With a dose of good timing and a fair amount of flexibility, you can find some decent prices on flights. And with a little more flexibility and fortunate timing, you can score even better "error fares". Photo by Jason O'Halloran.
Error fares are pretty much what they sound like, but as travel site Oyster.com puts it, they're "shockingly low fares" that are actually pricing mistakes via the airline carrier or travel agency. Obviously, these mistakes are elusive, but if you're into travel hacking, it can't hurt to put "error fares" on your radar.
Oyster offers a few suggestions for finding them:
While using sites such as Fly4free and Cheap Flights Lab are the easiest way to find error fares, there are plenty of other options for dedicated sleuths willing to take the hunt into their own hands, particularly if they are only interested in flights out of their home cities. Doing exhaustive searches using flexible search criteria or calendar views (that allow you to look at a whole month at a time) may help you discover an error fare for a flight leaving your city. It also helps to get an in with online travel and aviation communities, such as FlightAware and SecretFlying...
Just be sure to book quickly. Chances are that if you've found out about an error fare, so has the airline in question, and unless they are trying to get some serious media attention or fill up seats fast, they will probably fix the error immediately.
Keep in mind: Airlines are allowed to cancel mispriced tickets. So you don't want to rely on these tickets for any important travel, because it's definitely not a reliable method. Still, if you're a fan of travel deals, it may be worth checking out. Read Oyster's full post below.