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A little flexibility goes a long way toward finding lowest airfares

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The hunt for low airfares is never a sure thing, but the odds of finding a bargain increase by following a few simple steps. Some tips:

» Travel during off-peak times. Two of the slowest periods for air travel are Dec. 1 to 14 and then Jan. 4 to Feb. 15.

» Fly on slow days. Planes tend to have the most empty seats on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

» Do a flexible date search. Sites like ITA Software and Cheapair.com let travelers pull up a calendar with the cheapest days to fly between two airports.

» Consider nearby airports. Driving an extra 50 miles might save $100 per person.

» Look for routes flown by Frontier, Southwest and Spirit. Other airlines are matching or beating their fares.

» Take advantage of the 24-hour rule. Passengers have 24 hours after buying a ticket to get a full refund. The day after booking a flight, check back to see whether fares have fallen. Cancel and rebook at the lower price.

 

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