Signing up for email alerts from the airline is a good place to start. In addition to this, you can sign up for alerts for sites like
airfarewatchdog.com or use Bings travel predictor to see if now is a good time to buy. I also suggest searching nearby cities to see if cheaper fares exist. It must make sense in order to jump on that lower fare from another airport though. Consider your costs. For me, in order to drive to Portland, I need to save at least $50. It’s going to cost me about $30 in gas to drive round trip. One nice thing about driving to a smaller airport too is you should experience smaller crowds and a quicker process. Sometimes you might get better flight times as well, which all together makes it worth it for me. Don’t forget that sometimes it is cheaper in air miles too in leaving from a different airport so get creative.
Some great sites for looking for deals or creative ideas are the frequent flyer sites and mileage running sites. Although, I will admit some of the terminology may seem like a foreign language (still does to me) these sites have great forums filled with frequent fliers looking for great deals and sharing them. Flyertalk.com is one of my favorites. Other good sites are Webflyer and Insideflyer.
Some of today’s sales are on Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Check out the websites for complete deals or just click on the colored wording for direct access. SW has rates as low as $69 each way and the same for Alaska.