Cebu Pacific. Image via WikipediaNowadays, airline promos are as common as "common colds". Almost every airline has their seat sale every now and then. Except for busy seasons like Christmas and Holy Week, there are bunch of low airfares being offered for both domestic and international destinations. Of course, the Philippines' largest low-cost airline, Cebu Pacific is credited to be the trend-setter of this phenomenon.
But in spite of these, many are still complaining that they were not able to book cheap airfares especially during promos. There might be various reasons why but here are some tips based on my personal experience to help you save money when buying airline tickets.
1. Watch for promos several months before your travel period.
Airline promos are usually made available for booking several months ahead of the travel period (three or more months).
I noticed from my readers' comments that they were usually looking for promo fares on flights that are just a month ahead or even a week ahead. The concept is: The nearer the date of your flight, the harder it is to find cheap airfares. That is the FACT of airfare promos.
2. Do not book in bulk; book in small groups.
There are those who book for 5 person or more at a time. Of course, there are circumstances that you cannot break the group especially if there are children. But if you can manage to break your group into smaller ones, there's a big chance that you can get tickets during a promo. Here's the reason why.
When you enter five or more persons in the search query, the system will look for a specific promo flight with five or more vacant seats. What if there's only four left? The search will return "zero" result. Which is better? Four promo fares plus one regular fare or five regular fares?
3. Travel on generally "non-busy" days and times.
Avoid flying on Fridays or Mondays, they are considered to be busy days because most people tend to travel on those days. Because of high demand, there are usually no promos given on those days.
Also, if you can manage to fly late or early in a day, please do so because cheap fares are usually offered on those times.
The principle is, fly when you think there's less people who likes to fly.
4. Be vigilant on promo announcements.
Promos only last for two or three days. Extremely low promo offerings like Cebu Pacific's PISO fare can only last for several hours. And chances are, if you booked several hours after a Piso Fare-like promo was announced, you will find it hard to enter the airline website due to heavy internet traffic.
To be able to get the earliest news, subscribe to the airlines' email notifications and blogs like this who offers quick reports during promo announcements. The principle is: the quickest to book will likely find a promo fare for the date he/she wanted.
5. Have a Credit Card, Debit Card, or an ATM card that supports online purchasing.
Promo fares are best purchased through the internet. It is both fast and convenient. Some promos such as "Piso Fare" can only be booked online.
If you are not sure whether your ATM Card is capable of booking online, contact your card provider.
Cebu Pacific also offers online reservations and be paid later that day on their ticket office. Please see this article to learn more.