedule, the boss frowning at the still to be completed deadline and what not.
So if you have managed a whole 7 days, you would like to spend as much as possible in your chosen place of vacation, instead of travelling for long hours. Especially, commuting from eastern parts of India to the southernmost parts or Northern most parts involves almost 2 days travel if you don’t avail a flight.
A journey to Shimla, from Kolkata, say, would need you to travel at least 18 hours by train to Delhi, and then another 10 hours by bus. If you availed a flight, you would reach the same destination within 12 hours or even less, if you decide to go for a bus journey from Delhi to Shimla owing to the scenic beauty.
This FDI in aviation means a lot of things to the traveler.
- It means that foreign players entering the market would bring in competition in aviation, which would result in cheaper airfares, unheard of before.
- It would mean the service and management offered in flights would be much better and world class if they have to stay in the competition. Hence, both the pricing and quality of service, and technology used, would improve drastically. Great news for people like us who wouldn’t like to spend time commuting to that dream destination!
Apart from this, there are some ways as to how to find cheap flights. Some points listed below would help you to try and get the best deals possible:
- Search for websites– Try websites like skyscanner.com where competitive prices for different airlines are listed.
- Sign up for newsletters– Sign up for their newsletters, you will be informed whenever there is a price fall, or discounts, or last moment filling in resulting in cheaper prices. Most websites offer price comparisons of various airliens. However, it is always advisable to go the airlines booking site itself and book the tickets as soon as you get cheap deals because some of these sites levy some charges for booking through their websites. You wouldn’t want to pay up 1000 bucks extra, would you, when you can save it by booking from the airline site itself?
- Look out for websites– Try booking your hotels along with your flights from sites like Cleartrip.com, they frequently offer great deals for booking on flights plus hotels. You can have the apps of these sites installed in your smartphones where you will be regularly updated about any such offer.
- Search from incognito windows- Usually, try searching from incognito windows whenever you search for airfares. The airlines websites have a way of tracking your IP s and therefore you may see the same airlines offering high rates in fares for a flight that was quite cheap just a few days ago. Of course, there are several factors that add to this, but tracking is also a reason why this happens.
- Book well in advance– Book your flight tickets at least 3 months in advance, to avail of the 1 Re flights when the opening of bookings happen. Of course, with the introduction of FDI, such things might not remain as they are, but till they are implemented, take advantage of what you have and book the tickets well in advance.
- Try for refundable tickets- Try to book refundable tickets rather than non-refundable ones especially if your chances of cancelling the trip at the last moment are high. Getting back something is better than nothing.
- Sometimes it pays to take indirect flights- Try booking flights that go via some destination. It takes a bit longer, but you can get cheaper tickets than direct flights. Watch out for those.
- Time your flights– Book tickets for flights leaving at dawn or midnight. They are cheaper than prime time flights during mornings or evenings. It would be a bit hectic, but then you end up saving quite a sum, especially if you are travelling with a family.
- Take a fill before you board- Try to have your meals before you board a flight unless the meal is included in the ticket price. The meals provided in the airlines are quite costly and if it is a midnight flight or early morning flight, make sure to make your stomach happy before you board the flight. It would be a matter of a couple of hours and you can always get down and grab a bite outside the airport.
- Look for cheap options– For international travel go to sky scanner. It is the best, compares prices across sectors and across websites. You can even set price alerts to know when to buy the ticket. In India there are cheaper airlines like Air Asia, Tiger Airlines which have very reasonable pricing. You need to sign up for their newsletters to be updated on their offers. Tata has introduced Vistara, another carrier expected to have reasonable pricing.
With time, theprices would become more competitive, and you can well expect to have some good national & international trips if you save wisely and book cautiously! Bon Voyage!