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5 ways to save when booking flights

Posted at 4:45 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 00:38:05-04

The kids are almost out of school for the summer and you're thinking summer vacation.

So when's the best time to book a trip?

At least 15 times a year Tim McDulin books a flight and hopes it's the best buy.

McDulin said, "It is a science and you learn from each flight that you take and book."

McDulin’s work takes him around the country so he's become a bit of a travel expert.

Through his experience and our research, we created the a list of the top 5 ways to save on air travel.

  1. Skyscanner
    A third party site like this isn't breaking new ground but McDulin says finding the cheapest flight through Skyscanner is very effective.
    "The nice thing about that website is it allows you to go directly to Orbitz, Travelocity or Expedia to see if they might be offering a special on that particular day," said McDulin.
    With the Skyscanner website, you can also pick a destination you'd like to visit in the future and have emails sent to you telling you when cheap flights are ready to book.
  2. Buy at the right time
    According to www.cheapair.com airlines start selling tickets for flights about 11 months ahead of flight time.
    The sweet spot to book, according to the website, is 54 days out.
    Also, cheapair.com reveals Tuesday at midnight as the prime time to buy.
    Two billion flight prices were analyzed to come to this number according to the website.
  3. Compare fees for "extras"
    Don’t get to the airport and not know how much you’ll airline baggage fees.
    It can put you out of your travel budget in a hurry.
    Use www.farecompare.com to see current airline baggage fees. 
  4. Check if your flight price has changed
    You may be entitled to a refund from some airlines if your ticket price goes down after it’s booked.
    Use www.yapta.com to check if your price dropped.
  5. Take smaller airlines but be careful
    McDulin says he's saved hundreds using small airlines but if that flight gets delayed or canceled, it could spell trouble.
    "Can put you in a real pickle if you're going to a wedding, a special event, a grand opening, something like that where you really need to get there," said McDulin.
    Delta, American, United, Southwest will likely be able to get you to your destination quicker because they have more plans to reroute your flight plans.