Planning a trip to Oktoberfest in Munich and not sure how to get the cheapest flights?
Don’t worry – flights to Oktoberfest can be notoriously pricey, but finding a cheap flight over is doable if you know the right people.
And by “people”, we mean us, because over the years, we’ve become quite adept at sniffing out the cheapest possible flights over to Europe and of course over to Munich for all the beer-soaked shenanigans of our wildest dreams.
Below, you’ll find a guide on how to find the cheapest flights possible to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany – step by step. No matter where you’re coming from, we hope this post helps you save a few bucks on your journey to Munich!
A Few General Tips for Finding Cheap Flights to Oktoberfest
Before we get started with the step by step instructions on hunting down the most affordable flights to Munich for Oktoberfest, let’s run through some general ground rules and tips.
Beware of outdated flight myths
Generally speaking, the internet is full of outdated advice, and travel is no exception. Often you’ll hear people say things like “flights are always cheaper on Tuesdays” or “you must book EXACTLY 67 DAYS IN ADVANCE”.
It’s all great advice, but the only problem is, it’s not true at all.
While of course, there are some consistent patterns when it comes to cheap flights (e.g. offseason will always be cheaper than peak season, weekdays will always be cheaper than weekends), blanket statements like the whole “Tuesday booking” thing cannot possibly be true 100% of the time anymore.
How come? These days, airlines use dynamic pricing systems and algorithms to determine how much flights should cost, so there’s no longer a human being deciding to drop fares on Tuesdays, or anything like that. So, before you embark on your brave Oktoberfest flight quest, be sure to get those outdated myths out of your head.
Flexibility is key
If you can only visit Oktoberfest on one specific day, and know you’re locked into one specific airport and flight time, then of course your options for finding cheap flights would be very limited compared to if you had some flexibility.
Our #1 rule for finding cheap flights to Munich Oktoberfest is to be flexible. This might mean finding the cheapest flight dates first before booking time off, or exploring other options like bundling your Oktoberfest trip with another city/country that’s cheaper to fly into.
Generally speaking, flights will usually be cheaper…
- Midweek, rather than on a weekend
- For red eyes or very early morning flights, rather than desirably timed flights
Familiarize yourself with credit card points for optimal value
Going to Oktoberfest in Munich is (for many) a once in a lifetime, bucket list experience.
As such, it’s definitely something worth saving up (and then splurging) for.
If you’re already a seasoned travel hacker, then you can skip this part of the post, but if you’re not really sure how picking the right credit card can help you find a cheaper flight to Munich’s Oktoberfest, then keep reading.
So long as you aren’t spending beyond your means, you can think of credit card spending as an excellent way to earn additional rewards for money you’re spending anyway. Add on the stellar sign-up bonuses offered by many credit card companies, and the deal gets even sweeter.
FOR EXAMPLE: A few years ago, we signed up for the horrendously expensive American Express Platinum card, which costs $550 USD (or $699 CAD). However, included in the fee is a $200 travel credit, and a sign-up bonus of potentially 85,000 points if you use a special referral link like this one.
This 60,000 points is enough to redeem a roundtrip flight anywhere in Europe from North America according to Amex’s fixed points travel program. So effectively, when you get this sign up bonus, you get a flight to Europe (or a potential flight to Munich Oktoberfest!)
So the worst case scenario is that you’re paying $550 USD for a roundtrip flight to Europe (really $350 USD, if you use the travel credit elsewhere), BUT add on the multitude of other perks like travel insurance, and free lounge access for you and a +1, and it is very worth it for the first year.
Discussing points and credit cards is way beyond the scope of this one article, but it’s definitely worth exploring this wild world of credit card points so you can shave a significant amount off your flight price, or even score a great value upgrade up to business or first class!
Browse in Incognito Mode
Lastly, this is somewhat iffy advice and isn’t necessarily guaranteed to give you results, BUT hey, it also doesn’t hurt, so we figured we would include it.
Anecdotally, many people have reported that flight prices can go up when they search the same route frequently. Many take this to mean that flight companies are actively monitoring your search activity and upping prices to gauge you on flights they know you want.
While there isn’t concrete proof that this occurs, an easy way to prevent it from happening is browsing in Incognito Mode.
Incognito Mode (or Private Browsing) is a mode on most internet browsers that allows you to browse the Internet without storing any data on your computer or tracking your history from that session. This helps ensure that companies don’t know you’re coming back and searching the same route over and over.
Alright, with those general tips out of the way, let’s get into the step by step of finding cheap flights for Oktoberfest!
Step One: Look Into instant discounts and cash back for flight bookings
Alright, before we actually start looking for flight deals to Munich, let’s start with quick ways you can get instant discounts/savings.
