Buying airline tickets online has become second nature most people, many times the process is easier than dealing with customer services representatives over the phone, not to mention sites have been streamlined to provide a straight forward service. With so many changes due to technology is important to keep ourselves ahead of the curve by learning the best ways to buy airfares and still get a great deal on them.
Lets start by saying that if you want to get a great price you need to do some research and some price hunting to begin with, many "brokers" anticipate a certain hot travel season and purchase many tickets from the airline in order to sell them at a later time, the airline itself holds some aside in order to sell them to their many distributors and for their main site, this is the reason why brokerage companies can many times offer a great price, bulk buying definitively has its advantages.
On the other hand, the company may hold some airfares and in order to attract customers and build a buzz about their prices, they may even lower the price of the tickets they hold, these deals are often found by calling to the airline directly or by going to their web site. With so many sources available you need to take advantage of the power of the web to do side-by-side comparisons. There is a great list of sites which let you do just that, to name a few we have (in no particular order): Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Side Step, Kayak, Qixo and many others. These companies will list the price for the ticket you are looking for by running an internal search among different airlines which have available seats for the dates you wish to travel.
Once you have found a good price you can either purchase it or you may use a price tracking system in order to see if a company offers a ticket to the same destination and during the same dates at a lower price, Orbitz provides such handy system and if a company matches or beats the price you have set on the system you will get an email alert. Yet another good practice is to pay attention to the times airlines update their sites, sometimes during midnight their maintenance personnel enters new prices which might sell very quickly, you can also call the airline directly after you have a final price, some airlines may even offer you a lower price than the one you could get through their own web site.