So are there any hidden secrets to getting good airline deals on flights from the US to Ecuador? Let’s take a look at a few ways to get better airfares to Ecuador from the United States.
UPDATE: 2015 - Some of you may have noticed. Flights to and from Ecuador are now taxed 25% higher; that's a big price jump!
Flights from the US to Ecuador
1. Make flight reservations 14 to 30 days in advance!
2. Sign up with airfare discount alerts. Keep yourself up-to-date on the major airlines that fly to Ecuador and get airfare alerts in your inbox by using such services as AirfareWatchdog. This will save you a great deal of time. Simply type in your preferred itinerary and wait for them to send the airfare deals!
3. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are supposed to be the cheapest days to fly, so plan your flight on one of those days to get the lowest price.
4. Use price intermediary sites such as Travelocity and Orbits, which compares all the major airlines for the lowest airfare prices and discounts. However, we have noticed when you keep using these places every day, a couple of times a day, oddly they start coming back with higher prices every time. Only use them when you are ready to book your flight!
Understand that these online travel agents are not always the best places to get discounts. They do receive commissions and that is coming from somewhere.
5. Try comparison websites such as Kayak.com and Tripadvisor.com. They also compare prices from all the airlines and will direct you to the best airfare deals.
6. Fly from major city airport hubs such as Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, etc. This is potentially a big money saver. This is what we did to save about $150 per ticket because we flew out of Atlanta, Georgia instead of Franklin, North Carolina. Here is a US map with all of the major hub airport cities. The yellow circles on the map show where the major airport hubs are located.
7. Never try and get flight discounts to Ecuador just before major US holidays because airfares will be much more expensive. These times are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the four days before Christmas, and the first working days after New Year's.
8. Flights booked after 11:00pm (red eye flights) are less expensive because less people want to fly at this hour and the airline wants to fill up all the seats.
9. Some of the major airlines such as Continental and American offer the lowest priced airfares on their own website, so always check for discounts on their website BEFORE actually booking your flight, you never know.
10. Always ask for student and senior discounts, if applicable. Many airlines offer this. They also offer discounts for toddlers, and babies under two fly for free on most major airlines if you hold the baby on your lap.
11. Standby airfares are always cheaper. If you’re just one person and you don't mind sitting around in airports waiting for a seat to open up then this is a possible discount. Here’s how it works. You buy the standby ticket with the airline (not all airlines do this) but you do not set a flight time, and you wait in the airport until a seat opens up from a cancellation. When a seat becomes available, which might take hours or all day, they will let you know and you can then board that flight to Ecuador. Couples can do this too but it might take longer for two seats to open up...and they might not have two seats together.
12. Name your own price at Priceline.com and you can save up to 25% to 50% sometimes.
13. Make sure you always look on an airlines official website to see the bargain page where many times they post last minute flight deals around the world. Also you can always call the airlines and ask when they will be having a promotion.
14. The two cheapest months to fly are in February (the least expensive) and then March comes in second. Tickets can be up to half price in February.
Regional - Flights within Ecuador
Need to fly from Cuenca to Quito or Manta? You can get discounts on regional flights in the country of Ecuador and here’s how.
1. Check to see if any regional airlines such as LAN Ecuador, Tame, or AeroGal have any special discounts before booking your flight. Remember you need to go to their official website and check. They all have a promotions or special offers page for domestic flights.
2. When making a flight itinerary online with AeroGal, choosing flexible dates will return a better price every time; it did when I tried it.
3. Consider taking TAME from Cuenca to Quito. They sometimes have a discounted flight of just $22 but restrictions do apply. Plan on a stop-over; there are no refunds and if you have to cancel your ticket for any reason they charge $15 plus tax.
4. Do not waste your time and use comparison or intermediary websites like Kayak or Orbitz to try and get cheaper flights within Ecuador because their flight tickets are higher than the official airlines websites offer.
5. Don’t forget to ask about senior discounts if you are a resident of Ecuador.
We hope this information on how to get discounts on flights to and within Ecuador will be of good service to you when visiting or moving to Ecuador. Taking the tour buses within Ecuador is still more cost effective than flying if you are on a budget, but may take more time and planning in your schedule. In this article we talk about taking the bus to Salinas.