Martin Lewis, 47, the MoneySavingExpert, has shared a top tip for holidaymakers seeking cheap flights. Lewis spoke to ITV’s This Morning to reveal his hack for bagging holidays on the cheap. The trick, he explained, is to make the most of “Flexi Fares.”
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These types of ticket are offered by budget airline easyJet – they let you switch dates by a few weeks without paying anything extra.
Lewis advises buying this fare on a cheaper day and then later changing it to the date you really want – ideal for those wanting to get away during the school holidays when prices typically rise.
“Book a ‘Flexi Fare’ on the same route at a less busy time when flights are cheaper, then provided there’s capacity, 24 hours after booking you can switch to the dates you originally wanted at no extra charge, possibly saving you £100s,” he said.
However, it’s key to be aware there are still restrictions when it comes to moving the flight.
“You can only move the phantom ticket one week earlier or three weeks later, so don’t just book any old date,” clarified Lewis.
One problem with this sneaky way of nabbing a cheap flight is the worry that the exact day you were hoping to fly might not actually be available.
Luckily, Lewis, as ever, has a solution to the issue.
“Now this is a bit of a risk in case there isn’t availability for the date you actually wanted, but a good indicator is to first check there are at least 20 seats are available on the date you want to fly,” the MoneySavingExpert said.
“To do this, go through the process to book standard tickets for a large party on the dates you actually want to fly but don’t actually go through with the purchase.
“If you can still get a quote for, say, 20 seats, chances are there’ll still be room once you switch flights.
“The fewer seats there are left, the more of a gamble you’re taking.”
Travellers should note that buying a Flexi Fare ticket is more expensive than a standard ticket.
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“You’ll usually pay more than a standard flight for a Flexi Fare ticket, but as you’ll get the flexibility to switch dates, so long as it’s cheaper than the cost of a peak time standard ticket you win,” said Lewis.
There are other advantages too to booking this type of ticket.
“Plus as an added bonus you’ll also get speedy boarding, a seat near the front, up to £7 to spend on onboard food and drinks and one piece of hold luggage (max 23kg) free per person,” pointed out lewis.
At some airports, you’ll also get fast-track security with a Flexi Fare ticket.
Passengers should be aware this type of fare isn’t available for all flights and there are certain limits.
“It’s worth noting Flexi Fares aren’t available on every flight and are only available 120 days in advance.
“Someone in my team saved £431 on flights to Sardinia – so the savings could be large.”
The bad news for easyJet passegners, however, is that is not known for its punctuality.
A study from travel experts at Cirium looked at flights across the continent and found the top 10 which performed the best when it came to getting passengers to their destination on time. Disappointingly, though, no UK airline made it onto the list.
The airline which takes the crown as the punctual is Russian air carrier Aeroflot which saw 86.82 percent of its flights landing according to schedule.
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