There are many ways to receive a cheaper rate when booking your flight. I will list them out here in order of effectiveness, but remember a little effort searching can help you save a lot of money.
Basic Booking Advice
- If you plan on checking bags some airlines can add $25-$50 a bag. Make sure you account for that when purchasing tickets as the lowest fare isn’t always the lowest cost. Southwest has 2 free checked bags and JetBlue has 1 free checked bag. For the other airlines checked baggage fees see our Airline Fees page.
- Try to figure out your travel dates as soon as possible. Booking early doesn’t always save you the most money, but you can watch the airfare and decide to buy when it’s low enough. In general I have found that flights are cheapest between 1.5 and 3 months of your trip, but sometimes you can find great last minute deals. If you sign up for an account on Kayak.com they will send you routine fair updates so you can monitor airfares by checking your email!
- If you will want extra water or food on the plane make sure you pack an empty bottle as you cannot carry liquid through security. You can fill it up at a water fountain in the terminal. You are also allowed to bring on any food you wish so make sure you bring a proper size carry-on if you want to pack some food.
- Always book your flight online. If you call in, the airline usually will charge you extra money to book your reservation because they have to pay their employees to take your reservation. Booking online is faster and easier than calling in as you don’t need to wait on the phone for a representative to become available.
1. Southwest Vacation Packages
If you checked out the Hotel Tips page already, then you know that Southwest Vacation Packages can save you money on your hotel and flight. The best part is you only need to book on one website.
- If you are looking to stay in Vegas for the weekend but have flexible flight times it is often cheaper to leave Monday rather than Sunday. You get an extra night in the hotel for less money! The main reason for this is because flights on Monday are usually cheaper than Sunday flights so you can extend your stay and save money.
Southwest Vacation packages are not fully refundable if you cancel. Southwest Vacation Packages have made great strides in the past and if you read the fine print carefully you will find that the hotel portion of the package will be refunded per policy of the hotel. Most Vegas hotels allow 100% refunds as long as you cancel at least 48 hours in advance but it is good to check at the hotel’s website to make sure. The flight portion will be given to you as a credit to use on future Southwest flights. I have never cancelled one before so I am not sure how it works, but please keep that in mind when booking.
2. Booking Buddy
Booking Buddy is a great way to compare flight prices. They allow searches for multiple airlines, flexible travel dates, and nearby airports. The only issue is that they do not search all airlines such as Southwest and JetBlue.
Bing provides a service similar to Kayak, but it doesn’t work quite as well. The one thing I do like to do is check Bing’s farecast. This service lets you know if the flight price is likely to go up or down. From my experience Bing’s farecast has been pretty accurate, so if it says the flight prices are going to go up, it’s probably a good time to buy.
4. Priceline Name Your Own Price® Services
Although I never used Priceline’s Name Your Own Price®services for flights, I have used it successfully for hotels. I wouldn’t suggest using this feature for hotels in Vegas because you might get stuck in a hotel off the Strip. However, if your flight times are flexible you might be able to save some money by naming your own price. All you need to do is enter your personal information, your credit card, and the price you want to pay. If an airline accepts, your tickets will automatically be booked for the flight times they choose. If not you may not be able to try the same itinerary for 24 hours.
Book using this link Priceline Flights – Select your Exact Flight & time or name your own price!
If your bid is accepted your reservation will be booked immediately. This allows for no flexibility of times or airline so make sure you can leave any time of day and from any airline at the airport you chose.