Have you ever booked a flight and wondered whether or not you actually got the cheapest flight available? I totally admit to looking around at the other passengers on a flight and wondering how much they paid for their seat.
Searching for cheap flights can be tricky with so many different cheap flight websites to choose from. There can be pages of search results to look through and uncertainty over whether now is actually the right time to book. Let’s get rid of some of the guesswork, shall we?
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- why not all online airfare booking sites are created equal,
- the best websites to find cheap flights, and
- 5 tips to use in your flight searches no matter which search tool you choose.
The Best Websites to Find Cheap Flights +
5 Useful Flight Search Tips
Before diving into actionable tips and resources for finding cheap flights, it’s important to understand the why behind them. I often get asked, “Why did you recommend this X website over a booking site like Expedia or Travelocity? I’ve never even heard of X.
Ok, so how many of you have comparison shopped for the best airfare on websites like Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity?
I’m willing to go out on a limb and say many of us have done these exact comparison searches for countless trips.
In fact, large travel brands like Expedia, Inc. often own many smaller booking sites for airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more.
So, when you think you’ve comparison shopped for the cheapest airfare on sites like Expedia, Orbitz, or Travelocity, you may have actually just seen the same results over and over. Even slight price differences in these comparison searches often prioritize the cheapest booking results to include booking sites all owned by the same company.
You’re probably asking yourself,“Then, where should I search for cheap flights?”
To be clear, it’s not that Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and other popular OTAs (online travel agencies) don’t ever have the cheapest flights.
But, it’s important to understand the process and why it’s in your best interest to search on websites whose function is not a booking site, but rather a website where airfare prices are pulled from numerous airlines and travel websites regardless of the parent company.
These types of websites are called aggregators because they do just that. They aggregate or bring together all the information about the airfare prices for your selected route.
Best Websites to Find Cheap Flights
UsingGoogle Flightsto search for cheap flights is simple and straightforward. That’s why it’s one of the best sites to find cheap flights.
Enter in your search details and results from many airlines will show. The calendar lets you scroll to check for cheaper dates.
Google Flights will also show money-saving tips if you change your day or airports. You can use the date grid or price graph to see the lowest travel dates. There are also filters for price, the number of stops, time day, airlines and their alliances, and even the ability to select preferred cities for possible connections. If you’d like to track fares, turn on the “track prices” button to get email alerts for your route.
However, Google Flights also has a “hidden” explore feature that is perfect for flexible travelers.
Navigate toGoogle.com/flights/exploreor click on explore from the lefthand-side menu on the Google Flights homepage and search airfare from your departure airport to an entire region. For example, I can search New York City toEuropeor theCaribbean.
This “secret” explore feature shows the cheapest flights to several places in that region, along with filters that allow you to refine preferences while still looking over the next 6 months for the cheapest dates to fly to a particular region or destination. (For more on this “let the deal come to you” approach, keep reading below.)
If you find a flight on Google Flights, select that flight and you’ll be redirected to the booking site. Flights cannot be booked directly on Google Flights.
ProTip: Some airlines cannot be searched using Google Flights. The most notable for U.S.-based travelers is Southwest. You’ll have to go to Southwest’s website directly and use their low fare calendar to see the cheapest travel dates.
Momondois a powerful search tool with a lot of possibilities. That’s why it’s listed as a best place to find cheap flights. It’s a comprehensive aggregator that pulls in airfares from over 1000+ airlines, online booking sites, travel agencies, search engines, and other travel discount sites.
In fact, studies across a wide range of travel booking sites have shownMomondoto find the cheapest airfare 95% of the time.
At its most basic level, Momondo can search for the cheapest flights on your selected dates, but also shows a bar graph above the results letting you know the least expensive days to fly. With the prices, Momondo shows the seat class, additional fares, and labels like “cheapest,” “best,” or “no change fees.”
Advanced search features include selecting connecting cities and limiting searches to specific airlines and alliances.
Once your results have been displayed, on the right side above the bar graph, you can click on flight insights for your chosen route.Momondowill show historic pricing data, including the days, times, and airlines that have known to be the cheapest.
Momondo also shows numerous budget airlines in their searches. For example, a search for short Southeast Asian flights will show budget carriers like Air Asia, Jetstar, and FlyScoot.
