How to Save Money When Flying Economy: Tips and Tricks

How to Save Money When Flying Economy: Tips and Tricks

Flying economy can be a cost-effective way to travel, but it’s important to find ways to save money where you can. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can make your next economy flight more affordable without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

Strategies to Save Money

When flying economy, there are several strategies that can help travelers save money. Consider the following sub-sections to learn more about each strategy.

Consider Different Types of Economy: United Economy vs Basic Economy

Many airlines offer different types of economy class, each with its own set of perks and restrictions. For example, United offers both United Economy and Basic Economy. While United Economy includes a standard carry-on bag and allows seat selection, Basic Economy does not. However, Basic Economy can be significantly cheaper. Consider which type of economy class will work best for your needs and budget.

Booking Flight Deals

One of the best ways to save money on airfare is to keep an eye out for flight deals. Set a price alert on websites like Hopper to receive notifications when prices drop. Additionally, consider looking for mistake fares, which occur when airlines accidentally list flights at a significantly lower price than usual.

Maximizing Credit Card Rewards

Using a travel rewards credit card can help travelers earn points or cash back on their airfare purchases. Look for credit cards with sign-up bonuses and low annual fees. Some of the best travel credit cards include the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

Leveraging Airline Loyalty Programs

Frequent flyers can benefit from airline loyalty programs, which allow travelers to earn airline miles and other rewards. For example, Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus both offer miles that can be redeemed for free flights or upgrades. Consider signing up for loyalty programs with airlines you frequently fly with.

Budgeting and Saving Money

Setting a budget for travel expenses can help travelers save money on flights. Consider using a budgeting app or spreadsheet to track expenses and find areas where you can cut back. Additionally, consider flying during off-peak times or choosing less popular routes to save money on airfare.

Choosing the Right Routes

Choosing the right route can also help travelers save money on airfare. For example, flying from Los Angeles to Newark can be significantly cheaper than flying from Los Angeles to Miami. Additionally, consider flying to alternative airports or taking connecting flights to save money.

Securing Travel Insurance

Purchasing travel insurance can help protect your investment in case of unexpected events like flight cancellations or medical emergencies. Look for travel insurance policies that cover flight cancellations, lost luggage, and medical emergencies.

By considering these strategies, travelers can save money on airfare and make the most of their economy class flights.

Getting Free or Discounted Flights

Who doesn’t love free or discounted flights? Luckily, there are a few ways to score these savings.

Credit Card Rewards

One of the easiest ways to get free or discounted flights is through credit card rewards. Many credit cards offer rewards points or miles for every dollar spent, which can then be redeemed for flights. Some cards even offer sign-up bonuses, which can be enough for a free flight.

Loyalty Programs

Another way to get free or discounted flights is through loyalty programs. Many airlines have their own loyalty programs that reward frequent flyers with points or miles that can be redeemed for flights. These programs often offer perks like priority boarding, free checked bags, and lounge access.


Skiplagged is a website that helps travelers find hidden city flights, which are flights with layovers in the traveler’s final destination. These flights can often be cheaper than direct flights to the layover city, and travelers can simply get off the plane at the layover instead of continuing on to the final destination. However, it’s important to note that this practice is frowned upon by airlines and can result in the traveler’s frequent flyer account being cancelled.

There are a few ways to get free or discounted flights, including credit card rewards, loyalty programs, and Skiplagged. By taking advantage of these options, travelers can save money on their next flight.

Utilizing Airport Lounges

Airport lounges can be a great way to save money and make your economy class flight more comfortable. Many lounges offer complimentary food and drinks, Wi-Fi, and comfortable seating.

One way to access airport lounges is through a credit card that offers lounge access as a perk. Some credit cards offer this benefit for free, while others require an annual fee. It’s important to weigh the cost of the annual fee against the value of the lounge access to determine if it’s worth it for you.

Another way to access airport lounges is through a lounge membership program. These programs typically require an annual fee and offer access to a network of lounges around the world. Again, it’s important to consider the cost of the membership versus the value of the lounge access.

If you don’t want to pay for lounge access, there are still ways to get in. Some airlines offer lounge access to their frequent flyers or passengers traveling in business or first class. You can also look for day passes, which can be purchased for a fee.

It’s important to note that not all lounges are created equal. Some lounges may offer more amenities than others, so be sure to do your research before deciding which lounge to visit. Additionally, some lounges may have restrictions on who can enter, such as only allowing passengers traveling on certain airlines or with certain memberships.

Overall, utilizing airport lounges can be a great way to save money and make your economy class flight more comfortable. With a little research, you can find the right lounge for your needs and enjoy the perks of lounge access.

Choosing the Right Departure Date

Choosing the right departure date can make a significant difference in the price of your economy flight. Here are a few tips to help you save money:

Be Flexible

If you have the flexibility to travel on any day of the week, consider flying on a weekday rather than a weekend. Weekend flights tend to be more expensive due to higher demand. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are typically the cheapest days to fly.

Avoid Peak Travel Times

Peak travel times, such as holidays and school breaks, can significantly increase the price of flights. If possible, try to avoid traveling during these times. If you must travel during peak times, consider booking your flight well in advance to secure a lower fare.

Use Fare Comparison Tools

Fare comparison tools can help you find the cheapest departure dates for your itinerary. These tools allow you to compare prices across multiple airlines and dates, so you can find the best deal. Be sure to check prices for a few different departure dates to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Consider Layovers

Flights with layovers can often be cheaper than non-stop flights. If you’re willing to spend a little extra time in transit, consider booking a flight with a layover. Be sure to factor in the cost of meals and accommodations during your layover when calculating your total travel expenses.

By following these tips, you can save money on your economy flight by choosing the right departure date.