How to Get Cheap Flights on the Internet (a sneaky trick)

Today on the blog is the lovely Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim

How to get cheap flights on the internet

I’ve only just been bitten by the travel bug.

Up until about two years ago I was one of those people that was happy exploring my own backyard, with an annual road trip thrown in and a few weekends away added to the mix as well.

I guess that’s more than some people, but it wasn’t really until I ventured overseas that I realised that there is so much of this world that I want to see and explore, and some of that is in our very own backyard too, the lovely Australia.

But there’s something I don’t like about traveling, and that’s paying crazy prices for flights.

I want to save as much money as I can on getting to the destination so I can indulge in a cocktail or two, or a little shopping here or there. You know what I’m talking about, right?

As well as getting the travel bug in the past few years, my family and I have also made a big change from the City to the Country. It means that we’re away from family, and friends, and all the good stuff that comes from living in the City {oh you know, the good food, the vibe, the fun stuff, and most of all, being in the middle of the action}.

It also means that each year we’re spending a big part of our budget to get back down to Sydney from the Gold Coast to see the people we adore (and eat the food we just can’t get in our new home, and yes you just can’t know what I mean unless you’ve made the big move yourself. I’m not obsessed, I promise).

Depending on the time of year, and how disorganised we are, the flights can be almost affordable (around $120 per person return) to utter-nonsense (around $300+ per person return).

But I’ve recently stumbled across a little secret.

It’s one of those secrets that’s almost too good to share, in case the sharing of the secret puts a stop to the good stuff. And by good stuff I mean totally INSANE flight prices.

So, if by sharing this it means that there are no more cheap prices and I have to go back to paying UTTERLY RIDICULOUS prices to fly back to my former-home, I’m sorry. Sorry to me, my budget and anyone else who used to do this sneaky business too.

It’s also too good NOT to share. So here goes.

I found out through a friend of a friend that if you go to a foreign Expedia site to buy your flights you save money. And not just a little. Last weekend I flew to Sydney return from the Gold Coast for $65. I’ve seen them for $45 too. Crazy.

How to get cheap flights on the internet:

1. Go to Expedia.co.jp (the Japanese Expedia site).

2. Yes, it’s all in Japanese. So go up to the top right corner and click English (next to the Twitter icon). Much better, right?

3. Choose your flights and dates.

4. Eeek. The prices are in Yen. That’s cool. Use a currency conversion tool to convert it into Australia dollars (or where ever you’re from). This isn’t exact, but it was almost spot on for me.

5. Choose your flights and purchase them. Some credit cards won’t work. My Visa did. I incurred a $1 fee PLUS the flight costs. I also signed up to Expedia Japan so I could get my itinerary, I suggest doing the same although you will receive an email confirmation from Jetstar Airlines and Expedia.

Notes:

  • Buying flights this way worked for me, and I did so knowing that I was taking a risk. Of course, if you decided to do the same you would be taking your own risk too. You should make your own decisions, as anyone should when buying products and services online.
  • This is for Jetstar Airlines flights only.
  • It appears that domestic flights, within Australia, are reduced but when I researched international flights they didn’t impress me as much. You might need to do a bit of exploring to find more.
  • The price is for a starter fare only, which means no baggage – only carry-on. I don’t know if it’s possible to add baggage, so this is something you’d need to explore.

Want All Our Tips on Getting Cheap Flights?

Click to read  – How to Find Cheap Flights

 

Chantelle Ellem
Chantelle Ellem is a blogger, photo-taker, explorer, mama, wife and avid raspberry-eater. If she’s not connected to her computer whipping up a blog post, she’s more than likely out at the beach taking photos. You can read her blog at: www.fatmumslim.com.au.

102 Comments on “How to Get Cheap Flights on the Internet (a sneaky trick)”

  1. Workingwomenaus

    I LOVE this! I’m going to check it out tomorrow. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  2. P.S…always remember that to ensure you get the lowest fare by deleting cookies/history before looking up flight prices a second time on flight search engines. This is because the websites store your search data and when you come back they know you are more likely to buy than before.

    Reply
  3. We scored $0 flight from Singapore to KL just paid baggage and taxes- ended up $50 for family of 4.
    Then when we were in Manila, Philippines they had a 2 cent sale for flights to Boracay – Asia’s Voted Number 1 beach!

    Great tips!!
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    Erin Bender (Travel With Bender) recently posted..365 Days of Transport

    Reply
  4. Wow, thanks for the tip about cookies. I’ve wondered how the price sometimes jumps when I check a few hours later.

    Reply
  5. Excellent insight. I suppose we pay more for everything in Australia with flights being no different.

    Reply
  6. Wow this is really good to know. Thanks!
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    Michelle recently posted..Why You Should Start a Blog – So Many Positives!

