Coronavirus: Look for Cheap Airfare Now, Book for Later

Grounded

We don’t need to tell you coronavirus has grounded travelers. According to the TSA, a year ago – on March 29, 2019 – more than 2.5 million people passed through security checkpoints in U.S. airports. One year later – March 29, 2020 – the number dropped to 180,000. A loss of 90+ percent!

What’s a traveler to do? Wait. Wait for the all-clear from health authorities and government officials but in the meantime, you can dream about where to go next, and we can help make those dreams come true. Go to FareCompare to look for cheap airfare now, book for later. These four steps will get you started.

Step 1 – When to fly

No one can say when COVID-19 will subside and quarantines are canceled but if your airline is waiving cancellation fees, you can guess about travel dates. Tip: Fall and winter are always cheap times to fly, so if you’re looking for a super bargain, travel in early November or early December (just before and after the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving). If you’re looking for a family reunion, go ahead and book flights for Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Year’s. Don’t worry about paying top dollar for the holidays; they won’t be dirt cheap but as FareCompare’s CEO Rick Seaney says, airlines will probably need to cut fares throughout the year, to lure us back into the habit of plane travel.

Step 2 – Find cheap flights

Cheap times to fly begin in late August for domestic and international travel and as we said, continues into winter and fall, but how you fly can save money, too. Suggestions:

  • Cheap times of day: Fly early in the morning, at the dinner hour or overnight.
  • Cheap routes: Connecting flights can be much cheaper than nonstops, but not always so compare fares for both.

Step 3 – Before you buy

Before you book your fall or winter deal or whenever you plan to travel, check out your airline’s cancellation policy, and here’s a list. Most carriers are waiving change fees (which run as high as $200 per ticket) but check to be sure your travel dates are covered by the policy change so you won’t have to worry if you decide to move your flight to a later date.

Step 4 – Stay connected

The only thing consistent about this pandemic at them moment is its total lack of consistency; little is known about COVID-19 and our knowledge of this coronavirus keeps changing and updating. For would-be travelers champing at the bit, the solution is to stay on top of the news and follow your airline on Twitter and Facebook for updates. You can also keep checking the airline’s website where any changes to the carrier’s coronavirus policies will be noted on the homepage.

But for now, let’s dream about getting back in the air. Ready? Look for cheap airfare now, book for later.

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