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SearchSearch Fares for One Person First
Sometimes only a certain number of bargain fares are loaded into an airline’s system—and that limits your options more than you might think. If you’re a family of four, for example, and there are only three fares left at a great bargain price, and you search for fares for a group of four people, all four will be quoted at the higher price.

Therefore, you should always start by searching for fares for one person to find the best available price. Once you’ve done that, you can search for your whole group (in this example, four people) and compare the two prices. If the second price isn’t four times the price for one person, you know your group quote isn’t including the low fares that are left (which you know are available because you just found one searching for one person).

So, you can try searching three people (and then two, as you move down)—with the goal of course being to get the maximum number of family members at the cheapest possible fare.

For more tips on finding cheap airfare this holiday season, check out my post here.



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7 Comments On "Travel Tip of the Day: Search Fares for One Person First"
  1. Rich|

    Just did this on a recent trip to Orlando from Cleveland during the Holiday week coming up in December. Was able to purchase 1 ticket at the lowest price, 2 others at the next price level. Will be doing this for 2 other trips I have coming up in the near future.
    Great idea.

  2. Rachelle Polgar|

    I found this out by accident in August. While booking our trip to Aruba from Boston on Jet Blue I searched for 2 rounds trips and then out of curiosity tried 1 round trip. I was able to book my husbands at a cheaper price and saved $75.00! More money for the bar tab!

  3. Shirley|

    Only problem is if you receive free checked bags, priority boarding because you have a related credit card, your guest (who will be booked on another ticket) will not enjoy these privileges.

    1. Hundredbacklinks

      Very true!

  4. Rami|

    Also separate tickets may be an issue during IRROPS

  5. Scottrick|

    You have a screenshot of ITA Matrix, which is ironic because this tool is actually very good at avoiding the problem you describe. If you do a search with ITA for two passengers, and only one seat is left at the cheapest price, it will display an asterisk next to that fare which is actually an average of two fares. When you click through to the final itinerary, it displays the cheapest fare for traveler #1 and the next most expensive fare for traveler #2. This lets you know that if you want to book this itinerary at the lowest final price, you should book each traveler separately on the airline website. But it’s not necessary — at least on ITA — to begin your search with only one traveler.

    1. Hundredbacklinks

      Good to know, thanks!