While some of us enjoy the chase of hunting down a sale fare (or reward seat), signing up for fare alerts on a specific route or for all destinations is a good strategy. It’ll save you time and take some of the guesswork out of the equation.
There are a number of services that travellers in Australia can use to monitor price drops in airfares. It’ll let you know when the price matches or falls below your target. Alerts are free and you can stop them at any time.
How to set up Qantas Fare Watch
Qantas’ fare alerts feature is available via the Qantas App, as well as on desktop and mobile browsers.
How to set up alerts on the Qantas website for cash fares
- From the Flight Deals page, select your departure city and destination.
- Click on ‘View Dates, Details and Book’ next to your preferred route.
- Select your preferred cabin class, then scroll down to the green banner and click on Fare Watch.
- Enter your email address to receive fare alerts to your inbox. You can also adjust your dates here.
How to set up alerts in the Qantas app for cash fares
- In the Qantas app, click on Book.
- Scroll down to Plan your trip, then click ‘view destinations’.
- Choose where you’re flying from, then select your destination from the list. You can also filter by cabin classes.
- Scroll down to the green Fare Watch banner, then click ‘watch fares’ and input your details.
How to set up Qantas Dream Planner alerts for Reward Seats
- Search for travel destinations on the Qantas website.
- In the top-left corner, tap the ‘heart’ icon to save that destination to your Dream Planner.
- Fill out your travel details, being as specific as possible. This includes dates, number of passengers and travel class.
- Tick ‘Dream Planner Email Notifications’ if you wish to receive email updates on Classic Flight Reward seats.
- Press the ‘Save to Dream Planner’ button to lock in the request.
How to set up Virgin Australia fare alerts
Alternatively, you can browse and filter current sale fares and set price limits on the Virgin Australia App and website.
Using fare alerts on other sites to track all flight prices
How to set up fare alerts on Google Flights
Google Flights is one of our favourite flight search tools as it’s easy to use and fast.
- Perform a search.
- Click on Track prices on the left-hand side. If you’re logged into a Google account, you’ll start receiving email updates. You can also select individual flights to track, or track all available flights between your departure city and destination.
How to set up fare alerts on KAYAK
Alerts on KAYAK can be set up for exact dates, flexible dates or the top 25 cities around the world or in a specific region. You don’t need an account to use the Price Alerts tool on KAYAK.
- Perform a search and toggle Track prices to On.
- Enter your email address to receive Price Alerts straight to your inbox.
How to set up fare alerts on Skyscanner
It’s simple to set up a fare alert on Skyscanner, but you are limited to exact dates. You’ll need to provide your email address, or use your Google, Facebook or Apple account.
- Perform a search.
- Click on the Get Price Alerts button in the left sidebar.
More ways to find cheap flights
While there is no hard-and-fast rule for finding the cheapest flights, we suggest the following:
- Adjust your departure time: for business-heavy routes, try flying during the middle of the day rather than the peak periods in the morning or evenings.
- Try a different day: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays tend to be cheaper days to fly, with Sundays, Mondays and Fridays registering peak travel demand as people travel for work.
- Use alternative airports: smaller airports tend to charge lower fees to airlines, meaning lower fares for travellers, e.g. you could consider Melbourne’s Avalon instead of Tullamarine, the Gold Coast instead of Brisbane, Oakland instead of San Francisco, or Paris’ Orly instead of Charles de Gaulle.
- Break it up: for long-haul travel to Europe, consider starting your itinerary from a big Asian hub such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong and buying an AirAsia, Jetstar or Scoot ticket from Australia to Asia.
Fare alerts are very useful in saving time and stress when searching for discounted tickets. And they’re not just limited to Economy – you can often find great cash fares in Business and First Class too.
You can set them up for specific airlines, or for any airline through an Online Travel Agent (OTA) like Skyscanner. If you use an OTA, you will get more results, including multiple airlines and dates.
Remember that this is a free service and can be switched off anytime if you’ve found what you need.
How do you find cheap flights? Let us know in the comments below.
This article was originally written by Matt Moffitt.
How can I find cheap flights in Australia?
Setting fare alerts to notify you of sale fares or price drops to your desired destination is a good strategy to help you find cheaper flights from Australia. It also pays to be flexible with your dates, and sometimes your departure or arrival airport.
What are fare alerts?
Many websites offer free price alerts when the price of an airfare drops. Some tools require an email address or an account where a notification of the price drop will be sent.
What is the cheapest day to fly?
Generally, it can be cheaper to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, as there is less demand on these days. Peak travel days are usually Sundays, Mondays and Fridays, with many people travelling for work.