India is truly a fantastic and magical travel destination, favored by backpackers and gap year students, honeymooners and holidaymakers. It is also one of the fastest developing destinations for business travel. The huge increase in oil prices has had an impact on the cost of air travel to India yet despite the huge hike in air fares, cheap flights can still be found. This article shows you how, by following my Top 10 Tips, you can ensure you get access to the cheapest possible prices for your India flight.
Flying to India? Here are my Top 10 Tips for finding that cheap flight.
The majority of my tips are all about flexibility. Having a large window of opportunity allows you a much greater choice. Air fares just like any other commodity are priced on the basis of supply and demand, those routes and flight times that are most in demand will of course command the highest prices. One of the first principles of finding cheap flights is being able to take flights that are least popular and therefore are at a reduced price as an incentive to entice buyers. Do not however think that there are flights out there that nobody wants and will remain unsold if you do not happen along to purchase them, there is little doubt that all flights will be sold, you are simply looking to buy at the lowest price.
1. Be flexible with your flight times: Being prepared to fly at unsociable hours such as early mornings or late at night greatly increases your chance of finding cheaper flights.
2. Be flexible with dates: Being flexible with the dates on which you can travel expands your window of opportunity giving you access to a vastly increased number of flights.
3. Fly mid-week: The busiest and most popular time to fly is at weekends, consequently these flights will be in great demand. With no shortage of buyers for a limited number of seats, these weekend flights are likely to be the most expensive.
4. Avoid public or school holidays in the country of your departure: Take any holiday brochure and look at the table of prices. Notice how prices increase sharply on the dates coinciding with UK bank holidays and school holidays. The chances of finding cheap flights to India at these times are practically nil.
5. Avoid dates that coincide with public or religious festivals in India: Similar to the last tip but of course this time the demand for tickets is linked to the increased number of travellers of Indian origin expected to return home or to visit family during these times.
6. Choice of departure airports: Restricting your choice of departure airports will also restrict your access to cheap flights. By far the most used airport for departures to India from the UK is London Heathrow followed by London Gatwick and Manchester. The majority of the cheap flights that I personally find are on routes from Heathrow and Manchester. You do need to ensure that any saving in air fare is not outweighed by extra costs involved in getting to an airport that is not local to you.
7. Book early: Good savings can be made by booking your tickets well in advance. This is particularly the case if you are restricted to times and dates when you can fly.
8. Book online: This is often cheaper than booking over the phone, it offers a greater choice, and allows you to browse at your own pace. I always get the feeling that at the end of a phone I am not necessarily getting the full picture. Booking online with a reputable company is now considered to be one of the safest ways of paying for your air tickets.
9. Do not tarry: If you have found a bargain flight, book it there and then. Leave it and it may well be gone by the time you come back. Many of the best offers do not remain available for long.
10. Shop around: One single supplier will never ever always have the cheapest price for all flights to all destinations. It is important therefore to check the flights offered by a range of flight companies, airlines, consolidators and travel agents.
So there are my top 10 tips for finding that cheap flight to India. There are plenty of cheap flights out there just waiting to be found, the only downside is that the process of locating them can be very time consuming. As pointed out in tip number 10 you need to check the flights offered by a whole range of flight companies, airlines, consolidators and travel agents.