Momondo frequently creates itineraries with different departing and arrival airlines, saving you the time it would take to search each leg individually in order to identify the best price.
With Momondo’s Explore feature, you can click on a theme like “beaches” or “cities”, set the continent, month, and budget, and Momondo will return with trip ideas and the best times to visit based on price and weather.
Momondois not a true booking site so, once you find the flight you’d like, you’ll likely be redirected to the appropriate booking site. In some cases, the flight you’re looking at may be bookable on Momondo.
Momondo does show airfare being sold on booking sites that you may be unfamiliar with. So be sure to read the terms and conditions and, ultimately, book on a site with which you feel comfortable. Momondo is recommended by trusted sources like Scott’s Cheap Flights, Frommer’s, and the New York Times, among others.
To learn more, readwhy you need to know Momondo for cheap airfare.
Another comprehensive aggregator and best cheap flight website, Skyscanner doesn’t rely on third parties, but searches over 1000+ airlines, booking sites, and travel agencies for the best airfare.
After entering your search terms, you’ll have the option to see a calendar view or a chart. Both aim to show you the most affordable dates to fly your selected route.
Once you choose your dates, Skyscanner will show your results. The results can be filtered by factors like date, time, airline, and alliance.
As with Google Flights andMomondo,you can’t book your flights on Skyscanner. You’ll be redirected to the appropriate website.
If you’re booking an economy fare, watch out for basic economy fares versus regular economy, as sometimes it’s not obvious which you’re booking until you’re offered 2 price options while being redirected from Skyscanner.
Skyscanneralso has a monthly list of destinations with themes like “Where’s Hot” if you’re searching for warm weather, for example. You can also search for the best airfare prices to “everywhere” from your departure city to check airfares across a range of destinations.
Best Resources for Mistake Fares & Deals
A mistake or error fare is exactly as it sounds. Human errors happen and a zero is missed or a decimal point is in the wrong place. If you know where to look and take advantage right away, you could end up with an unbeatable airfare deal!
Cheap Flight Email Alert Subscriptions
Cheap flights seem to be everywhere except when you’re looking for them! That’s where a cheap flight email alert service likeMatt’s FlightsorScott’s Cheap Flightscome in handy. These guys send emails alerting subscribers to discount and error airfares.
Both offer free or premium services. Premium subscribers hear about 100% of the deals and more quickly than those subscribers on the free plan. Either way, you want to make sure you’re signed up to get cheap flight email alerts.
These flight subscription services cater specifically to travelers who are willing to let the deals come to them rather than setting a fixed destination. For example, you may not have been thinking you would travel to Paris but then you receive an email alert about a $200 deal to Paris. So, croissants and the Eiffel Tower it is!
Secret Flying & The Flight Deal
Secret FlyingandThe Flight Dealpost mistake fares and daily deals throughout the day as they are discovered. Wanderlusters will want to follow both on social media and have their bags packed and ready for just about any destination on the globe.
Additional Cheap Flights Booking Sites & Tools
Hopperis a mobile app that has taken all of the guesswork out of knowing whether you’re getting a good deal. They’ve analyzed the airfare data and their price prediction tools can tell you when to book and when to wait…with a 95% accuracy rate up to a year in advance!
The app is user-friendly and even lets you watch flights so you’ll know when the price goes down so you can book.
It’s an invaluable cheap flights tool to pair with the websites mentioned above.
Called a “consolidator” in travel-speak,CheapOairis a website that purchases blocks of tickets from airlines directly for the cheapest rates and then resells them to customers slightly above their cost.
Similar to Secret Flying and The Flight Deal mentioned above, FareDealAlert is a good website to look for error fares and timely deals.
Kiwioperates a bit differently by piecing together the cheapest itinerary with unconnected tickets on a variety of airlines. You can search a range of dates and destinations for the cheapest airfare.
The risk comes if you miss your connection or a flight is delayed. Individual airlines have no responsibility in helping you out because of a problem with another airline.
Bags may also have to be rechecked depending on your routing. Kiwi does offer some assurances, though, should you miss a flight or have a flight change or delay. They’ll either reschedule you on the next, most convenient flight or refund the price of your unused tickets.
Either way, Kiwi is best for flexible travelers looking for the best price.
