How to find cheap tickets?
This is one of the most popular search keywords in Google the last few years. But even Google doesn't know how to answer this in a good way.
We also don't have THE answer to this question but at least we can give you some tips & tricks!
Tip 1. ALL airlines have a so called 'yield or revenue department' where computers (and sometimes people) monitor all the routes, load factors and prices of their flights. In general, the sooner you book the cheaper the price. Airlines award you if your book in advance. Business travelers complete their reservations just a few days in advance and price is not really an issue for them, flight times are more important, so they are willing to pay an higher price.
But as popular holiday weekends approach, flights are more expensive. Also with dates around public holidays. If you know that, the airline knows it for sure and they know that people are willing to pay a higher price.
Tip 2. If you are going for a weekendtrip/citytrip. Avoid the Friday flights and Sunday afternoon flights. Typically, people want to travel late Friday - late Sunday to enjoy their weekend. But on Friday business travelers are also heading home, and leisure travelers are heading towards their destination.
Why not traveling of Saturday morning untill Monday afternoon?
Tip 3. Check if a transfer is cheaper. Most airlines who don't fly direct, try to convince you with a cheaper ticket price, but you have to transfer on their hub.
Tip 4. Don't focus on your home airport! If a secondary airport is further away from home, consider flying from their. You can really save money by checking flights from those airports. So If you live in Manhatten, don't focus on JFK alone, consider Newark as well.
Tip 5. If you live close to a border, consider flying from your neighbour country! Loads of people how live in Switzerland, consider flying from France, Germany or Italy because taxes are lower than in Switzerland.
Tip 6. Checking comparison websites is ok, but we prefer to book directly via the website of the airline!
Tip 7. Don't focus on low cost carriers alone. Certainly nowadays with all surcharges for seating, bagage, meals etc, it could be cheaper to fly the conventional airlines if you add all the additional charges to the 'fare base'.
Tip 8. Delete your cookies in your browser. If you check the website of airline X every day for the New York - London flight, cookies make sure the airline recognizes you as somebody who is interested in that route. So the system increases the price a bit, just to make you aware of the limited availability of that ticket.
Tip 9. Check the airport website to see, which airlines operate from that airport to your destination. After that, visit the website of that particular airline to check prices. Comparison websites only display the airlines which give them commission. Typically low cost carriers don't do this, that's whay they are not displayed in the search results.
Tip 10. And last but not least: Check www.re-ticket.com for second hand tickets ;)
Check the Google ITA Matrix search engine. Still in beta but really realiable!