Whether you are flying in from Kenya or the United States, airline tickets to Tanzania can be very expensive, and take up a big chunk of your travel budget.
Why are flight tickets so expensive?
Over the past ten years, many airlines around the world have gone bankrupt or merged with other airlines. As a result, there are fewer airlines, less competition and therefore little motivation to reduce prices.
Moreover, airport security worldwide has increased significantly since the terror attacks in the U.S on 11 September 2001 (9/11). And a lot of it is funded in the taxes and fees you pay when you purchase airline tickets.
Nevertheless, whether you are flying for the first time, or are a seasoned traveler, these 5 tips will help you find flights that are actually affordable.
1. Book early
This may seem easy enough to do, but most passengers book tickets a month before travel, and airlines know this and increase the prices accordingly.
However, airlines do their best to only fly full planes. So if a particular flight has low demand they will lower prices to try and fill the plane. The same logic is followed when the demand is high, which usually increases as the travel date gets closer.
Simply put, if your dates aren’t flexible, and you book late, you will pay whatever fee is charged. So, whenever possible you should book 3 months before your trip
2. Be flexible and fly when demand is low
We all know that there are certain times of the year, usually holiday seasons, when flights are expensive. One is the December – February period, when many people from countries with winter go on holiday in the warmer climate of Tanzania. Another is the June – August period, when many families go on vacation, and students studying abroad may return home for break.
So, avoiding these seasons, and travell ing when demand is lower will also mean that you pay less. Additionally, try and fly:
- Mid-week (Tuesday to Thursday). Avoid flying on Monday, Friday, or Sunday
- Early-morning or late-night
If you are really serious about saving, use software like ITA Matrix Airfare Search which provides a calendar of the lowest fares for any route.
3. Use a budget airline
If saving money is more important than comfort, then budget airlines are the way to go.
- If you are traveling to Tanzania from South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia, then using Fastjet will save you a lot of money.
- If you flying from South Africa to Zanzibar, try Mango
- If you flying from Dubai to Tanzania, try FlyDubai
- Look at list of airlines in our business directory
However, the country you are traveling from may not have a cheap alternative airline that travels to Tanzania. So, if you are willing to not take a direct flight, you can fly into a country with a budget airline going to Tanzania, then transfer flights. For instance, if you are coming from Europe, you can take Lufthansa to Dubai, then take Flydubia to Dar es Salaam.
However, be careful with additional fees – as this is how budget airlines make their money. So make sure you read their baggage fees and rules, food fees etc
4. Sign up for frequent flyer miles
You don’t have to be a frequent jetsetter to use frequent flyer miles.
A frequent–flyer program is simply a loyalty program offered by an airline. By continuously flying with that airline or its partner airlines (for instance, Delta Airways is partners with KLM), you get points that will eventually add up and you can get rewards like reduced flight costs.
The more points you collect, the less you will pay for travel. And sometimes you may find yourself flying for free.
5. Use the right booking site
Many of us are seduced by marketing and advertising tactics promising ‘lower prices’ by travel sites and airlines. Like, how many times have you been excited by a ‘deal’ you found only to realize later that it was only $0.50/ TZS 1000 cents cheaper than another deal? Or that the deal didn’t include taxes and baggage fees.
So, it’s important to check as many travel sites as possible before you book as you don’t want to miss a real deal. The best travel booking sites are the ones that don’t have agreements with any particular carrier and have a wide selection of airlines to choose from.
For instance, Travelstart; a Tanzania based travel agency and booking site, includes local airlines from a range of countries, as well as bigger international airlines.
Tanzania is priceless
There are many different reasons why people travel to Tanzania, including:
- Business trips
- Returning home to see family
While the reasons for coming here differ, most people will fall in love with this beautiful place and its people. So, don’t let airline ticket prices stop you from experiencing the magic of Tanzania. Use these tips and hopefully you’ll find cheaper tickets than the person sitting next to you on your flight!