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  7. Hayley

    My all time best flight bargain was $NZ1 flights from Wellington to Melbourne with Air NZ (so hardly a no frills airline either!). We had to fly the next day and return four days later, but it was worth it.

    Air NZ’s grabaseat.co.nz website quite often does $1 flights, but that was the only time I can remember the flights being international (there were $1 flights to LA, SF, Hong Kong, Sydney etc too).

    Reply
    • Great deals Hayley. Thanks for the tip on Grabaseat.co.nz

      $1 flights, that’s impressive, and with AirNZ

      Reply
  8. Not a flight tip but when we caught the train from Singapore into Malaysia it was much cheaper to buy a return ticket from Malaysia end and only use one component then from Singapore to Malaysia -single. And perfectly legal to do so.

    It also works this way on the Eurostar!!

    Reply
    • Thanks Michelle. I’ve actually seen this on international flights too!

      Reply
    • I used to work for an airline. Usually regular round trip tickets (not special fares or low cost airlines) are way cheaper than one-way ones, and you can always use only the first part. BUT if you don’t use the first part, the system will automathically delete the second. I’ve seen many passengers having to buy an expensive ticket to go back home. I’m in Europe but i’m pretty sure it works like this everywhere.
      Thank you for this tip. I’m bummed, seriously.

      Reply
  9. Great tip, Chantelle! We’re flying to Melbourne later in the year and I am on the lookout for cheaper fares. Fingers crossed!

    Reply
  10. My father and I are always comparing flight prices (he’s in the US, I live in Norway). They ALWAYS seem cheaper for him. Unfortunately it seems every time I try to book something from a foreign site, it converts it over to a Norwegian one late in the game. I’m going to have to try some different ones…

    Reply
    • That’s a pain Andrea. I’ve also heard of people getting deals on the Expedia Brazil site.

      Reply
      • Andrea I find you need to book them as one way flights, its a pain to book two one way flights as opposed to a return
        flight but who minds if its cheaper

        Reply
  11. Did that in Europe…scored a cheaper flight Biarritz to Paris…ended wasting my savings on the baggage restrictions…be sure to read the fine print! Probably still came out ahead, but didn’t do the math.

    Reply
  12. Jenn Jerina

    I just typed in a US continental flight into Expedia Japan and US and the US was quite a bit cheaper, like $150 compared to $210. Does this only work if you’re trying to book shorter flights in other countries or am I missing something?

    Reply
    • It seems it works best for domestic flights in Australia with jetstar but I’d say it is working in some ways for you. $60 cheaper is $60 you can spend elsewhere.

      Reply
      • she said the US site was $60 cheaper NOT the Japan one.

        Reply
  13. Another tip I have discovered is to go to Jetstar.com not jetstar.com.au, and book international flights one way for some reason this is quite a bit cheaper. I does not work if you book in as a return. Then of course if you home swap you get a really cheap holiday

    Reply
  14. Wow. Wish something like this existed for North America! Hoping to find a sweet sneaky deal for our flight home to North America from Europe.

    Anybody know any tricks like this for us North Americans?

    Reply
  15. $6?!!! OMG if only that’s available in the States. I just booked tickets for Vegas for $200 each way. :(
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    Reply
  16. i’m worried about getting spam and i’m worried about giving a foreign site all of my information. i’m that these deals are too good to be true. what if the tickets are false and the information is false and we get there with all of our things and aren’t able to go?

    Reply
    • I understand your concerns Sarah, but as Chantelle said it was all legit and she had no problems. I would say you have to do whatever you feel comfortable with. If it worries you too much than I would probably stick to the booking sites you feel most comfortable with. You don’t want to stress yourself over it.

      Reply
    • I wanted to make sure before I shared this trick that I’d tried it out first. I’ve done this 4 times now, and had no issues at all.

      Travel agents say that they use this option all the time, it’s just that the Japanese market {or whichever foreign travel site you buy from} doesn’t have the peaks and troughs that our market has with school holiday prices, so we’re missing out on all those things.

      The only spam I’ve had is not really spam, but because I signed up to Expedia I do get emails all written in Japanese, but I can handle that for saving so much money – and I only get those a week after I’ve traveled.

      Of course, it’s a decision you have to be comfortable with – just like buying anything online. :)

      Reply
  17. I tried that on Icelandair’s Iceland website to get tickets. I think they knew I was trying to be sneaky, though…. It didn’t work for me. Will try it again, though.

    Reply
  18. Nellene

    Tried it for US Flights. Prices were exactly the same.