AirWanderis a flight search tool that calculates the cheapest stopover cities to add to your trip itinerary. A stopover is different from a layover or a connection in that it lasts for at least 24 hours.
Adding stopovers to your itinerary adds destinations to your overall trip. And, who doesn’t love visiting more cities and countries when you travel?!
Award travelers are familiar with the concept of stopovers because several airline loyalty programs allow free stopovers on tickets booked with airline miles and points.
However, adding stopovers hasn’t always been cost-effective or convenient to figure out when searching on traditional flight search engines. That’s where AirWander comes in.
It’s the only flight search website that makes it beyond easy to calculate and add stopovers to your flight itinerary.
Simply enter your departure airport, your destination,and your travel dates. AirWander will suggest cities for stopovers and show the +/- price differences associated with each stop.
5 Useful Flight Search Tips
No matter where you want to fly or which website you ultimately decide to search for cheap flights, it’s not all about which search engine you use.
If you’re wondering how everyone else always seems to find a better deal than you, it could be they’re using 1 or all of the tips below.
1. Hide Your Browser.
Websites and browsers store information about the sites you have visited. This could cause prices to go up the next time you return to your search.
One way to get around this is to use an incognito window or a private browsing feature while searching for airfare.
If you use Google Chrome, click on the 3 dots in the upper-righthand corner to open a new incognito window. Chrome and Safari users can also press “control + shift + N for a new incognito window.
Internet Explorer and Firefox users can use the keyboard shortcut “control + shift + P” and a new private browser window will open.
Keep in mind, you should open up new incognito/private windows every time you search. Yet, even with this, websites will begin to figure out who you are. If you see airfare prices have gone up from the last search in an incognito/private window, switch to a different device.
2. Let the Deals Find You.
Truly savvy travelers who routinely “find” the best deals oftentimes don’t actually do much searching. Quite the opposite, they let the deals come to them.
First, look for mistake/error fares and/or downright cheap deals on websites like Secret Flying and The Flight Deal. Sign up for emails fromScott’s Cheap Flights.
When you see an incredibly cheap fare, book it and then figure out why you should go there. Don’t delay! The price could change even in just a few minutes.
In my travel hacking Facebook Group, a member did just this. He and his wife were looking to take a trip. When they found an unbeatable fare from their home airport to Iceland, they booked. It was only after this when they began researching things to do and all the must-see spots in Iceland.
Bottom line is, being flexible with your destination, and taking advantage of deals as they come up can return big rewards.
3. Don’t miss out on a timely mistake fare or deal.
Knowing where to look for deals is only half the battle.
You also need to make sure you don’t miss out because many mistake/error fares typically are gone in 24 hours or less.With so many notifications, emails, and social media messages vying for our attention, it’s easy for an amazing deal to miss your radar.
Follow Secret Flying and The Flight Deal on social media and sign up for their email lists. If you’re on Twitter, create a list with just a few flight deal accounts so you don’t miss deal tweets.
On Facebook, I’ve liked these pages andset them up so Facebook shows me their posts first in my newsfeed.Like the Facebook page and click the “Following” button for the drop-down menu with options about notifications.
Scott’s Cheap Flightshas a premium email service that will even text some of the best deals directly to your phone. This is how I booked an $81 round trip ticket from Philadelphia to Las Vegas or a $320 round-trip flight from New York to Malaysia!
Once you set up a system to catch these notifications, you’ll be better positioned to see mistake fares and deals as soon as they are made public.
4. Do your research.
In order to know if the price you’re seeing is a deal or not,take a few minutes to research what a typical airfare to your destination costs.
Eliminating the obvious bargain-basement error fare, how will you otherwise know you should take advantage of a deal or price?
The easiest way to figure this out is to use Google Flights.
Enter from where you’re departing and the destination to which you’d like to fly. Click on the field to enter a departure date, but let the calendar open.
Scroll through the months and Google Flights will show the departure price for each date. You’re sure to see a price range you can now use as a guideline to make buying decisions later on.
5. Use Wikipedia to find budget airlines.
Wikipedia is a great tool for award travelers trying to figure out which airlines fly which routes. With this information, it’s easier to see which miles or points are needed tobook an award flight.
However, Wikipedia is also a great tool to find routes operated by budget airlines, especially when many of these airlines don’t necessarily show up in travel search engine results.
