3) Be careful when booking flights through search engines such as CheapOAir.com. While you can often get reduced fairs and it a great tool for price comparisons, these engines sometimes have their own rules and restrictions that you would not have to deal with if booking through the airline directly. For example, if you need to change a flight time, these search engines may charge you a fee for that that would not have otherwise been imposed. Also, if you see an airline that seems to have reasonable prices on the search engine, check the airlines main website. In my experience, I have found that I can get the same price booking directly with the airline, and have also found some unlisted flights that weren’t on the search engine.
4) Sign up for a rewards program. If you have a particular airline you frequently use check to see if they have a rewards program or a special credit card that they work with. For example, Southwest has a Rapid Rewards Card that gets you two free flights after your first purchase. I, personally, use the Capital One Venture Card, giving me double miles on every dollar spent. While it is hard to use the points because the equation for redemption is to multiply your flight price by 100 (example- if your flight costs $100 you will need 10,000 points to get it for free), the card has other perks for international travelers, such as no foreign transaction fees and travel insurance built into the card.
5) Sign up for a travel alert e-mail subscription. I use Travelzoo, personally. If you are not too restricted with your dates of travel, you can often snag last minute deals and random promotions that can save you big bucks.
Note: I would also like to add a tip from one of my readers, Ross from the United Kingdom, who is also an experienced traveler.
Join a frequent flyer programme and take the hit to fly with an alliance (star, oneworld, or skyteam). I always fly star alliance, and by only flying star alliance airlines, I’ve kept gold status for 4 years, gaining lounge access at all airports, free luggage across all alliance airlines, free upgrades, and being able to book redemptions (for example, I’m flying to the USA in 2 weeks, with 4 stops, all in business/first, and it costs me £300 and 37500 airmiles. Which is a steal). I don’t get why people fly jetblue/southwest. For an extra 50 dollars u can fly mainline, and earn points towards your status and airmiles. They all add up!