    Reply
    • Oh bummer. Sorry Nellene. Unfortunately it might not work every time. I think Chantelle did feel it worked better for Aussie flights. I think it works best that way because flights in Australia are always expensive as we have little competition whereas in the US you have more flight deals. And our country is bloody expensive so everything is generally more expensive

      Reply
  19. Lauren

    UM, any other tips? Flights are not cheap doing this…

    Reply
    • Hi Lauren,
      As with any booking site flight prices depend on a lot of various factors. It may not work all the time but it’s worth trying and comparing. As Chantelle mentioned in this post it worked twice for her and we have had positive feedback from readers who saved as much as 50% from following this strategy.

      You may have to try different ways to come up with deals e.g different flight days, paths etc.
      You can sign up to our free travel tips which shares lots of information about travel http://www.ytravelblog.com/about-us-2/how-to-travel-more/ and this post as well http://www.ytravelblog.com/cheap-international-flights/

      Reply
    • Where were you flying to and from? They’ve been crazy cheap every time I’ve checked.

      They work best with Australian flights, and are much cheaper when you compare the same flight time using the Australian Jetstar site.

      Reply
  20. Love this tip! I haven’t tried it yet but will certainly do so in the future. We all love a good bargain!

    Reply
  21. Sierra

    Bummer this wont work for USA flights. In fact the link was more spendy for trips. Bah!!!

    Reply
  22. Lynsey

    So I looked it up on the brazil Expedia site and they have $1 and $2 US flights. However there is not a link in the top right corner to change the language to English… Are there any suggestions for this issue? I would love to take advantage of these deals if I can understand what it says haha :) but the only way I was able to search the flights is because the city and state names are the same in either language.

    Reply
    • Oh dear I don’t have a suggestion for that. Maybe look around the site in other places to see if there is a change to English button. I hope you can work it out

      Reply
    • Ashley

      Try using a different browser . Google chrome will automatically offer to translate pages for you.

      Reply
      • Im using Google Chrome but cannot figure out how to translate the page?

        Reply
        • search for brazil expedia in GOOGLE and click on translate this page link just below the title link

          Reply
  23. Lynsey

    I will look for it. So if I get it translated what would you say are the risks of purchasing tickets this way?

    Reply
    • Gosh, I guess worse case scenario would be you couldn’t get on the plane, but I honestly can’t see this as being a problem. If you have a ticket it shouldn’t really matter where you brought it. How are they to know you weren’t in Brazil at the time of buying it as I am sure many people do when buying internal flights in a country they are visiting.
      I guess be aware of the risks and be prepared for something to happen. I know people who have done this and nothing has happened.

      Reply
  24. Found international fares to Rome between $1.50 and $3.50 on the Brazil site… how in the world does this work compared the regular site that wants $1700! Crazy :) really tempted to see if it works…

    Reply
    • Give it a try, I guess you don’t have much to lose

      Reply
    • Please let us know did it go with the Brazil site. Thanks!

      Reply
    • Hey everyone, just wanted to check about the Brazil site. At first I thought that flights were 1-2 dollars, but I think it’s because the currency exchange was wrong. In Brazilian Reals they write it out like 1.200,0… which would actually be 1,200 (or about $560) and not 1.2 dollars. I hope that makes sense. Maybe there are still flights for 1-2 dollars, but I got confused by the exchange.

      Reply
      • I found the same thing, they use a decimal as a comma. So it’s not actually 1.200 reals but 1,200 for us Americans ha. Still cheaper than most other sites I’ve looked at (I looked at flights to Hawaii on the American site $2000, Japanese $2500, and Brazilian $1100.)

        Reply
  25. Would this work if I wanted to fly to like Germany or Ireland from America? And is it legal?!

    Reply
    • I’m not sure. You’ll have to test it. I think it’s legal. I really can’t see why it wouldn’t. People are buying things online all the time from other countries.

      Reply
  26. Evelyn

    Does this work for US flights? I’m checking this Expedia Japan site but it’s not any cheaper. I’m wanting to find a flight from Denver to Los Angeles, or from Denver to Dublin and they’re all the same.

    Reply
    • I think it mostly works with Australian flights unfortunately. But I have heard of a couple of people finding cheap flights though. Try the Brazil site and see what you get.

      Reply
      • Evelyn

        You said there are risks, what kind of risks are they.

        Reply
      • Sadly true, tried it from the usa and got the same sad prices we already have normally. Oh well.

        Reply
  27. Elizabeth Goudie

    This is Crazy!!! We have just paid about $11,000 AUD for the family to travel to China, flights only, but using expedia it was around $2,500. Have you booked international yet? Do you think it would work? Gosh…we need to plan another trip!!!

    Reply
  28. I tried this for USA flights and they are still high. Sad day.

    Reply
    • check out expedia.com.br it’s in Brazilian (haha maybe?) but the format is the same so you just type in the two cities, date and hit the yellow button. With me it was about 1/2 the price of the other sites.

      Reply
  29. Does this work also for Canada?

