Looking for Cheap Flights? Don't Ignore This Underrated Airline Tool

It's easy to plan an affordable vacation if your travel dates are flexible. Luckily, most major airlines offer calendar tools that make comparing prices for dozens of dates fast and easy.

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With airfare prices finally dropping to pre-pandemic levels, now is the perfect time to plan your next big getaway. If you want your vacation to be as gentle on your wallet as possible, there are several travel tricks you can use to keep costs down. One way is to take advantage of the airline’s price calendar view when booking your tickets.

According to Travel + Leisure, many major airlines allow you to compare flight prices by date together in one page instead of forcing you to enter each date manually. JetBlue lists their “Best Fare Finder” tool under the “Book” section of their homepage. After entering your departure city, destination, and number of travelers, the site pulls up a calendar with each date listing the current best prices for your trip. A flight from New York City to Los Angeles for the upcoming weekend, for example, might cost at least $400, but if you don’t mind waiting several weeks and flying on a weekday, tickets drop down to $125. 

Southwest Airlines calls their tool the “Low Fare Calendar,” and it’s available on their website. United Airlines and Delta offer calendar views as well. To access them, toggle the “flexible dates” option when searching for flights. They also do customers a favor by labeling the lowest rates currently available for the trip in question. 

This tip won’t do you much good if your vacation is already pegged to a certain date. It works best if you have the freedom in your schedule to jet off to an exotic destination whenever the price is right. Even if you can’t afford to be that spontaneous, there’s no harm in browsing the price calendars and fantasizing about your dream vacation.  

If you don’t have a specific date or destination in mind, you can have fun with American Airlines’s Fare Finder Map. Instead of a calendar, the deal hunting tool shows a map of cheap flights departing from your local airport to cities around the world.

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