Cyber Monday Sale Preview: 5 Tips to Find the Cheapest Deals

Not familiar with Cyber Monday?  This year Cyber Monday falls on Nov. 26 – and it’s a marketing term designed to add zip to post-Thanksgiving online sales (the prefix “cyber” means computer or computer network). Think of Cyber Monday as the internet’s answer to Black Friday’s brick-and-mortar deals.

But as with any airfare shopping – anywhere, anytime – it always pays to compare prices. Which brings us to tip number one.

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1. Compare Sale Prices

Late last week, Southwest launched a one-day pre-Cyber Monday, pre-Black Friday sale. However, the only place to find Southwest airfare prices is on its own site – if that’s the only place you look, you won’t know if you’re getting the best deal. Anytime you check an individual airline’s prices, also check an airfare comparison search site. It’s just common sense.

2. Check for Sales on Deals Blogs

There are several places to find Cyber Monday sales including the FareCompare Deals Blog. The FareCompare advantage is that shoppers can quickly compare deals to see which one is best.

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3. Let the Past be Your Guide

Look for Cyber Monday deals from airlines that have advertised such specials last year, including AirTran, American, Frontier, JetBlue and Southwest. Several airlines may also offer airfare/hotel package deals while others look to international sales. Last year, American celebrated Cyber Monday with an around-the-world sale.

Which airlines will sign on for this year’s sales blitz? Check with a Deals blog.

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4. Sign-up for Airfare Alerts

Don’t worry about missing any Cyber Monday sales or even unannounced deals by signing up for airfare alerts. After that, you don’t need to lift a finger beyond taking a look at the deals you’re sent. Tip: If you like a deal, make the purchase – the cheapest prices disappear quickly.

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5. Pay Attention to the Gotchas

Cyber Monday sales frequently have gotchas or restrictions you must be aware of. The most common include:

  • Limited travel days: Flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only are most common.
  • Limited travel period: Often the least popular times to fly such as mid-January or early February.

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Published: November 20, 2012