The lower cost carriers will typically fly out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, instead of the busier hub in Miami, even though both cities are relatively close to one another. If you're always flying into a city's main airport, you could find yourself paying top dollar. Other examples include flying into Burbank, California instead of Los Angeles and Oakland, California instead of San Francisco.
5. Choose the days you fly wisely
Airline prices fluctuate - constantly.
"It's usually cheaper to fly during the week than on the weekends," says Melisse Hinkle, travel expert and editor of
Cheapflights.com. "The middle of the week is golden for travelers. Airlines and hotels know that Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are the easiest times to travel, so prices are higher."
6. Time matters The most cost effective flights are the ones during odd hours of the day - including the first flights of the day at 6 a.m. and the red eyes overnight. "I recently researched a flight from Denver to Orlando, and the cost for a 8:15 a.m. departure is $298," says blogger Kendal Perez of HassleFreeSavings.com. "The 12:42 p.m. departure cost $70 more at $368. Similarly, a return flight at 8:32 p.m. from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) on JetBlue cost $129 -- whereas the 11 a.m. flight cost $198." 7. Book well in advance While this is tough for business travelers who need to fly for an unexpected meeting, aim to book flights several weeks in advance when the prices are lower. "For domestic flights, if a consumer books 12-35 days before departure, they can save up to 6%," says Kayak.com spokesperson Maria Katime. 8. Coupon Codes When you see a space to enter in a coupon code on an airline's website, don't skip over it - you're missing out on savings. "Treat this process like shopping for clothing," says Jon Lal, founder of BeFrugal.com. "Some airline providers like JetBlue have sales. You can also find coupon codes online and earn cash back (a portion of your online purchase that is deposited into an account for you) when you buy online." 9. Airport Parking