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Air Travel Guide

Tips for Purchasing Airline Tickets

1. Delete your cookies before purchasing flights. 

Prices generally go up if you have previously visited the site. You can either try using a new browser or deleting your cookies so that the travel website doesn’t recognize you as a returning user.

2. Find out when fares will likely be the lowest. 

While the ideal time is generally 8 weeks before your trip, check’s Price Predictor tool or to figure out the likelihood of price changes. 

3. Purchase flights on Tuesdays.

Airlines publish new fares on Tuesdays. Because airlines change prices to match the sales of other airlines, 3pm EST is generally an ideal time to purchase flights.

4. Fly on the cheapest travel days if possible.

Flights are generally cheaper on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and on major holidays. 

5. Buy flights for one passenger at a time.

Flights are generally cheaper if you search for and purchase one flight at a time.

6. Avoid checked baggage fees.

Use travel size liquids and pack lightly. Airlines allow you to travel with one suitcase that fits overhead and a bag that fits underneath the seat in front of you. If traveling to a cold destination, consider wearing your heavy winter gear and shoes on the plane instead of packing it in your suitcase (you can place your coat on your luggage in the overhead compartment). 

7. Mix and Match Flights, Airlines, and Airports.

You can sometimes find better deals when purchasing two one-way flights instead of round-trip tickets with certain airlines. Try searching for both in case you qualify for special sales. If you’re flying into a metro area such as San Francisco or New York, consider flying into other airports. Sometimes flights are cheaper from specific airports on a particular day.

Helpful Travel Websites


YAPTA allows you to track the prices of airfares. Use the price predictor tool to find out if you should wait to purchase your flights. If the price predictor suggests that you purchase your flights now, quickly scan the list of cheap flights for specific airlines that are offering sales.


This site allows you to view the month’s fares for a particular destination. Use this website to research specific dates and airlines offering the cheapest flights.


This website allows you to compare the prices of multiple travel sites. It also allows you to negotiate by naming your own price, which is helpful for purchasing hotels, car rentals, and airlines. If your schedule is flexible and allows you freedom to travel during off-peak hours on travel days, the ‘name your own price’ option is ideal, particularly for last minute planning.

Other Useful Travel Websites

Learn about these sites by visiting:

  • (For Students)
  • (For Students)