Hidden flight deals? There’s an app for that…

Ok, “secret” may not be the right word, but these are sales you won’t find anywhere else – so what else should we call them? Since the invention of e-tickets and online booking websites, there’s hardly been much innovation in the way you buy your airline ticket. You either buy it direct from an airline, or from your favorite online travel agent, and that’s pretty much that. But for the first time in a long time, the way airlines want to engage with customers is changing, and that’s bringing new ways to score the best deals…

Go Where They Are

Most travelers aren’t regularly clicking over to airline websites to browse around for deals. Airlines hate that. They don’t want to be a part of your travels, they’d like to be your go to for everything, and they want you thinking about the prospect of booking something on a daily basis. So where better to catch you, than on your mobile phone? Airlines are aggressively retooling their mobile apps to offer more and more features, and most notably, exclusive discounts.

Exclusive Discounts

Qatar Airways, Singapore Air and Cathay Pacific are just a few names which have encouraged customers to download their mobile app, by offering exclusive discounts for in app bookings. Discounts range between 5-20%, and some of the very best deals are never actually available outside of the apps. That’s right – if you’re searching on Google Flights, or Expedia – you may completely miss out. In most cases, you’ll want to look under “special offers” within the app, or special discount codes, which (in theory) should only work for bookings in the app. Why offer such attractive discounts? With the app on your home screen, you’re always a tap away from booking, and in some cases, they can push offers directly to you, with notifications. That’s valuable.

Best Practices

Airline mobile apps are still in their early days, but aside from deals, they’re actually one of the best ways to score upgrade offers. Many airlines push bespoke upgrade offers through the app prior to, and during check in, which is reason alone to download your favorite airlines app. For daily flight booking activities, it’s always best to look direct online, compare with top discount websites and then check within the app, just to see if any exclusive offers are floating around. Watch this space, there will definitely be more to come…