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Flights are full and ticket costs are taking off, but you can still score a cheap flight

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Posted at 7:29 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 09:50:17-04

TAMPA BAY — Memorial Day weekend kicked off the airline industry's busy summer travel season with more than 1.9 million people passing through TSA checkpoints on the holiday.

Flights are filling up and ticket prices have taken off. Yet, it doesn't mean you need to break the bank to book your next flight.

Scott Keyes, the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, says cheap tickets continue to pop up regularly.

“One of the things many folks miss is just how cheap flights have been for years and how cheap they are set to be coming out of the pandemic as well,” he said.

Keyes said he’s found these recent round trip deals out of Tampa:

  • $179 Bozeman, Montana
  • $277 Alaska
  • $290 Costa Rica or Peru

Travelers looking to score a deal should book 1 to 3 months ahead for a domestic trip and 2-8 months ahead for international flights. Keyes said it’s cheaper to fly on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.

He added it’s a myth that there’s the best time of day and time to book a ticket — that was true in the past but is no longer the case.

Keyes said there’s not much of a price difference booking directly with the airline online or a flight aggregator like www.kayak.com or www.expedia.com. And booking directly with an airline may give you faster access to customer service if you run into trouble during your trip.

You can save time on research by looking at https://www.google.com/travel/flights to search all available carriers, routes and prices before you book.

Here is another savvy traveler trick from Keyes: If you can find a decent price on Southwest book it and keep searching for better deals. Southwest allows you to change or cancel your flight at no cost which means no risk and you always have that flight to fall back on if you don’t find a better deal.