7 Airfare myths debunked

Nina Pineda has 7 On Your Side.
Seven On Your Side
March 24, 2014 3:11:15 PM PDT
This weather has a lot of people planning to fly somewhere warm or perhaps book summer vacations.

So, are there certain things you can do to get better fares?

If you believe in Airfare Myth #1 Cheap Last Minute Fares, you are not alone.

"We think we can get a really great deal if we wait until the last second, but actually that is the worst possible thing you can do," said Lauren Lyons-Cole, TheStreet.com.

Lauren Lyons-Cole, personal finance contributor for TheStreet.com says sadly for passengers, trying to get a last minute seat will cost you and arm and a leg, because these days flights run either full or oversold.

"They are not going to leave money on the table," Lyons-Cole said.

Her advice is plan ahead to save, just not too far ahead, that's Airfare Myth #2 Cheap Fare Far in Advance which is also untrue.

"The second worst thing is to play to far in advance, the airlines assumes if you're buying the ticket in advance you have to travel, so you're going to buy it either way," Lyons-Cole said.

The sweet spot is to start looking two months before your travel dates, just don't drive yourself crazy searching for Airfare Myth #3 Secret Hidden Fares, that somewhere out there among the dozens of search engines is a deal to uncover.

"You can spend hours or days searching, they are all pulling for the same data base all getting the same fares book it and call it day," Lyons-Cole said.

Airfare Myth # 4 Talking Your Way into an Upgrade at the Gate vanished over a decade ago.

"They are giving those seats away as rewards and frequent flyers, you're almost never going to get a random upgrade to first class," Lyons-Cole said.

Airfare Myth #5 is that There's a Right Day to Buy was debunked quickly. Booking a future flight on the myth that Tuesday's better, then trying again on a Thursday showed no price difference.

"A lot of people think this and this myth is perpetuated because airlines usually release deals on Tuesday, but the CEO of Cheaper.com that sees millions of flights says there is only an average fare difference of two dollars per day of the week," Lyons-Cole said.

Flying on a Tuesday can be cheaper than a weekend though.

Airfare Myth #6 is that it's Cheaper to Buy Online Fares. It used to be true. Online fares were cheaper when airlines wanted to drive business to websites.

"These days everyone buys online, so really the online deals are not as valuable as they used to be," Lyons-Cole said.

Airlines used to make Myth #7 The Saturday Night Stay necessary for affordable round trip fares.

But now it's never a major factor in cost and flying in general on a Friday or Saturday is the most expensive day of the week.