    Reply
  30. Looks really really great! Do you think it works for flights from Holland to Italy? Bcs, how is it possible I could buy a return ticket for only 0,25 euro cents instead of 130 euro?!

    Reply
    • I’m not sure if it will work for those cities. Give it a try and see. I am not sure why you can get such cheap prices but we’ll take it. Just make sure you convert it correctly

      Reply
  31. Another way to save money on flights is to invest in a luggage scale. Airlines charge hundreds of dollars on overweight baggage fees. Easily weigh your bag at home instead of dealing with the hassle of finding out your luggage is overweight at the bag check counter.

    The Light Flight scale is light and compact. Take it along on your trip to weight your luggage after vacation purchases have been added to your bag.

    Light Flight is the best travel scale out on the market. You can purchase one here: http://lightflightscale.com

    Reply
  32. Janeau Lewis

    I’m in the States, so I doubt that this would work for me because I really really want to travel to Australia for a really good low bargain. That way I’ll have more money to spend on food or adventurous things…

    Reply
  33. That’s really funny because I’ve been living in Tokyo for 6 years and I always use the US expedia because prices are a couple $100 cheaper… I guess the trick is not to use the website of your country? That’s so counterintuitive!

    Nice idea about the cookies, will definitely do that!

    And I agree that the best way to save on LCC is definitely just to carry on!
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  34. Kristelle Miller

    Im looking for Brisbane to Hamilton Island and its telling me its $1?!

    o__O Can someone check too for me?

    Travelling in November

    Reply
  35. I love travel…yes i agree most of cost goes to flight…to spend each country not really a problem ..thanks sharing this
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  36. Ok I just checked a flirght from Miami, FL to Vienna, Austria for my family of 4 on the Expidia Brazil website and it’s telling me it’s US$16.23 round trip for all 4 of us. is this for real???

    Reply
  37. I just read about gold prices going down today in CNNMoney, is this true?

    Reply
  38. I’m looking into a trip frNorth America to Canada. The Japanese site was cheaper than the US site. So using this from now on, even though I’m a little hesitant about the foreign site.

    Reply
  39. vueling is very cheap too!

    Reply
  40. Very interesting post for the cheap flights. thank you so much for the useful tips..
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    Cheap Flights Trip recently posted..How to Get Cheap Flights

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  41. here is a greet way to find a cheap airline tickets http://bit.ly/1bPEUgp

    Reply
  42. I am a owner of institute and last month I have arranged picnic trip to Thailand for our students.
    I am overwhelmed because of rates of flight. but online booking gave me a fantastic offer for flight.
    so because of them only i got a chance to arrange this wonderful trip for our students

    Dream Flights

    Reply
  43. The best tip in a long time. Yet to check out if it works sitting in India!
    Also, Craig’s pointer to lose the history/cookies from the browser while attempting it a second time is such a useful one.
    Thanks! Hope to apply this in my travel life which I am planning to convert from the stable traveling sector to slow traveling in the coming year or two.
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  44. It will be definitely work. But It does not mean that you buy a cheap ticket and you compromise with the quality. We should never compromise with the quality.

    Reply
    • I agree. Quality must never be compromised even if it happens to be cheap. We just have to be careful and more precise in choosing. Just because its cheap it does not mean no quality. There are loads of options to choose from to get both cheap and with excellent quality.

      Reply
  45. Has anyone figured out any tips for flying in the US? I was playing around with some dates and numbers and it doesn’t seem to be any cheaper even though I only want to fly from Portland to Sacramento! Does anyone have any ideas on how to get the flights cheaper?

    Reply
    • I would love to know also. I was just trying this and it was the same price from both expedia sites.

      Reply
  46. I strongly agree with you, when we change the country of origin in larger websites we get the cheaper and local promotions for that country, the same goes to hotel, if you book with UK site the price is around GBP10 and wen you go on US sit the price is around USD 10, so you save a lot, Thanks to Internet, now world is a village and with little clever tips, you can save a lot

    Reply
  47. I just checked this out, and it doesn’t work. It’s actually MORE expensive. The price turned out to be thousands of dollars more than expected. I tried it with hotel, then I tried it without hotel; still at least $2,000 more. Go to regular expedia.com.

    Reply
    • EVeryone has different results T. It’s worked for many people proving that it does work. But, it depends on many variables which is why it is not working for you

      Reply
  48. This is awesome!!! I’ll try it asap. Thank you so much!!

    Reply
    • Don’t say awsome! until you try. Today is august 4, 2014 and since your date to now, the world has changed a little more.

      Reply
  49. Hey very nice post. I’ll definitely try this. You can also try Triphello.com. It is having flight search engine that will search a wide number of websites and you can compare them and pick the cheapest one.

    Reply
  50. I couldnt find much more cheaper flights from zurich to los angeles from expedia japan and brazil, its even more expensive.

    Reply
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