6 Ways to Save on the Costs of Airfare
1. 1. Comparison shop
2. 2. All in the timing
3. 3. Go incognito
4. 4. Company policy
5. 5. Brown bag it
6. 6. Burning daylight
Air travel is stressful, and that's even before you factor in having to pay an arm, a leg and someone's firstborn child to get a halfway decent seat on a cramped and oddly climate-controlled plane.
The average cost of a domestic round trip in 2014 was $391, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. But as recently as January, the major domestic airlines saw an increase in ticket prices.
Read on for some tips about what you can do to mitigate costs and find the best deals.
Do a bit of research -- don't stop at just one platform to find your tickets. Pull up a bunch of tabs in your browser and check out an array of platforms, such as Google Flights, FareCompare, Momondo, Hopper, Hipmunk and Kayak before settling on a fare.
It goes without saying that you should give yourself some breathing room when booking a trip. A recent study from Expedia recommends leaving 57 days in advance for the most cost-effective domestic flights, 160 days if you're flying from North America to Asia and 176 if you're going from North America to Europe.Read more: Business Travelers: Don't Be Lured by the Siren Song of Free Wi-Fi
When you are ready to purchase your ticket, shift your browser into incognito mode. While not guaranteed for every portal, you may see lower fares if you use a private browser.Read more: 15 Conference Travel Tips to Reduce Stress and Save Time and Money
When domestic travel can cost businesses more than nearly $112 billion annually, it's key to be on the lookout for deals that can cover the whole company such as loyalty, rewards or frequent flier promotions and programs.Read more: Save Money on Business-Travel Expenses With These 5 Hacks
Another way to find a cheaper ticket is to fly at 6 a.m., noon or 6 p.m. If you don't need to get to a breakfast or lunch meeting the first day of your business trip, bring some home-cooked fare with you to snack on while in flight instead of eating the cost.Read more: Why Your Last Flight Was So Expensive
A little inconvenience goes a long way. The least expensive days to travel are generally Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.Read more: The Sharing Economy Enters the Business of Business Travel