Gone are the days when you pick up a return flight for 30 Euros from UK airports to Malaga.
With the increase in fuel and material costs plus general airline greed you would be lucky to get to the Costa and back for less than 100 Euros these days.
Coupled with the fact that it can take hours of searching the numerous different airlines for that elusive cheap price only to end up going back to your first option to book; by which time it has doubled in price, arrrgh!!!
Fear not, there are still some good deals out there you just have to know where and how to look.
Having been a frequent flyer from the UK to Malaga for almost a decade myself, I bring you my tried and tested tricks and tips for ensuring you find the best possible price.
Flight Comparison Site
Narrow your initial search by using a comparison site eg www.skyscanner.net.
Be careful when selecting your comparison site as other “comparison” sites like Kayak and others only show a select number of airlines. Some are even setup by the airlines to limit your choices deliberately and inflate prices.
Either choose specific dates or select ’whole month’ or even ‘whole year’ if you are very flexible about when you can travel.
The latter 2 options produce a table showing the best prices on each day throughout that month or year.
Once you have found the flight you want to book, be sure to then visit that airlines own website, enter the same dates for travel to double check the price, you may find its slightly cheaper booking direct.
In most cases travelling with a different airline on your return journey will work out cheaper especially if you are flexible on what time you travel; early morning or late at night flights are always the cheaper option. Cheaper flights are available midweek as most people want to fly on a weekend.
Clear your cookies
Cookies are small text files stored on your computer used to hold data about you and your internet search history. All reputable sites by law offer you the choice of accepting their cookie before proceeding to access data on their site.
By accepting cookies you permit the website to track and use your data accordingly. This data exchange is only permitted if you accept the cookie disclaimer. Your data then passes via a small text file to the to transfer information about your search and other statistical information from your computer to the host of the website that you are browsing.
Important information like your dates, flights and destination will all be recorded by the site in question i.e. they know exactly what you are searching for.
Have you ever wondered why after searching for flights on your computer, for days afterwards you get related ads appearing on every web page you go on even if it is unrelated to flights? This happens because the cookies are storing information on what you have been browsing. Then clever remarketing campaigns target you as they know exactly what pages, sites and products or services you have shown an interest in.
But why clear them?
Well each time you return to enter the search criteria on that same airline’s website, the information stored in the cookie the first time you visited checks to see if you are after the same flight. Hence telling the airline you are shopping around for the best deal but obviously could not get a better price so you have come back to their site for the best price.
Based on this info they then have the option to raise the flight price and present a false case of scarcity. This translates into you thinking that the prices are going up and seats are disappearing fast encouraging you to buy asap.
Clearing cookies is easy but the methods may differ depending on which browser you are using:
Hold down the following keys at the same time: ‘Ctrl’ ‘Shift’ & ‘Delete’, the following window will open…tick the box ‘cookies and other site & data’ and select from the drop down menu the duration you have been searching for flights either ‘1 day, ‘1 week’ etc then click ‘clear browsing data’.
Follow the same instructions as for Google Chrome and the following page will appear, Select; time range to clear’ tick ‘cookies’ box and click ‘clear now’.
Internet Explorer – I would strongly encourage you to not use this operating system bundled browser as it has security issues. Depending on version of browser you goto the “cog wheel in top right corner (Tools), select (Internet Options), and on the General Tab under sub heading Browser History select (Delete).
Another menu pops up then select all the options that you want to clear and select delete.
Book Flights Early
Airlines release flights in batches, usually winter and summer, register or sign up to their newsletter to be one of the first to know when flights are released.
The earlier you book, the cheaper they will be! Also be aware that there is a ‘golden window’ around 6 weeks to 3 months before the flight that airlines may reduce tickets based upon level of demand, this can also be a good time to book.
Last minute flights are never cheap, business travellers’ book last minute; airlines know this so they hike the prices up.
Consider a Package Holiday
Check out this holiday below with www.icelolly.com it includes B&B for 7 nights in a 3 star in Torremolinos (10 minutes from Malaga city) PLUS return flights from Manchester for just 135 Euros pp, bargain!!
For flights only on the same dates with Easyjet, it is almost as much at 117 Euros return. I know which one I would book!
There are loads of discounted travel tickets and holiday packages available to you if you are a student check out www.statravel.co.uk for cheap student fares.
Check their website for savings on flights to Malaga but for real savings STA also offer great multi-stop packages, popular with students who don’t want the hassle of planning a round the world trip themselves. Check out this example of just 2 of the multi trip options STA offer, you can see the price for students and under 26’s is cheaper than for adults. STA can also sort out student discount cards and working visas as well as loads more useful stuff.
None English airlines
When we think about booking flights to Malaga we usually think of the usual airlines everyone uses…think outside of the box and go on the official website of the airport to check which airlines fly to Malaga. I’ve done it for you for flights from Gatwick to Malaga, you can see ‘Norwegian Air’ is listed, many people still don’t know this airline flies to Malaga. Not only are they an excellent airline with not such a ‘budget’ feel, they can also be cheaper too.
Sometimes taking a flight with 1 stop can work out cheaper, of course it will add to your travelling time but check out Spanish airlines, ‘Iberia’ (www.iberia.com) and ‘Vueling’ (www.vueling.com) for potentially cheaper flights with a short stop in Barcelona. Beware of length of stop-over if choosing this option as you wouldn’t want to spend half of your day waiting around another airport.
Take some of these tips onboard the next time your searching for that cheap flight and see if they can save you any pennies be sure to let me know any of your tips that have bagged you that discounted flight – happy flying!
Follow these guidelines on the infographic below to make sure you get the best price possible!