A large part of the cost of travel itineraries is the air fare. In real costs air fares have reduced. Competition among airlines has forced new business models and ways of providing the valuable service. A large part of each fare is the taxes, imposed by various countries – not much we can do about that in the short-term. Here are a few tips on getting better value from the airlines.International air travel participants are increasing, so one would think that there will be further down pressures on the price paid by consumers. We shall see.One of the first considerations when looking for low-cost airfares is to plan well ahead of time. Book early and lock in the price, especially if you are hoping to take part in a fixed date event. There is the counter argument that suggests last-minute bookings may give better value. This is only true if the airline has seats left to sell. If you wait too long, there may not be a place.Select travel times that are not in the peak period. Sometimes the sites are more interesting in autumn and spring. There are the same number of planes available during all seasons. So in peak seasons, the airlines can charge a higher price because people want to travel. In off-peak times reductions are likely as an incentive to travel.See your independent travel agent for help in finding cheaper flights. There are usually alternate ways of getting to a destination or a simple rearrangement of a holiday might save costs. Be open with your travel agent and give him or her all the information they need to help you well. Be careful with travel agents who link directly with airlines. Their offers may not include alternatives.Occasionally, airlines offer discounts through redeeming vouchers. Grab them if they suit your needs. They are emailed, in print media or social media. Sometimes it is good to join the airline’s mailing list!There are many airlines and each one has a business model. When comparing prices, look at the conditions. Many of the cheapest fares have a luggage restriction and an expensive cancellation policy. If you think that you might need to change your flight, consider a slightly more expensive option. Check layover times between flights. Some of the cheaper flights are very tightCheap air fares do exist but you have to look for them. International air travel saves time. It takes lot longer for a ship to cross the ocean! The competition for seats provided us with good value air travel.