Travel cheap: nine ways to save on air travel

Here are some travel experts' top tips and tools to hold costs down a bit.

4. Buy at the right moment.

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    Passengers in the terminal as they await news of the flights after they were canceled at Edinburgh Airport, Scotland, on May 25. Hundreds of flights were canceled the day before as winds blew the cloud of ash from the Grimsvotn volcano over Scotland and other parts of Europe. Experts say that particles in the ash could stall jet engines and sandblast planes' windows.
    Scott Heppell/AP Photo
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Deals often appear as Monday night rolls into Tuesday. For flights within the United States, other airlines might be matching a rival's bargain by Tuesday afternoon, while the process might take a day longer for overseas routes. But bargains can pop up on other days. And don't buy too soon, says George Hobica of

If the seating chart for the plane you want to fly on shows most seats empty, the airline might be about to cut its price. BestFares is one website that makes it easy to view seating as you shop. At some travel sites, you may need to go through the motions of buying a ticket -- stopping short of actually making the purchase -- before you get to see a seating chart.

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