If you’re planning a trip and you’ve already found an inexpensive flight, take your time buying tickets, because now you’ll find tickets even cheaper. And this is not an advertisement for another bullshit aggregator.
Everyone knows that airlines take their prices from the ceiling. Marketers come up with cunning, non-transparent schemes to take money from passengers in proportion to their financial means. So that the rich pay more for tickets and the poor pay what they can.
Price discrimination of paxes
From the arsenal of marketers there are several basic ways of price discrimination against passengers :
1)If the trip does not involve a weekend, then it is a business trip, and the tickets should be made more expensive
2)If you’re flying from San Francisco to Peter, the ticket will be more expensive than the other way around.
3) If you’re flying into a small city via a major hub, the ticket may be cheaper than the same flight just to the hub.
4) If you’re flying one way, it may be more expensive than the same round-trip ticket. Or it could be the other way around, two separate round trip tickets are cheaper than a single round trip ticket.
5) Dirty tricks with cookies, gelocation, etc. where the price goes up depending on your location, ticket search history, and so on.
But for every tricky marketing nut, fortunately, there are bolts like :
1) skiplagged.com – uses "hidden city ticketing, " that is, connecting tickets in the city you want that are cheaper than flights directly to your city. You just have to get off at the connection and score the next segment of your flight.
After visiting this site, United Airlines was foaming at the mouth with rage and sued its owner. Fortunately, they lost the lawsuit, and at the same time they publicized skiplagged
2) skypicker.com – this site searches for tickets in "its secret innovative way, " but in fact it searches for tickets in several separate segments instead of a single ticket. That is, a single A-B-C ticket is often more expensive than two A-B + B-C tickets.
How to find even cheaper
Both of these sites are good and really help you find "tricky" tickets cheaper. But there is an even better way. The synergy effect occurs when you combine these two methods in one search. Two separate A-B + B-C tickets can be cheaper than A-B-C. But two tickets A-B + B-C-D or even A-B-E + B-C-D could be even cheaper.
Let’s try to find the Antalya-Kiev ticket :
To be more convincing, let’s pick the cheapest date. The cheapest flight is April 8 for $135, according to skyscanner:
But actually the cheapest ticket is two separate tickets Antalya-Istanbul + Istanbul-Kiev-Kharkiv :
1) Antalya-Istanbul direct flight for $21
2) Istanbul-Kiev-Kharkiv for $60
Total we found a ticket for $81 instead of $135. And with the money we saved, we could walk around Istanbul during the long layover 🙂
Saving not only money but also time
Instead of the standard offer Moscow-Belgrade-Rome-Pisa with two transfers for $286
You can take two direct flights (i.e. one transfer) Moscow-Budapest + Budapest-Pisa for $90
How do you look for tickets like this?
The algorithm is simple :
1) Find flights from the StartPoint to all possible cities within your estimated budget
2) For each found city, search for tickets to the Ultimate Point, as well as to other cities (repeat step 1), counting the current city and each change on the way to it as the Starting Point, and the maximum price = the estimated budget minus the price to the current city
To optimize the algorithm, you can first look at which cities there are low-cost flights from the endpoint to force the construction of the flight tree in the right direction. This is useful if you search for flights manually. And my acquaintance was too lazy to search manually, so he wrote a little plugin for Chrome , which does it for him.
And please don’t tell anyone about this, save the nerves of airline marketers.