How to find cheap plane tickets

Airline pricing seems about as fickle as…well, something really fickle. If I have very flexible travel dates (i.e. can pretty much leave & return any day, no particular preference on a month) how can I find cheap tickets, say from LA to Bangkok.

Even with these aggregators like Expedia, Orbitz, or (my new favorite) Kayak, you still have to put in travel dates, maybe with a 1-3 day margin. How do I get the really cheap deals? Travelocity used to have a thing where you could do flexible dates, but now it’s restricted to only US travel.


Check out It’s kind of like ebay for travel. We watched the auctions for a couple of months and were able to get tickets to China for far cheaper than any of the consolidator sites.

Hmmm, interesting, never heard of that one before. Got any more information about how it works? If it didn’t come Doper Recommended, I’m not sure I’d trust it? Similar to Priceline, perhaps?

ETA: If there’s a catch, it seems to be the “$305 additional per person” at the very bottom of each auction. :eek:

Try travelocity dream maps

Another good spot to look at is the forum on mileage runs, they frequently post good fares for going to SE Asia.

Actually, I’ve had very good luck with a travel agent that specializes in overseas travel.

I just booked 2 tickets from the US to Tanzaniz, with a layover in Zurich on the way back. The agent I called books a lot of tours (I’m not going with one of them) and uses a ticket consolidator. She found me tickets for just under $1700 each, RT. On my own, I was seeing about $2200 as the best fare on the internet.

For more complicated travel, using an agent does still make sense.

Well, what you do is add up what all the additional fees are per ticket, then bid the amount of money to make up the difference of what you’re willing to spend on the tickets. Our tickets to China were a total cost of about $850 each, but I bid $400 per ticket and won the auction. The extra $450 came with all the fees etc. At least they tell you up front what the restrictions and fees are, and a lot of times it seems like you can still get a better deal than elsewhere.

Talking to a travel agent might not be a bad idea either.