Top Five Secrets to Buying Cheap Plane Tickets

Save money on your next vacation: Learn how to find airfare deals.

ByABC News
March 30, 2010, 8:07 AM

May 26, 2010 — -- If you like to travel and like to save money, this is the column for you.

I'm about to explain some of the elements involved in the complicated business of airfare pricing. It may sound dull, but it's not; if anything, it's kind of weird how the whole system works, but that's the way it is.

And the more you know about this system, the easier it is for you to find cheap flights every time you shop.

Seems only fair. After all, the airlines go to extraordinary lengths to get you to pay more; they know all about your shopping habits, including when you want to travel and even where you want to go, and they price their fares accordingly.

So let's level the playing field a bit, okay?

For more air travel news and insights visit Rick's blog at:

Here are the five things you should know to score cheap flights:

1. Very few seats are ever on sale -- so speed is of the essence.

Did you know that on most planes, passengers pay ten different prices for their tickets? It's true, and of course that means there are very few of the cheapest seats ever available --including those advertised in the airline's advertised airfare sales.

Which means you have to grab the good deals the moment they are available. This is getting harder and harder, because everyone is an amateur travel agent these days, meaning you have tons of competition for those cheapest seats.