This is my article published many years ago on USAToday.com. I have been involved recently in many research projects. I will continue to re-publish favorite travel skills articles. Let me know what topics are of interest to you
How to save on airfares the easy way
Check various routes to ensure you find lower airfares. A nonstop flight may be more or less expensive than a connecting or direct flight. Lower airfares may result from connecting in certain airports rather than others. Being a bit more creative with the routing can save you a bundle. On longer (such as transoceanic) flights, try splitting your itinerary into two separate roundtrips. For instance, lower airfares between Northeast cities and Hawaii can often be found through California (LAX, SFO, OAK). Buy separate Northeast-to-California and California-to-Hawaii roundtrip tickets; the total price can be much lower than the Northeast-to-Hawaii fare. In addition, split tickets allow consumers to select preferred airlines and create a stopover vacation
It pays (saves!) to shop around. Sometimes lower airfares are offered by certain websites, travel agents, or directly from the airline.
When you see a fantastic fare price, such as during a fare war (which can be up to nine months before flying), make your plans. You might not find better deals as the travel date approaches. When the fare drops, however, most airlines allow consumers to rebook and receive a travel voucher for the difference (as long as seats are available).
-Charles McCool, author, Winning the Airfare Game