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What Is a Fare Alert and Why Do I Want It?

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    Jonathan Chum

If you are someone who flies on a regular basis, you probably have some idea of how much money you should expect to pay for various plane seats. On the other hand, this doesn't necessarily mean that you are willing to spend a significant amount of money. Of course, no one wants to pay more than they have to for a plane ticket, which is where a fare alert can be helpful. You may want to take advantage of this, so you know you are getting the best deal possible. We are going to cover:

  • What a fare alert is
  • How you can get this set up
  • Other ways you might be able to save money when you fly

We have flown all over the world and, unfortunately, we have been burned a couple of times. We do not want this to happen to you. Therefore, learn more about how you can take advantage of a fare alert below!

What Is a Fare Alert?

Have you ever noticed that you might be paying two different prices when you are flying to the same city at different times of the year? If that is the case, you may feel like you were taken advantage of on one of those opportunities. Airlines are businesses. Their goal is to make as much money as possible. Therefore, if they think they can charge you a higher price, they are going to do exactly that. On the other hand, if they are having trouble selling seats, they may be willing to reduce their prices. That is why you want to use a fare alert system.

A fare alert is a specific notification that you can set up that will let you know when prices have dropped to a certain number. For example, you may have taken advantage of similar systems when you are shopping for other products and services. You can do the same thing when it comes to airline tickets. If the price drops to a certain number, you will get an alert, allowing you to book a plane ticket quickly before the price goes up again.

There are a number of factors that will play a role in how much money an airline charges for certain seats. These include:

  • A specific time of the week that someone is booking a ticket, as weekends are usually more expensive than weekdays
  • The specific time of year that someone is trying to fly somewhere, as flying to the tropics is probably more expensive during peak tourist season (as an example)
  • How many people are currently trying to book a flight to that specific location, as more demand will drive up the prices

For these reasons, prices will rise and fall. You want to book plane tickets when they are as cheap as possible.

How Can You Set Up a Fare Alert?

There are multiple ways that you can set up a fare alert system; however, most of them take place through 3rd party travel websites. If you are using websites to book a plane ticket such as Expedia, Orbitz, or Travelocity, most of these websites have systems set up to let you know when prices drop to a certain level. You can take advantage of fare alerts for not only plane tickets but hotels as well, as the prices of hotel rooms can also vary with the price of plane tickets.

In addition, there might be some airlines that also offer a fare alert system directly; however, these are less common, as airlines do not want you to know when they are dropping their prices.

Outside of travel websites, you might have other opportunities to set up a fare alert system. For example, it appears that Google just about everything today, as this search engine can even show you the price of plane tickets on various websites. Therefore, you might even be able to use Google itself to set up a fare alert system.

How Else Can You Save Money When You Fly?

In addition to using a fare alert to keep track of prices, there are other ways that you can save money on plane tickets. Some of the biggest examples include:

  • Try to use a VPN to protect your IP address when you shop for plane tickets. If a website knows that you look for plane tickets regularly, it may not show you the best prices possible.
  • When you can, try to book plane tickets as far in advance as possible. The earlier you book plane tickets, the more seats there are available. More supply means lower prices.
  • If you are booking plane tickets, try to book them during the week instead of weekends. More people book flights on the weekends, so airlines are prone to increase their prices on the weekends.
  • If you are able to fly into multiple cities, compare prices across different airlines and nearby cities. You might be able to save a lot of money this way.

If you keep these tips in mind, you should be able to save a lot of money when you shop for plane tickets. If you are looking for a vacation bundle deal, try to use a third-party website. If you bundle your hotel and plane ticket together, you may be able to get a discount.

Take Advantage of a Fare Alert Setup 

In the end, a lot of people believe that flying is expensive. It certainly isn't cheap; however, it isn't as expensive as many people make it. If you are willing to shop around, you can save a significant amount of money on your plane ticket. If you have a lot to do during the day, you do not have to worry about checking prices yourself. Instead, take advantage of a fare alert system and get notified when plane tickets drop to a certain price. That way, you can book them as quickly as possible, saving a significant amount of money on your travel plans.