Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals
Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Set Fare Drop Notifications on Google Flights
One of the best ways to snag a great airfare deal is by setting up fare drop alerts on Google Flights. This free tool allows you to track prices on specific routes and get notified if the fares drop to your target price point.
Frequent flyers love using Google Flights alerts because it takes the guesswork out of deal hunting. Instead of having to constantly check back on flight prices, Google Flights does the monitoring for you and sends an email when airfares on your chosen route decrease.
Setting up the alerts is simple. Just search for your desired itinerary on Google Flights as you normally would when looking for flights. Enter your departure and arrival airports along with your preferred travel dates. Before selecting a flight, click on the “Track Prices” link below the search bar.
This will open a small window where you can enter your target price for that route. Google Flights will then continuously check fares and alert you if prices drop below the amount you specified. You’ll get an email notification with a direct link to book the cheaper flight.
The best part about Google Flights alerts is that you can track prices for an entire date range, not just specific travel days. This increases your chances of being notified when a fare sale pops up or prices dip for other reasons.
For example, you can set an alert for $400 roundtrip flights from New York to London for all of March and April 2024. Google Flights will let you know if prices hit $400 anytime within those two months. This provides much more flexibility than just picking exact travel dates.
Travelers who use Google Flights price alerts strategically end up saving a lot on airfare. By tracking a wide date range, you’ll get notified whenever a fare sale happens to match up with your schedule. And by setting multiple alerts for destinations you’re considering, you can pounce when one of them drops in price.
Google Flights will also alert you if prices start going up, allowing you to book before the fare increases. Savvy flyers recommend setting price alerts during the optimal booking windows when airlines first open flights for sale. That way you’re among the first to know when deals appear.
What else is in this post?
- Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Set Fare Drop Notifications on Google Flights
- Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Use Hopper to Track Prices and Get Alerts
- Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Sign Up for Airline Email Lists to Get Flash Sales
- Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Use Scott's Cheap Flights to Find Mistake Fares
- Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Follow Flight Deal Accounts on Social Media
- Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Use Private Slack Groups to Find the Inside Scoop
- Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Install Browser Extensions to Monitor Prices
- Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Leverage Credit Card Offers for Price Protection
Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Use Hopper to Track Prices and Get Alerts
Hopper has become a go-to app for savvy travelers looking to keep tabs on airfares and snag the best deals. This free mobile app uses predictive analytics to forecast whether prices on your chosen flights are likely to increase or decrease. You can set up airfare alerts just like on Google Flights, but with the added bonus of Hopper's data-driven predictions.
One of Hopper's key features is its Price Freeze. When you're tracking a flight and Hopper predicts the fare is at a low point, you can freeze the price for up to two weeks while you finalize plans. This holds the rate even if prices start creeping up again. Travelers love having the option to book later without worrying about losing out on a good deal.
In addition to alerts, Hopper provides a unique color-coded calendar showing the best time to buy your flight. Green days indicate cheap airfare, while red represents expensive days to fly. The app factors in historical fare data, seasonality, and other proprietary algorithms to forecast prices up to a year in advance. This helps you strategically plan your trip around predicted fare sales.
Thomas from Chicago saved over $800 on flights to Europe by using Hopper's calendar to pinpoint cheaper travel dates in the fall. "I never would have known October was cheaper than July without Hopper's projections. Its predictions were spot on and I scored an amazing deal well in advance."
Beyond just tracking prices, users praise Hopper for its ease of booking flights and hotels within the app. Once you receive a fare drop notification, you can often complete the entire booking process through Hopper faster than on an airline site. The app is especially useful for monitoring complex international itineraries with multiple carriers.
Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Sign Up for Airline Email Lists to Get Flash Sales
Savvy travelers know that airline email lists are the insider track for scoring flash fare sales and exclusive deals. Major carriers use their mailing lists to provide subscribers with advance notice and early access to limited-time promotions not marketed to the general public. Signing up for these airline emails can unlock deep discounts that sell out before the sales are publicly announced online.
Unlike public fare sales which are available on Google Flights and metasearch sites, email list deals are only shared with opted-in members. Subscribing provides a direct line to the airline's private sales intended for its most loyal customers. For example, Delta may email Medallion elite members about 72-hour flash sales with 30-50% off select routes before making these publicly available.
Travel industry experts Torsten and Felix explain that airlines utilize email lists to build brand loyalty and incentivize repeat bookings within their own direct channels. While each carrier's promotions vary, subscribers can expect alerts for sales like:
- Last-minute fare discounts to fill open seats
- Route-specific promotions targeting new/underbooked destinations
- Exclusive companion fare and family discounts
- First class/business class upgrade offers
- Bonus mile promotions on paid tickets
- Notification of mistake fares before fixes
Signing up is quick, free, and provides instant access to insider deals you'd otherwise miss. Most travelers recommend creating an account to receive emails from the 1-2 major airlines you fly most frequently for best results. Brian from Houston saved $350 on his family's trip to Hawaii by jumping on a kids-fly-free promotion United sent in a promotional email 24 hours before the sale launched publicly.
Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Use Scott's Cheap Flights to Find Mistake Fares
Savvy travelers are always on the lookout for mistake fares - these golden ticket deals that arise when an airline accidentally sets an absurdly low price. We're talking $99 roundtrip flights to Europe or $500 flat for business class to Asia. These are once-in-a-lifetime airfare deals you need to pounce on fast before the airline realizes the error.
This is where Scott's Cheap Flights shines. The premium membership service developed a knack for discovering and alerting travelers to these rare mistake fares faster than anyone else. We're talking flight deals like $177 roundtrip from Los Angeles to Hawaii, $345 roundtrip from New York to London, and $785 roundtrip in business class from San Francisco to Paris.
Scott's Cheap Flights has over 2 million members and a network of flight deal experts who scour airline sites for pricing errors that slip through the cracks. When they uncover a juicy mistake fare, Scott's sends instant email alerts to notify members before the deals disappear.
This speed is key - mistake fares can sell out in hours or even minutes once publicity spreads. Scott's members get a critical head start to book these deals right after the error is found.
Danielle from Phoenix saved a whopping $2,500 on business class tickets to Seoul thanks to Scott's mistake fare alert. "I jumped on it immediately after receiving the email. By the time I checked online forums 2 hours later, the fare was gone. Scott's gave me the insider intel when it mattered most."
Unlike public travel deal sites, Scott's Cheap Flights prioritizes alert speed over scale. While this means smaller membership, it enables Scott's to notify members lightning fast. Public blogs simply can't match this urgency due to their sheer audience size.
Scott's emphasis on rapid-fire email alerts gives its members an edge when competing for limited mistake fare seats. The deals uncovered by Scott's team seem to outpace all other flight deal services.
Trevor from Dallas scored mistake fare tickets to Machu Picchu, Galapagos Islands, and Easter Island - all destinations he'd long dreamed of visiting - thanks to Scott's alerts. "I never imagined these bucket-list trips would be possible on my budget without Scott's. It's been life changing."
Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Follow Flight Deal Accounts on Social Media
Savvy travelers know that social media offers a goldmine of airfare intel if you follow the right accounts. Flight deal experts on platforms like Twitter and Facebook have their ears to the ground, providing breaking news on fare sales, airline flash deals, and mistake price errors. Turning on notifications from these accounts provides an invaluable heads-up on limited-time promotions and cheap seats before the general public catches on.
Matt from San Diego relies on flight deal accounts like Secret Flying and The Flight Deal to stay ahead of the curve. “I never would have known about the 24-hour Delta fare glitch without Secret Flying’s rapid tweet. Because of the instant alert, I booked Orlando roundtrips for $89 before Delta fixed the error an hour later."
Speed is power when competing for deals with limited availability. Social media's real-time nature makes it perfect for urgent alerts. When an airline pricing mishap occurs or a too-good-to-be-true sale launches, minutes matter. Following online flight deal insiders via social cuts reaction time versus waiting for info to hit blogs.
Don, an aviation expert from Houston, explains how flight deal accounts maintain networks of travel industry sources. “These accounts gain insider access to upcoming promotions weeks before public announcement. Their behind-the-scenes connections unearth intel on sale launch dates, discount codes, and eligible markets.”
For example, major carriers need to file airfare sales in advance with the ATPCO central clearinghouse. Well-sourced accounts can get the scoop on future deals the moment ATPCO filings become public. This enables tip-offs on big sales before websites officially update.
Beyond fare sales, flight deal accounts also provide a stream of mistake fare opportunities. Erroneous sub-$200 tickets to Hawaii, $350 roundtrips to Europe, and other unbelievable deals. These are very time-limited given the pricing errors. Social media’s immediacy becomes essential.
Alice from Los Angeles recommends enabling push notifications from deal accounts. “I dropped everything and booked Paris for $465 roundtrip thanks to Thrifty Traveler’s instant Twitter notification. The mistake fare vanished less than 2 hours later. Getting the urgent alert made all the difference.”
Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Use Private Slack Groups to Find the Inside Scoop
In the world of flight deals, timing is everything. Savvy travelers know that tapping into private communities and insider channels is key to getting the jump on limited-time promotions and mistake fares. This is where exclusive Slack groups come in handy.
