Consumer Reports: Airline ticket myths exposed

From the best time of day to search for a flight to how far in advance you should purchase your ticket, it's not hard to find advice on getting a cheap flight.

Unfortunately, many of these tricks are either outdated or simply wrong.

Consumer Reports says if you blindly follow them, you could be missing out on better deals elsewhere.

So how do YOU get the cheapest airfare?

"I book my stuff like 6 months or so in advance," said one person.

"Avoiding travel on Fridays and Saturdays," said another.

"I usually just go through the search engines, they make it easy," said a third traveler.

It's clear there isn't a single answer to finding the best price for your flight, and sometimes there can even be misleading information that could cost you money.

That's why Consumer Reports identified three common airfare myths, and what you can do instead to score a better deal.

The first myth: Tuesdays are the best days to book airfare.

"This myth started when airlines used to load fares at the beginning of the week," said Octavio Blanco. "But now airlines are much more sophisticated in the way that they price tickets, changing the price 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And for consumers that means they can find a deal any day of the week."

Consumer Reports says to follow airlines' social media accounts and set up alerts so that you'll be notified immediately when sales become available.

The next myth: It's always better to book as far in advance as possible.

"Airlines don't start actively managing inventory until five to three months before departure," said Blanco. "So if you buy your ticket too earlier, you'll probably pay more than what you would if you'd waited to buy in that period."

And the final myth: A round-trip airline ticket is a better deal than two one-way fares.

"Online booking sites have gotten really good at finding travelers money-saving, one-way flight combinations," said Blanco.

Kayak offers so-called "hacker fares," where a flight search will look for two one-way tickets that collectively make a round-trip flight.
You might have to use different airlines for departing and arriving flights, but you also may also get the cheapest possible flight.

Consumer Reports says another way to find good flight deals is to look for air and hotel packages.

You can find plenty that include a business class seat and a five-night hotel stay by visiting your favorite airlines' websites.

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