5 Costly Mistakes You're Making When Booking Flights - And How To Avoid Them

With summer right around the corner, many people are already looking for great deals on flights. If you haven't booked a getaway yet, there are several key things to avoid over spending on flights.

1. You're booking flights too late.
One of the costliest mistakes you could make when booking a flight is waiting until the last minute to do so. If possible, try to give yourself one to three months before your trip to shop around for affordable tickets. 

2. Avoiding early morning flight.

The redeye is often thought to be the cheapest fare of the day, but according to Skyscanner flying at 5 a.m. is the true sweet spot.

Early morning flights are also less likely to be delayed as most planes have landed for the night and the airspace is relatively quiet. Airports are also less crowded in the early mornings.

3. You're not being flexible with dates.


When you're set on going somewhere specific, you can also save big if you're flexible with your departure and return dates. Tuesdays and Fridays are generally the cheapest days to fly. Many flight search tools now offer features that let you compare prices. On Google Flights, for example, all you have to do is select the "Flexible dates" option instead of specific departure and return dates, and you can see how the price of your itinerary is likely to change over the next few months.

4. Forgetting budget airlines

It’s easy to plug in your travel dates and let big search engines do the work, but if you go this route you might miss out on budget airline fares. Most budget airlines appear in broad flight searches, but there are some exceptions. For example, Southwest’s fares often do not appear in Google Flights If you know a budget airline flies to your destination, head to their site directly to review rates.

5. You're not checking alternate airports.

If you're flying into a major city, make sure you check the prices offered by all available airports in the area. When there's an alternate airport, you can save an average of 10% when you shop around and compare prices.