How can I get a cheap airfare

I went to Costa Rica on a student exchange about 14yrs ago. I havent been back.

I want to go back next year to see my homestay family.

The price of a plane fare in the low season is $3000 incl taxes. In the shoulder or high season it is more. It is not cheap to go to Central America!

Flight Centre gave me that price. People always say book on the net rather than with a travel agent but when I search on the internet I cant find anything better.

Anyone know any websites? Got any tips or tricks? Would I be successful negotiating price with travel agents?

get a $950 inc tax airfare to LA with either Virgin VAustralia or Qantas or United. They have had loads of specials to US this year.

Then fron US book a flight to Costa Rica. You can compare flights on

But have to wait for the best deals.
get a job for the airline companies :)

Seriously though, 3k does seem a bit pricey. Check the price of a 3 stop around the world ticket and include your desired destination as one stop (you may end up spending more in accommodation in the other cities though).

But i agree with Sue, see what the cheapest deals are to LA and then bunny hop from there. As you are checking the flights to LA though, don't forget to check Air New Zealand or Tahiti Air (or whatever it is called). Although you may have a transit stop, they may actually prove to be more competitive.
Hi Gatoblanco,

Subscribe to all the emails the agencies and carriers send out. I do. I get Flight Centre, Virgin, Qantas etc all constantly sending me their latest hot deals. I scan through the destinations and see what I like.

Recently Air Asia had a sale to Kuala Lumpur then to a lot of South East Asian destinations. We liked the sound of that so I went to their website and searched the sale period dates and ended up getting return flights to Kuala Lumpur plus connection flights to Phuket return for 3 people for the grand total price of a touch under $1,000. The Gold Coast to KL leg was $119 each way and the KL to Phuket legs were $30 odd each way. $300 per person return x 3. So we're now going to Kuala Lumpur and Phuket for a two and a half week holiday in March next year. That will be shortly after we return from our 8 day cruise to Noumea and Vila in January next year. We'll be holidayed out by the time we get to the Easter break 2 days after we get back from Phuket. ;)

They're out there but you've got to work into their sale programs. I'll keep an eye out for Costa Rica for you...

Hi Sue 78
yes i have heard about flights to LA return for under $1k with Air NZ etc.
I checked out Kayak and you can go from LA to Costa Rica for $US369 return with American Airlines (the $3k price I was quoted to go all the way from BNE with AA).
So all up that is about $1500 approx. A lot less than $3k.
However do I have to be in the US to book one of those American Airlines LA-CR flights?
If I have to be there to purchase wouldnt I get owned if I have to buy a flight to connect straight away? I.e. I am in LAX buying the next flight out?

I have never travelled outside of Australia except to NZ and apart from that time to CR 15yrs ago (but that was organised by the exchange program) so I am not too familiar with intnl travel.
Sites like will allow you to buy flights starting in another country, but you do pay a premium for it (currency hedging etc) - but it gives you another option if you can't buy direct from kayak or somewhere like that.

Buddybee have flights from LAX to San Jose from $433 AUD. forgot to check whether that was return or one way.
you can book this from Australia, and I've found them to be very well priced for other flights I've done. also does bookings for flights starting from overseas, but not quite so user friendly website as expedia.
You can book whilst in Australia - just leave plenty (a few hours at the least) of time to clear customs in LA and in case of flight delays. Better off having an extra hour or two stuck reading a book than having to rebook a flight. Also before you do book check how long you have to check in for the LA - CR flight (it may be two hours), in which case you'd want to leave at least 4 -5 hours between LA arrival and departure. approx 2.5 hours to get through customs, .5 hour to get around LA airport to different departure terminals (several different intl. departure terminals), and 2hrs for your min check in time

Good luck
no, you can book it all online...infact you can plan your entire holiday online. Even the hotels. Just have to go online to get US visa to re-enter the US. You would want to book a long connection just in case your flight was delayed.

Michael -$300!! that's expensive. We paid about $150 rtn each to KL inc of luggage, food and comfort pack. You can park your car at Coolangatta for I think about $120 a week.

I am still deciding where to go from KL. We have 3 weeks in KL. We're going in June/July next year during school holidays (can't believe manage to get cheap tickets for peak travel). Maybe to UK, or to HK, Xian, Macau...too many options. We did Phuket already with Josh...loads of fun. Aidan will love he taking swimming lessons? he can snorkel off the beach on the islands.

We are going to US in Dec for 3 weeks. Got Qantas tickets for dec peak travel for $3.2k for 2 adults 1 child and 2 cheap and direct flights bris to La.

Michael - how much was your Pacific cruise? I think I was quoted $3.5k for 2 adults and a child which I thought was a bit too exxy and we suffer really bad sea sickness. but I love the idea of kids club.
use expedia the fare - it might take you a few days to find the dates and flights to quote on. Really you cant go in half assed, you have to know concrete dates plus or minus a few days.
Then go back to flight centre and they have to beat it.
We did it when flying to the us a few months ago, fare went from 12k to 7.
FC did do well - better than expedia - for the car hire though.
We paid about $150 rtn each to KL inc of luggage, food and comfort pack
With Air Asia? How did you manage that?

According to my current ticket (for May 2010), return airport taxes per person are $74 ($56+$18), 20kg baggage is $56 (although there is a cheaper 15kg option), and meals are $10.50. That comes to $140.50 return without actually including the price of the airfare. Was it a $5 one-way airfare?

The airfare part of my Gold Coast to KL leg is $190 return ($43+$147), although the return fare could have been cheaper if we'd chosen a different day (but still over $100 from memory). With tax and meals, that comes to about $330 return per person.

From there we're going to the UK for a couple of weeks odd, also using Air Asia promo fares.

I can't remember now..have to look at my itinerary but I know for 3 adults 1 child and 2 infants it came to around $800. I even orderd comfort kits.

The most amazing thimg is that I got the deal for travel in school holidays.