15 handy tips to save money on flights
  1. Early bird catches the worm – Flight systems are loaded first thing every morning so flights which were on hold overnight (usually from business customers) will be released. This happens at around 1am, so you can often get better prices the earlier you book.
  2. Airport lounge access – Think airport lounges are only for VIPs and frequent flyers? Think again! Some airlines grant access to their lounges for a fee to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, unlimited food and drink (including wine), free magazines and newspapers, free wifi, plus some even offer free massages to relax you ahead of your flight.
  3. Fast food – If you don't want to wait for your food on the plane order special meals in advance – like vegetarian or low calorie. Those are the ones that get delivered to seats first so you’re guaranteed a hot dinner before most other passengers.
  4. Secret meals – Sometimes the airlines have meals available that they don’t offer passengers initially; they keep these hidden away in the back. If you really don’t like any of the options, ask what else might be available – and there could be a delicious surprise.
  5. Dress smartly for an upgrade – To increase your chances of getting an upgrade, you need to look the part for business or first class. So ditch the tracksuits or jeans and dress more sophisticated.
  6. Frequent flyer clubs - Sign up to frequent flyer programmes. Members of these stand the best chance of a 'cabin roll' on overbooked flights and bag an upgrade.
  7. Some special occasions are a winner – Whilst your 62nd birthday may be important to you, sadly airlines don’t recognise birthdays and anniversaries as such special occasions. Honeymoons however are a definite winner and the most likely occasion to get an upgrade.
  8. Take off early - Morning flights are often cheaper, especially those at quite unsociable hours. Also, earlier flights are less likely to encounter delays (although this is never a guarantee) because you won't have a back log of flights. Departing earlier means landing earlier, so you can make the most of every minute of your trip.
  9. Long haul stopover savers – Starting your long haul holiday from another European city can save you lots of money. You can extend your holiday by visiting interesting European cities and bag a bargain by starting your trip for example in Sofia or Oslo. You only need to add a low cost flight from your home to this city to take advantage of these amazing discounts and offers. For example you can bag a return flight from Sofia, Bulgaria to Dubai for under £150.
  10. Avoid the suits – The best days to fly are Tuesday to Thursday so you avoid the Monday morning rush of business travellers and also the weekend escapers. These dates often have better availability too and the best availability means low fares.
  11. Duty free discounts – It’s always worth trying to haggle on board to get duty free even cheaper.
  12. Bad smells on board – You know that dreaded moment when you locate your seat and it’s right next to the toilet. Or even worse, you sit down for a long flight and realise the person next to you doesn't smell of roses. In either case, after giving it an hour, approach the air stewardess and kindly ask to be moved, they may have no choice but to bump you up.
  13. Plane research – Some economy seats have more leg room than others e.g. next to emergency exits but these are often not advertised so it’s worth familiarising yourself with the plane layout to check in for a seat with more wiggle room.
  14. Carry on - Avoid checking in baggage if you possibly can, it saves so much time because you don’t need to be at the airport early or have to wait around the carousal. Plus there is no risk of lost luggage.
  15. Black Friday and airline sales – The major airlines all have seat sales over the Christmas period, so this is the perfect time to book your next break at a great price. During Black Friday (at the end of November) and over Christmas lastminute.com offers access to these big sales of the airlines with amazing flight deals!

Tips from lastminute.com

For more travel advice and money-saving tips, pick up the latest copy of Yours