- Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:48 am
Aside from occasional 'mistake' fares, the key to finding discounted air fares is getting creative with where your ticket begins or originates, as well as sometimes taking some indirect routings.
For example, say I wanted to fly from London UK to Rio de Janeiro. I can code up a search query based on beginning my journey at London Heathrow, or any number of European hubs. In this example, I discover that the cheapest business class fare for my dates is USD 2,546, flying with Lufthansa via Frankfurt.
However, with the amount of travel I do, I tend to get a bit fussy, so I know that Lufthansa's current generation of business class product isn't great. I also want to accumulate mileage / status with the OneWorld alliance.
So I look at equivalent fares from OneWorld alliance carriers: starting in London, the cheapest I could find was with British Airways for USD 3,049. While Iberia will give me a business seat via Madrid for USD 3,830.
By getting a bit more creative with my routing, I can come up with something much more interesting and cost effective. In the meantime I decide I'd also like to spend some time in Barcelona during the same period. So a few taps later, I discover that I can get a round-trip business class seat with British Airways, flying Barcelona-London-Sao Paulo for USD 2,246. In this example I use some of my British Airways miles to get the 'feeder' flights to/from London which book end this trip, and pay around USD 60 for a separate economy class round-trip ticket Sao Paulo-Rio de Janeiro - only a short hop.
There are many other examples where I've saved considerably more, but the one above suited the exact needs of places where I both needed and wanted to be at the time.
As for finding the fares themselves, I use Matrix Airfare Search (Matrix was acquired by Google a few years back).
A useful resource for finding some of the best premium fares around is the various subforums of Flyertalk.