There are several services out there that can help you get the cheapest deal on your bookings every time, whether that’s for a flight, for a hotel, or just for your everyday online purchases. Here are two you should definitely use…
The first one is Honey.
Honey is a Google Chrome extension that scours the web for coupon codes and automatically applies them for you at checkout, which means you can save money without doing… anything.
This works for online shopping of all kinds, including flights and travel.
And well, for those of us who are forgetful and lazy, it’s perfect because you just install it once and then it’ll work in the background and pop up to let you know anytime they’re able to find an additional coupon code or deal.
Super low maintenance, and basically free money. Click here to check out Honey!
Rakuten, Formerly Known as Ebates
The second is Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates. It’s a cashback website that gives you anywhere from 1-10% cashback on your purchases that you make online.
I know it sounds too good to be true, but we’ve used them for years and have had no trouble collecting my so-called “Big Fat Check” payments from them via Paypal.
In brief, this is how it works: when you make a free account with Rakuten and start shopping online at your favourite vendors through them, Rakuten makes a small affiliate commission (at no extra cost to you).
They then basically pass on a portion of their commission to you as cashback, sharing their earnings and saving you some dough!
Sure this won’t get you rich overnight, but it’s (again) pretty much free money, and can add up nicely for large purchases like flights. Click here to check out Rakuten and even get a free $10 cash credit to get you started.
EXAMPLE: Rakuten is partnered with dozens of different airlines which offer a range of cashback options, from measley 1% cashback (which I guess can add up too) to even 10% for select sites. Most of the world’s major airlines and travel aggregators are included, so it’s likely your desired airline will be part of the list.
And while 1-5% doesn’t seem like much to get back, it’s still better than nothing, and can add up nicely when you use it for multiple purchases.
Step Two: Brainstorm Where You’re Flexible
Alright, remember what we said at the beginning about the importance of flexibility?
Our next step is to think about where we might have some wiggle room.
Think of it like this, if you NEED to fly out on ONE specific date to one specific place, you are locked into a very small pool of options. Expand that pool and you can find some truly amazing deals.
So, for now, think about ways you can potentially be flexible, whether that’s with which dates you attend, which days you fly out, which airports you depart from, or (this is a big one) if it makes sense to bundle your Munich Oktoberfest trip with another destination that’s cheaper to fly into!
Here are some potential areas for “wiggle room” if you’re looking for cheap flights to Oktoberfest:
- Departure Airport (i.e. which airport you leave from)
- Arrival Airport (i.e. which airport you arrive at)
With a list of your flex points in mind, you are better equipped later for seeking out cheap deals.
Step Three: Have a Quick Look at Deal Websites
The odds of finding a cheap flight deal (or error fare!) from your specific destination to Munich in time for Oktoberfest are low…. but not zero, so let’s quickly have a look at deal websites to see.
If you don’t have any go-to websites for deals yet, here are some options.
Airfarewatchdog does a lot and has way too many features for us to cover in this one post, but the feature we use most is their Deals page where you enter your Departure airport and it shows you cheap flights leaving from there in a certain time period.
While, again, the odds of you finding a cheap flight to Munich this way is unlikely, you might spot other German airports, or other European airports with amazing deals. If you have the flexibility to add another destination to your trip, transportation within Europe can be very affordable, so flying into another city then booking an onwards bus, train, or flight to Munich could save you a ton of money.
Secret Flying is a site that posts news on error fares, cheap fares, and all sorts of great deals around the world.
We like to follow their updates on Facebook, but you can also subscribe on other channels. Their team does an amazing job at finding error fares and flight deals so you don’t have to.
Of course, there are a lot of other websites similar to Secret Flying that might be better suited to you depending on where you live. On that note, be sure to also check out…
Local Deal Sites
Depending on where you live, there may be a local site that curates deals departing from your nearby airports.
There’s Scott’s Cheap Flights for example, which caters to an American audience, but many major cities have similar sites these days all available for free, so be sure to do some research and see if your city has one.
EXAMPLE: One time, Secret Flying helped me score a VERY cheap flight home ($400!) for Christmas.
Step Four: Hop On Google Flights And Do An Initial Search
No luck finding an optimal flight deal to help you get to Munich for Oktoberfest? Don’t worry – it’s time to dig into some actual flight research!
For the purpose of this guide, we’ll be using Google Flights, which is a great free tool with a lot of unique functionalities.
Step by step, this is what we’re going to do…
First: Enter the Airports You Would Like to Search From
A function we love on Google Flights is you can search up multiple departure/destination airports at once.
All you need to do is type your first airport code in the search area, hit comma, and then it’ll add that airport and also let you add additional airports afterwards.
