Flight Hunting (비행기 헌팅)

How many times have you ever tried to find the perfect flight & felt a little dismayed by the layover hours keeping you from your final destination? This is my present situation.

2013-k-air-flight
On board a Seoul to New York flight from Korea

Currently, I’ve been neck-deep in flight hunting for winter break vacation. My destination is Korea, with open possibility to spend some time country-hopping. However, before I can confirm my departure date I need to first settle on a flight itinerary that doesn’t include a 10+hour to 1 day layover in Istanbul, Taipei, Shanghai, Moscow, Tokyo, etc.

It would be easier to just book direct and I have been considering it, but as a previous frequent continental traveler I have learned to use my money wisely and spend less $ on traveling and more $ during the length of my stay for hotels, fun activities, meals, shopping, etc.)  Spending less on the travel part of one’s vacation is one of the best unkept secrets of traveling.

On my last r/t flight to Korea I saved roughly $300-500 on flight between JFK and ICN airport. The first reason I ended up saving so much was because I purchased separate one-way flights to and from my destination. Additionally, I saved extra on my flights by using larger airline carriers, such as Delta Airlines whom operates with direct-partner flights between Seoul and New York. In addition, I saved a lot by price checking and monitoring flexible travel dates, and by booking my flights 2-3 weeks prior compared to months in advance when flight prices are held at a standard fare and reductions are not yet made available by individual airlines.

Looking back on my travel history I think I have had moderate luck in finding affordable flights where I saved a couple hundred dollars, by booking at the best times. But, this Fall/upcoming winter period it seems as though prices remain unsteady in-between the winter holiday season. This period, however, can work in a traveler’s favor. During Christmas and New Years and even during the Chinese New Year holiday, many people travel in-between countries. But, not too many travelers plan vacations in cold temperature countries during this time. Therefore, prices normally remain moderate on regular days in-between these winter holidays, and also (as seen in previous years) during the winter months. However, this year prices for the approaching winter months in places like China and Korea have been steadily rising. It could be due to other anxious flight hunters also looking at winter months and selecting  flight itineraries, but not purchasing tickets just yet.

Me riding on a Korean Air flight heading back to New York from Seoul

Just looking at flights can lead to flight fluctuations during the period that a traveler is looking to book. Due to this I have chosen to monitor flight ticket prices via price alerts from websites such as Orbitz, Kayak, Skyscanner, Expedia, etc.  Though the prices are more or less likely to change the price alerts provide potential buyers with some leeway to wait to purchase a flight. Upon receiving their first alert potential buyers might discover that the flight price they had first seen has dropped, risen, or remained the same. Whatever the results the price alert can help the traveler make a decision on how to proceed with their initial plan to book the flight.

For me, the best scenario like in years past would be to wait until the final weeks to book. However, due to possessing a limited vacation break period I feel as though my crunch time to purchase a holiday ticket it fast approaching. Hopefully, I will decide on a flight that is as justified in price as it is in time duration.

 

Do you have any flight hunting tips you’d like to share?  Have you anyone ever purchased tickets with a 10+hour to 1 day layover somewhere?

 

 

 

 

 

*Note: All  pictures posted are owned by the Yeppunshikan author, usage of these pictures without the owners consent is strictly prohibited.

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