First, you’re going to search in Google for the airport wiki page for your destination.For example, if you’re planning a Southeast Asian trip and you’d like to fly from Singapore to Bali, Indonesia, search “Bali airport wiki” in Google.
The first result will be the airport’s wiki page.Open the page and scroll down to the “Airlines and Destinations” chart.
You’ll see all the airlines that fly to Bali and from where. There are airlines like FlyScoot, Lion Air, and Jetstar Asia which you may or may not have shown up in your flight searches on traditional online booking sites. I
f not, go directly to each budget airline’s website and price the route you need.
Finding the cheapest flights doesn’t have to be so complicated.Take the resources and tips in this guide. Formulate a strategy to use when looking for the best airfare prices. Once you do, you’ll know for sure you got one of the best deals out of all your fellow passengers!
What tips and tools do you use to find the cheapest flights?
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Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices. In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”.
- Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly domestically.
- Saturday and Monday flights can help you avoid the Sunday rush.
- Wednesdays and Thursdays are the cheapest day to fly internationally.
- Book one to three months in advance.
- Set a price alert.
Timing plays an important part. Specifically, plane tickets usually don't get cheaper closer to the departure date. Instead, flights tend to be the most inexpensive when you book between four months and three weeks before your departure date. According to CheapAir.com, you can expect rates to go up after that period.
Can my 3 year old fly for free? After the age of 2, your child will need to purchase their own seat. Some airlines offer discounts for younger passengers, however in many cases (especially when booking with miles or points) you will be responsible for paying the full fare for your child's seat.
|Airline||Carry On Fee||International Size; Weight (N/A unless noted)|
|American Airlines||Free*||22 x 14 x 9|
|Delta Air Lines||Free*||22 x 14 x 9|
|United Airlines||Free*||22 x 14 x 9|
|Southwest Airlines||Free||10 x 16 x 24|
(CNN) — There are some secret areas on widebody aircraft, where the pilots and cabin crew go to rest during long flights. Passengers can't access them under any circumstance and they're well hidden from view. They're called Crew Rest Compartments and their location on the plane varies.
To avail Flat 50% discount simply enter coupon code CT50AIR before making payment. Offer is applicable for limited domestic one way flight bookings. Customer can book for maximum 1 passengers in single domestic one ways flight transaction. Dates of travel are completely open.
Air marshals can be found on approximately 5% of flights. The main reason why there aren't air marshals on every flight is because it simply wouldn't be cost-effective (the cost for each air marshal is estimated to be around $3,300 per flight).
In 2022, the cheapest day of the week to fly is Wednesday. Flying on Wednesday will save you $57 per airline ticket versus the most expensive day to travel, which is Sunday. Tuesday follows Wednesday closely, with average savings of $56 versus the most expensive day to fly.
If you can be flexible with which month you fly in, January is the cheapest of the year for domestic flights (it's 10% cheaper than June). Surprisingly, August is cheapest for international flights these days (20% cheaper than December).
Is it cheaper to book a flight at the last minute? We've said this before, but it's worth repeating at the outset—no, it's really not cheaper to book a flight at the last minute. Yes, last minute travelers used to score the occasional fare so low it might have induced shock, but that's no longer the case.
It is always a good idea to book a flight at midnight. Yes, during midnight the prices of the flight go down. A trend is that Thursday Midnights are usually a great time for making your reservations for both domestic and international flights.
Not only do airfares change often over the life of the fare, it can also change during the day. Factors that can impact these mid-day changes include flight demand, flight availability and external factors like COVID-19 virus and even geopolitics. We'll talk a little bit about each.
While it's almost always cheaper to book a room last-minute, how much cheaper is it, really? Turns out, though a bit cheaper, don't expect the bargain bin here.
When is it safe to travel with a newborn baby by plane? In general, doctors recommend you wait to fly until your baby's immune system is better developed. This could be as soon as one month for full-term infants, though most doctors recommend anywhere between three months and six months.
We're here to take you and your family wherever you need to go. Infants or children under 2 years of age can travel on the lap of an adult for free (within the United States) or at a reduced fare (for international travel).
