We are all hearing some pretty strange stories about how the airlines are charging people these days. I just recently heard about an airline that is considering laying their passengers and pricing their tickets accordingly. That’s pretty drastic stuff in my book, but then again, maybe it is justified. In any event, booking airline tickets can become a pretty expensive proposition.But we as customers of the airlines have a way to fight back. And what I mean by fighting back is shopping smart and saving money. Whether you’re traveling on business or for personal reasons there is no excuse not to be able to find the best airline travel deals. It is a simple matter of knowing where to look and then actually doing your homework by searching out the best airfares. It is not at all difficult and in my opinion, well worth the effort.I personally like to use the Internet to shop and compare airline travel deals. There are literally dozens and dozens of websites that are independent of the airlines and are therefore not beholden to them. What that means is that it is in their best interest to show you the very best airfares available.Some of these websites can be a little bit intimidating at first but you will soon find that they are actually quite easy to navigate. They can actually be quite enjoyable once you get the hang of them. I see travel websites as treasure maps and it is up to me to find the treasure, which in this case are exceptional airline travel deals.What you will find is that these travel sites usually offer a whole lot more than just airline tickets and information. Many of them offer package deals that include hotels, car rentals and visits to attractions such as theme parks and museums. Actually makes perfect sense doesn’t it? The bottom line is that you can get great airfares as a part of a travel package.Another excellent alternative is booking last minute flight reservations. Usually to find the best deals you have to book your flight well in advance. But a little known secret is that if you are flexible enough and can travel at the last minute there are some great deals to be had. Airlines faced with last-minute cancellations will price their tickets to sell as opposed to having those seats go empty and the airline not making any money on them.If you do find a great deal on last minute cheap flights then you must be prepared to travel at odd times. Usually what happens is that the airlines have most of their empty seats during their red-eye flights. But for my money, traveling at odd hours of the morning and night is an inconvenience that is more than compensated for by the savings enjoyed for the airline tickets.I have personally had great success and save a lot of money by doing my comparison shopping online and taking advantage of those great airline travel deals that are available. They are out there believe me, you just need to know where to look.