8 Tips to help find cheaper airfare this holiday season

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28 2012 12:45 p.m. MST

In this file photo from Wednesday, May 23, 2012, an Air China jet prepares to land at the Capital International Airport in Beijing.

Alexander F. Yuan, AP

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SALT LAKE CITY — Travel is expected to cost families more this holiday season as flight costs are up 9 percent from last year, making average round-trip airfare $386, according to MoneyTalkNews.

Here are some tips for saving on flights.

Follow airlines on Twitter and Facebook.

What online travel agents like Expedia, Orbitz or Travelocity don't mention is that you can get cheaper prices on the actual airline site. This is because airlines want to avoid paying commissions of $10 to $25 per ticket, so they prefer customers coming directly to the site.

Use discount codes

Search for a discount code by going to any search engine and typing "(specific airline) promo code."

Fly on slow days

Early morning Tuesday or Wednesday and first flights of the day are often the cheapest time to fly.

Picking the season

Airline prices tend to drop in August or September for Europe. The lowest prices for areas in the Caribbean are early December or after mid-April.

Compare airports

Don't be picky about airports. Different airports vary in prices, so search around for the best options.

Consider baggage fees

Airlines differ in baggage policy. Southwest checks two bags for free and JetBlue gives one bag for free, while United Airlines charges $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second.

Watch pricing glitches

In June, MoneyNewsTalk reported on Delta Air Lines charging higher airfares to frequent fliers who were logged in and lower to those who weren't. While that has been fixed since then, be sure to search multiple times.

Book early

Flights become more expensive two weeks before the flight date. Book flights two to 12 weeks before you want to go.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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