Some airlines permit this for kids as young as 12. When a child has reached this minimum age for traveling alone without unaccompanied-minor procedures, the airline does not require evidence of parental permission to travel alone. If the child has a passport, he or she can even travel internationally.
The short answer to this question is yes, oftentimes pilots do get free flights as a perk of their job that they get to use just like any other passenger. But that's not always the case as it really depends heavily on the airline that the pilot is working for.
Complimentary drinks and snacks
We offer fresh coffee, tea, juice, water and soft drinks, as well as complimentary snacks on board. AAdvantage Executive Platinum® and ConciergeKey® members also get a complimentary alcoholic drink and food menu item during their flight.
Free travel is one of the most enticing perks of working in the airline industry, but there's a major asterisk involved. Airline employees have access to non-revenue travel, meaning you'll only get a seat if there's space available.
However, many widebody aircraft have a separate room hidden from passengers where crew members can relax in private.
Boeing research shows that takeoff and landing are statistically more dangerous than any other part of a flight. 49% of all fatal accidents happen during the final descent and landing phases of the average flight, while 14% of all fatal accidents happen during takeoff and initial climb.
Airplane cabins are chock-full of secret cameras, but they're not used to spy on passengers. Here's what they're for and where to find them.
Earn airline elite status
The most reliable way of getting upgraded for free is to have elite status on the airline you're flying. Most airlines reward their most frequent flyers with complimentary upgrades on domestic routes.
- Shop smart online. Shop discount airfare sites. ...
- Cash in those credit card airline points and miles. I know, I know. ...
- Become a frequent flier with one airline. ...
- Check with the airline directly. ...
- Travel smart with insurance. ...
- Be flexible and prepared. ...
- Book one leg at a time. ...
- Take a longer flight or schedule a longer layover.
- Start with Google Flights to set your expectations. ...
- Don't ignore budget airlines. ...
- Search multiple airports at once. ...
- Redeem airline miles for award flights. ...
- Use flexible bank points for paid flights without blackout dates. ...
- Search online for last-minute deals.
Yes, some airline pilots do carry guns in the cockpit but carry a gun lawfully they must belong to a special program called the Federal Flight Deck Officers (FFDOs). This program requires special training and pilots who enroll have strict limitations on when they can use the firearm.
United States. Many local, state, and federal US law enforcement agencies operate helicopters, and some operate fixed-wing aircraft.
A sky marshal is a covert law enforcement or counter-terrorist agent on board a commercial aircraft to counter aircraft hijackings. Such an agent is also known as an air marshal, a flight marshal, or an in-flight security officer (IFSO).
Most airlines will decrease ticket prices until 4 four months before the departure date. The ticket prices will generally remain lowest between 4 months and 3 weeks before the departure date, and then will increase 3 weeks before departure. Ticket prices are at their highest on the date of departure.
A flight alert tracks the price of a specific route or flight based on your origin, destination, and travel dates. Whenever the price goes up or down, you'll be notified through an alert.
Airlines change their prices depending on how many seats are available and how popular the route is. While flight comparison websites regularly scrape the web to find the latest prices. But different sites use different algorithms so the prices might be different depending on the tool you use.
When do flight prices drop during the week? According to our data: Tuesday. It seems most airlines launch their discounts on Monday nights, so you can pick up the best prices on Tuesday mornings. Typically, you'll save somewhere between 15 and 25 percent.
- Cheapest fares: January 7 to February 28.
- Cheapest single travel day: January 21.
- Best days of the week to fly: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, followed by Thursdays.
- Days to avoid: Prices are higher February 14-17 due to Valentine's Day and President's Day weekends.
Will clearing my cookies help me find a cheaper flight? No. Skyscanner is unbiased and, as mentioned above, the flight prices we display are based on what travel providers (online travel agencies and airlines) tell us they are.
Searches don't affect prices
There's a persistent myth out there that you need to clear your cookies or search in incognito mode when looking for flights. If you don't, the thinking goes, the airlines will see that you're interested in a certain flight or route and then jack up the prices so you pay more.
Flights do generally get more expensive the closer you get to flight time. This is because seats at the lowest fare levels sell out as a flight receives more and more bookings.
One of the reasons flight prices increase when you look back is just because they get more expensive nearer the time. Last-minute deals sometimes come around but, if you know you need a flight in advance, it's better to book sooner rather than later.