There are some standard practices which you shall do for buying cheap air tickets, whether for domestic or international flights. These practices can invariable get you the cheapest air fares available. However, if you want to do more than there are lesser chances of getting the best rates. These practices are:
1. Know the past trends: What was the airfare during the last couple of months or at the same time during the last year for the chosen destination? How has the situation of aviation changed as compared to last year and whether that will impact prices of tickets being revised upwards or downwards? These are some of the question for which you shall seek answers from either your near and dear ones, or from the data published online. Seeking these answers can give you a better understanding of the trend which is likely to be followed by air tickets during current period.
Knowing the past trends does not mean that you have to delve into the analytics, but it stresses the need to keep abreast with the latest developments in the aviation sector on a regular basis. So, regularly reading the news items and expert columns or blogs is going to serve this end well.
2. Do keep good contacts with travel agents: Keeping good contacts with travel agents helps a lot since there could be a number of offers and discounts given to them by airlines but due to very limited inventory, these are sold off real fast. You can benefit from these fares by having good connection with agents or agencies.
3. Book early: If you know the tentative dates of your travel in future, then it is better to begin your searches for best rates quite early and continue doing the same for a couple of days. When you find that the rates are good, proceed to do flight booking. There will always be a certain amount of uncertainty about prices but there is no way to ascertain with surety what prices will be in future. There could be times when the tickets can still get cheaper after the booking.
Now, if you are not able to book early and there is an emergent need for flights, you can still negotiate prices or make quick inquiries with your travel agent.
4. Seek quotes from close competitors and negotiate: If you have to drive down the prices of tickets from different players, notably travel agencies, then you need to have quotes from competitors. But, only having quotes is not enough. You shall also inquire about services which are provided along with. This will help you in benchmarking the rates and services from various providers and give you better leverage to negotiate.