How to find airline travel deals: Think Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales are just for Instant pots and Electronics? Think travel instead, buying cheap tickets to the destinations of your dreams. You can expect to find good discounts during the flash sale season that starts Nov. 29 and ends Dec. 2, according to one fare-watching pro.
“We can expect airlines to have deeply discounted flash sales this year,” Jesse Neugarten of Dollar Flight Club wrote in an email. “Jet-fuel prices are almost half the price compared to last year, so airlines are able to offer huge discounts this month. There is so much competition in the space that if a few airlines post deals, the rest will follow.”
For competitive reasons, airlines don’t disclose the discounts before they happen. But some carriers are starting early.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) started its sale Tuesday with L.A.-Stockholm round-trip airfares as low as $397 in January and February, and $436 in March. (Go to the Low Fare Calendar at flysas.com to find discounted airfares to a number of destinations good for travel from Jan. 8 through May 14.) Hawaiian Airlines plans to drop deals on inter-island flights Friday and other flight offers Monday.
Cathay Pacific Airways on Wednesday started a sale with $545 roundtrip tickets from L.A. to Bali, and $555 roundtrip from L.A. to Bangkok. Lots of discounts on premium economy prices too, such as L.A. to Singapore starting at $1,265 round-trip. Sale lasts through Dec. 3 for travel between Jan. 1 and May 15. Book at the airline’s Black Friday Deals website.
Alaska Airlines’s airfare sale starts Thursday evening, Pacific time.
Alaska Airlines promises fliers will find the “biggest sales of the year” starting 9:01 p.m. Pacific time Thursday (Thanksgiving), according to a news release Tuesday.
Neugarten expects discounts as high as 60% on tickets to destinations such as Rome; Sydney, Australia; Cape Town, South Africa; Beijing and others. He also expects sales from Delta, Emirates, Singapore, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Southwest, Norwegian, JetBlue and Ryan Air.
(Dollar Flight Club, a subscription service that provides travelers with the best travel deals, is having its own Black Friday sale starting Thursday night. Pay $20 instead of $69 for the first year of Premium membership; and $29 instead of $99 for the first year of Premium Plus membership. Also online travel retailer Skyscanner will be updating its website with top Black Friday deals as soon as they hit.)
Neugarten recommends these tips when hunting for Black Friday-Cyber Monday airfare deals:
- Set up airfare price alerts on destinations you are interested in. Prices will fluctuate throughout the sale period, so if you see an airfare you like, buy it. You can set up alerts using Google Flights, Kayak, Skyscanner and Dollar Flight Club.
- Be flexible with your trip dates and airport choice. If you want to fly from smaller airports, consider nearby major hubs that may have better prices.
- Beware of budget airlines. While sales on carriers such as Spirit, Frontier and Norwegian Air may look amazing, remember to add on fees for things such as seat assignments, bags, etc., to understand the true price.
An important note: Make sure you buy from the airline during the sale season. That way you have 24 hours to cancel for free (in case you made a mistake or find a better airafre), even on a nonrefundable ticket.