Ok If I am looking for flights then I will dedicate a fair amount of time to get the best price, especially for the long haul flights.
1. For Europe search Skyscanner and google flights..
If you don’t have to leave on a specific day then check Skyscanner it gives you the option to look through the whole months prices, it’s amazing sometimes the difference in price from one day to the next…
See what date and airline comes out the cheapest then go to that airline direct as it’s normally slightly cheaper still.
2. Check the airline direct
Normally the competition is between Easyjet (London Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Southend) and Ryanair, (Stansted, Gatwick and Luton, but there is also Norwegian-air (London Gatwick), and British Airways (Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted and City), we have recently used Vueling (Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton), to be honest there are actually lots of airlines that we haven’t used yet, but if the price was right we would use any of them.
Not sure I have a favourite, so far I think I slighter prefer Ryanair over easy jet, maybe because the queues always seem so manic with easy jet..
3. Make sure that the airport you pick to fly from is the least expensive to get to, otherwise you could save on flights only to make it up on getting to the airport.
I prefer flying out of Stansted Airport but prefer flying into Gatwick or Heathrow, maybe because of one bad experience with Stansted of arriving after mid-night with tired and irritated kids and an irritated me sitting in the non EU queue (as Grant has a New Zealand passport) for what felt like over an hour and a half, the annoying thing was we were booked into the premier Inn and I was worried they would think we were not going to turn up and give our room away, plus we had a taxi sitting outside waiting for us…for this reason alone I think I would prefer not to fly into Stansted, but still if it was a lot cheaper we would do it just maybe not at mid-night..
4. Long Haul Flights I go to Jetabroad
For long haul flights I always used to use jetabroad, they were awesome at coming up with the cheapest flights, also what I loved about this website was that if you wanted to add in certain stops like we did when we headed out then you can actually add all of that into the search, you can add more than one stop..by clicking on Multi-city & Stopover, we wanted to stop in Brisbane and Dubai from Auckland then onto London..
After finding the cheapest I sat on this for a while then looked on a site called BYOjet.co.nz at that moment I found flights even cheaper, so I immediately got to work…
5. Once you have found the cheapest online, go to a travel agent to see if they can price match or give you an even better deal.
So far for long haul flights we have never actually booked through an online site, I do actually worry a little bit when there is so much money involved, so each time I have found the cheapest flights online and taken that to Flight centre in New Zealand and got them to price match.
This method gives you the best of both worlds, Travel Agencies might otherwise steer you toward flights they make more commission on regardless of whether that’s the best price, so doing the research yourself keeps them honest, and sometimes they’ll still do even better. When the time comes to take that trip back to New Zealand I will try and do the same thing, I’m sure there are travel agencies everywhere that would be happy to price match.
Travel Agency Price matching gives you a human being to talk to and get advice from (regarding Visas etc Again normally much cheaper to organise Visa’s yourself) and as a bonus they may actually put you on a better carrier if they have no connection with the cheapie one you found, we went from a Chinese airline we hadn’t heard of to using Air New Zealand on a return flight from NZ to UK, Flight Centre said they made a loss on it but they kept their Price Match promise and we got a carrier we know and trust.
If you wanted to just book online rather than doing any further work with travel agencies the reviews for Jetabroad booking online look great >Click here for reviews<.