Well, I had heard from my friends a number of times that they had searched through and found a number cheap flights being offered online by visiting some websites of travel agencies and airlines. In fact, they confided that they would wait and hunt for the lowest air fares for days. When it was my time to travel on the plane, I too resorted to their tactics and begin my search about a fortnight before the date of travel assuming that I would be able to find lowest air fare at most in a day or two and then go ahead to do flight booking well in advance, a point mentioned to me by all my friends to be the best bet of getting cheap flights.
Once I began the searches, I was amazed to find so many providers claiming to be offering the air tickets at the best prices. There were the online agencies, airlines and even the fare-comparers who were claiming to offer the lowest air fare tickets. I called a few friends to know which are the best sites to visit and find the fares from and with their help, I was able to shortlist some of these websites for comparing the prices. There were various flights, from different airlines, flying through the direct and indirect routes and the charges were based on how you wanted to travel. That left me confused again. I again called by my friends to know what shall be the best practice to find the airline I wanted. I was informed that if you want to save the cost, check the prices of tickets of airlines on their individual site. But, I was also told that if I am going on vacation then some agencies offer more and better choices than the airlines for vacations, so it is better to take their services. Aha! This actually meant that I have to now define the purpose of my travel and hunt for the cheap flights keeping the overall objective of travel in perspective. I had already spent about 5 hours till this time.
Finally, I was able to further prune the list of websites whom I decided to call to understand what were their requirements? I was informed of all the documents that were required at the time of check-in and how to proceed with the online flight booking. My goodness, it again took me another 1.5 hours to do the online booking since I had to call the customer service of the website to clarify all the doubts.
So, I spent a good 6 hours on searching and booking lowest air fare tickets for the very first time. I was tired and felt exhausted but felt like a winner at the same time. Hope it does not take more than a few minutes next time I do the booking of cheap flights online, just like my friends.