When we manage to snag a great airfare, like our $374 round trip ticket to Egypt via Paris, the people in our lives always ask us with astonishment how we managed to find it. The truth is, it’s really pretty simple. I’m going to share how we find a majority of our great sales and error fares here.
Set Up An Account At IFTTT
IFTTT stands for “If This, Then This.” Basically, it’s a site that allows you to set up “recipes.” Each recipe checks for a certain condition, then performs a simple action. Easy, right? For instance, if a site posts a new blog post or article, you can have IFTTT email you. This is exactly the kind of rule we’ll be setting up.
Create Recipes at Sites Like The Flight Deal
The Flight Deal is great because there are separate RSS feeds for each origin city. I set up a recipe for each city in my area, as well as cities where I know I could take a cheap Southwest or other discount flight if necessary. Here’s how we’ll create that recipe.
- Go to the page for the city you want to track at The Flight Deal. For San Francisco, that URL is: http://www.theflightdeal.com/category/flight-deals/sfo/
- Add the text “feed/” to the end of the URL to get the RSS feed, so now SFO is: http://www.theflightdeal.com/category/flight-deals/sfo/feed/
- On IFTTT, create a recipe by going to “My Applets” and then click “New Applet.”
- Click “this” on the next screen.
- For “Choose A Service,” search for “Feed.” Click the orange Feed Icon.
- Select “New Feed Item” in the next step.
- Put the feed URL into the text box on the next step.
- Click “Create Trigger.”
- Click “that” on the next screen.
- Search for “Email,” and select the email option.
- Click “send me an email.”
- Customize the fields if you like, then click “Create Action.”
- Finally, give the recipe a name (optional) and click “Finish.”
From now on, every time there is a new deal leaving from the city you chose posted toThe Flight Deal, you’ll receive an email with the title of the page, and most of the essential details. You’ll be able to act on most great fares right away.
Secret Flying also has a feed located here, but it is more limited in that it does not allow you to filter the origin city. In that case, you can use the other option for feed rules at IFTTT, and opt to get emails only when your origin city is mentioned.
The Flyertalk Forums also have some fantastic deals, but the level of noise is far higher. You’ll end up ignoring a lot more irrelevant emails in this case. Still, if you want to have a chance to act on the shortest-lived fares, especially error fares, this is a good place to set up an IFTTT recipe. Here are some forum feeds to get you started:
I post some of the best deals I find on my Facebook Page. Please consider liking the page to get those deals, and updates when I post a new article.
Other good sources of great fares on social media are Travel is Free and the Error Fares bot on Twitter (which tries to parse Twitter for error fares and other great fares, but sometimes fails and gives you bogus info).
Do you have any other tips or tricks to catch great airfare or travel deals? Share them with me in the comments!