Slack offers invite-only channels where flight deal experts convene to uncover real-time intel not accessible to the general public. By gaining access to these elite communities, travelers can benefit from the collective knowledge of deal-hunting enthusiasts collaborating in real time.
James, an IT consultant from Chicago, leveraged Slack communities to save 68% on business class tickets to Japan. “I joined a small Slack group focused on Mistake of the Day fares. When ANA business class was mistakenly selling for $985 roundtrip, a member posted it immediately. I was able to buy before the airline fixed the error.”
These members-only Slack groups essentially crowdsource flight deals, with participants scouring airline sites 24/7. When someone uncovers an unbelievable fare or promotion, they can instantly alert fellow members. This creates a hivemind effect where many travelers are continually searching for deals.
Mark, a software engineer, credits his Slack community for incredible savings to Europe and South America. “We share everything from publicly available sales to insider airline intel. Last-minute deals only stay up briefly, so Slack’s real-time alert system is invaluable.”
Much like social media accounts, Slack groups tap into networks of travel industry sources. But they take it a step further with intimate communities where deal-hunters personally collaborate. Slack’s instant notification system enables rapid-fire sharing of time-sensitive info.
Trevor, an attorney, suggests being highly selective when choosing a Slack group. “The most useful groups have knowledgeable, ethical members. Avoid channels filled with spammers or sketchy sources peddling risky fares. Moderation is key.”
Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Install Browser Extensions to Monitor Prices
Savvy travelers are all about finding the cheapest flights. And one of the best tools to help monitor prices is browser extensions. These nifty add-ons allow you to track airfares seamlessly in the background while you surf the web.
The beauty of extensions is that they work quietly behind the scenes, constantly searching for deals on routes you specify. There’s no need to manually look up airfares day after day. The extension does the tedious work for you.
For example, Autoslash is a popular Chrome and Firefox extension that lets you add flight searches for any destination or date range. You can track as many trips as you’d like. Autoslash runs daily checks on current prices for all your tracked flights. If airfare drops, you get an instant browser notification along with an email alert.
This makes it easy to pounce when prices decrease on flights you’re monitoring. No more wasting time repeatedly searching airline and OTA sites. Autoslash notes the airline and travel dates for the fare change in the notification, so you know exactly which trip to book.
Frequent flyer Chris explains, “I installed Autoslash and tracked five possible overseas trips I was considering for next year. When roundtrip prices to Portugal dropped from $982 to $712 in October, Autoslash let me know immediately. I prefer Autoslash over email alerts because the in-browser notice is more prominent and urgent.”
Airfarewatchdog and Hopper also offer handy browser extensions. Airfarewatchdog lets you track specific flight numbers in addition to routes. So you can pinpoint price drops on your preferred departure and return.
Hopper’s extension provides its unique price prediction calendars right on travel sites like Expedia and Priceline. This lets you forecast the best time to book trips you’re searching.
Savvy Travelers Use Price Alerts to Snag the Best Flight Deals - Leverage Credit Card Offers for Price Protection
Savvy travelers know how to work the system, and one of the smartest tricks involves tapping into your credit card’s price protection policy. Many premium travel rewards cards include this valuable benefit which refunds the difference if an airline lowers the fare on your flight. Talk about a risk-free way to lock in airfare deals!
The key is understanding which cards offer what coverage. For example, the Platinum Card from American Express provides up to $500 back per purchased ticket if the fare drops in the first 90 days. Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Reserve reimburses up to $500 per person (and $2,500 per year) for decreases in the first 120 days after booking.
Jenna from Denver leveraged her Amex Platinum when booking Easter flights to Cancun last December. “I used my card’s 90-day coverage as insurance to lock in $412 roundtrip fares even though I thought they might drop more. When airfare decreased to $318 in February, Amex refunded me $94 per ticket.”
Similarly, Diego in Miami bought roundtrips to Chile six weeks out at $780 with his Chase Sapphire Reserve. Two weeks later, rates dipped to $598 for the same airline and flight times. Chase quickly credited the $182 difference back to Diego's account.
The key is reading the fine print to understand your card’s specific policy details. What’s the refund time window? Are there exclusions on low-cost carriers? Are ancillary fees like baggage and seat selection covered? Does reimbursement apply if you cancel your trip? Understanding these nuances ensures you tap into the full potential of your card’s price protection.
Pro tip: don’t wait until the last minute to file a claim after prices decrease. Submit paperwork as soon as allowable because there is often a short window to claim the refund after your eligibility window expires. Many cards require filing within 30 days of the lower fare being discovered.
James from Houston recommends tracking airfare yourself rather than relying on the credit card benefit alone. “I set a Google Flights alert after booking with my Citi Prestige. When I got notified that prices dropped, I immediately filed a claim. I wouldn’t have known fares decreased otherwise.”