Though it's already July, budget-conscious travelers still have a chance to score some savings on summer trips. According to USA Today's "Airfare Expert," here are some ways to find the deals.
Sign up for airfare alerts and let the deals come to you via e-mail and text. Be aware, however, that these deals disappear as quickly as they show up. If you like the price, book the trip immediately to lock in the fare. Following air carriers on Twitter and Facebook is also a good way to be kept in the loop about low prices.
Elastic summer shopping windows.
Airlines want to be certain their planes are full, so sometimes they'll extend the usual sale period. For example, the Airfare Expert says, "Look for an occasional sale launch on Monday instead of the usual Tuesday, and sometimes the "book by" date will stretch into Friday instead of the traditional Thursday deadline." He also reminds tavelers that 3 p.m. on Thursday is typically the best time to look around at ticket prices, but it could pay off to start the search a little earlier by a day or so.
One-off sales exist.
Some bargains happen quickly, and they don't last long. Virgin America had discounts for eight hours, and AirTran has had Friday-only sales on more than one ocassion. If you stay on your toes and put in the research (and again: airfare alerts!!), you can take advantage.
Read the fine print.
If you do a little research, you'll be able to find discounts other than the ones that are prominently advertised. Just because companies keep the deals quiet doesn't mean they aren't there.
If you're flexible with your travel dates and the airlines you're willing to use, you'll have the biggest chance of finding a deal.