4 Ways to Get Cheap Plane Tickets in 4 Minutes or Less

Hunting for cheap airfare is not a game for the faint hearted. You have to lock in on your target destination be swift and savvy when it comes time to buy.

Spend some time researching what tickets might cost to your destination around the time you want to fly. That way, when an amazing deal darts in front of you, you’re ready to pounce.

Here’s what you’ll need to do nab those tickets in four minutes or less:

1. Sign up for FareCompare Fare Alerts
Cheap tickets can disappear in seconds, so it is important to be the first to know about a great deal to your favorite destination. Sign up for the When-to-Fly Airfare Alert and you can be notified via e-mail, Twitter or on your iPhone the instant the price changes for flights on more than 500 airlines from your hometown to destinations around the globe. You can rest easy knowing that the seats we find are verified. Another perk: once you found a deal you like, you can easily share it with friends and family on Facebook.

2. Know the best time to buy
For domestic travel, the cheapest time to buy tickets, according to FareCompare analysis, is 3 p.m. EST on Tuesday. Make sure to grab your tickets fast, too, because many of these airfare deals are gone by Thursday. Whatever you do, don’t buy tickets on the weekend when they are at a premium.

3. Know the best time to fly
Most of us know that the most expensive days of the week to fly are Friday and Sunday, but do you know the least expensive days of the week? After an in-depth analysis of the world’s largest historical airfare database, FareCompare determined that Wednesday is the cheapest day to fly domestically, followed by Tuesday and Saturday. To hone in on even cheaper tickets, make sure to book the first flight of the day, flights around lunch or dinnertime, or red eyes.

4. Be flexible
Perhaps the No. 1 rule of the game when it comes to finding cheap flights is not being too locked in on travel dates. Chances are you’ll find better deals if you can fly last-minute, during shoulder seasons, and on less popular travel days.

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Published: March 22, 2012