This is really good if your city has multiple airports, if you’re willing to use other nearby airports in the area, or are otherwise flexible with your destination.
Of course, if you’re tied to a specific departure airport, then feel free to just type that one in and move on.
Second: Check your options on a “Date Grid”
Flexible on your departure dates (even if it’s by a day or two?) Good.
Another great thing we love about Google Flights is the way they display their search results. If you click on “Date Grid” especially, you get a beautiful matrix that shows you the cheapest options on a neat table.
This can help you identify the cheapest dates to fly, with minimal effort!
Third: Check other options for airports to fly into
Lastly, if you do have some wiggle rooms with regards to your destination airport (i.e. you wouldn’t mind combining your Oktoberfest trip with a few days in Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, or another city), then be sure to use the Google Maps Explore Map.
With it, you can plug in your departure airport, dates, and see all the cheap places you can go on a map.
The results actually pop up as you navigate through the map so you can see results from anywhere in the world at a glance. If you spot an incredibly cheap flight to any airport in Europe (the closer to Munich, the better), then it’s time to crunch some numbers.
If you find a very cheap flight to Paris for example (and you wouldn’t mind visiting Paris too), then you can look into possible transport between Paris and Munich (Omio is a great tool for this). If the numbers total up to be cheaper than a direct flight to Munich (which it often can be), then this is another great realm to explore.
Step Five: Set Up Alerts for This Route or Move Onto the Purchase Stage
If you’ve found a deal you like, and are ready to buy straight away, then great! Move onto the next step.
If you’re still feeling a bit non-committal, you can also set up a fare alert for your top routes and wait it out for a little while longer to see if the price drops.
A common question that people have is “when is the best time to buy flights for Oktoberfest?”
The annoying answer is it depends. Gone are the days that you can reliably say that flights are cheapest x number of days before a flight. It all depends on supply and demand… and while some deals could be found by waiting longer, there’s an equal chance that flights start selling out and prices go up.
Especially for a popular event like Oktoberfest, we wouldn’t advise waiting to buy flights last minute in hopes of a deal. We prefer to err on the side of caution and tend to buy flights several months in advance (up to 6 months), just to make sure we have it in the calendar.
But hey, if you find the flights truly outrageous, then waiting a few more days/weeks would probably be fine. Just keep in mind that there are risks in waiting to book, just as there would be risks in booking early and then having the fare dropping.
Step Six: Do Checks to Ensure You’re Getting the Best Deal
Alright, let’s say you’ve found your ideal route and you are ready to book! Before you go ahead and book that flight, there are some other steps you can follow to just double check you are getting the best possible deal for your Oktoberfest flight.
Check other flight aggregators
Google Flights is an amazing research tool, but often you’ll find cheaper fares when you use other flight aggregators.
Of course, this often means booking through an agency and not directly, which can have its own downsides, but if cost is your #1 priority, then this is a handy extra step.
Check flights in the local currency and language
Fun fact: you can sometimes save quite a bit of money on fares by browsing on that airline’s local language website, rather than in English.
The gist of this technique is that you browse flights on the airline’s local language and currency, then book through that local version to find cheaper deals.
This is commonly done with Norweigan, a popular low cost carrier, and I’ve tested it before, and it works!
Basically you log onto the Norweigan website, use Google Chrome to translate and make it less scary, then compare the fares.
Often, you’ll find that the local currency works out to be cheaper, depending on the exchange rate. A simple trick, but one that can save you loads!
See if you can redeem any credit card points
Remember when we talked about points earlier? Now is the time to assess whether or not you’d like to use up the stash of points you’ve been hoarding.
Often, using points can help you reduce your costs significantly, with many credit card hackers choosing to use points to pay for a luxurious flight experience (i.e. business or first class).
How you use your points is up to you, but don’t forget to look into whether or not you have enough to redeem for something worthwhile!
Step Seven: Book That Flight!
Alright, after following all those steps, you can be pretty confident that you’ve gotten a decent deal on your flights to Oktoberfest, so it’s time to book.
We trust that you can take it from here, but just think of us smiling in the background like proud parents as you do so.
… And don’t forget to use a cashback service like Rakuten so you can get a little kickback, as well as search for some coupon codes before pressing ‘Pay’. Remember when we mentioned Honey earlier? Now would be a good time to use it.
…… Okay, helicopter parenting over.
Step Eight: Consult All Our Other Oktoberfest Planning Guides!
Now that your flight is booked, that’s a huge chunk of your work done… but what about booking the perfect Oktoberfest hotel, or Oktoberfest table reservations to your tent of choice?
The rest of our site can help with that… Enjoy!
Have any more Questions About Finding Cheap Flights to Oktoberfest?
Let us know in the comments!