We know that you love to travel—we do too! We also know that one of the biggest expenses of a trip can be your airfare. With decades of travel planning under our belts, we know a thing or two about finding the best online deals. We’ve included some tips and tricks, along with websites approved by us and other seasoned travelers to bring you a list of the best sites to find cheap flights.
The 6 Best Sites for Cheap Flights
There’s no one stop shop
While all the sites on our list search for the best prices, we recommend using a combination of them to find the best deal. Each site pulls from a variety of airlines and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) to bring you the lowest prices; however, each site has access to different resources.
What’s the deal with mistake fares?
In your search for the lowest price, you might come across some extraordinary deals. We’re not talking about an airline promotion, we’re talking about a massively reduced rate for an international flight. We know what it feels like to stumble upon one of these flight deals: excitement, disbelief, and the pressure to book ASAP. If you do find one of these “mistake fares,” please keep in mind that the deal won’t last long, as most only last a few hours, if that.
The cause for the extremely low price is most likely due to human error, a glitch, or a fuel dump. These “errors” will not be labeled as such, and sometimes it is not clear if you are booking a mistake fare or a promotional airfare deal. Given that it is a mistake fare, it’s important to note that airlines are no longer required to honor these mistakes and could cancel your reservation at anytime. With that being said many of these errors are often honored.
Experts say it’s best to wait about a week to see if the airline honors your ticket before making any further plans. They also say that you should never call the airline to inquire about your error purchase.
Our favorite airfare mistake story is the time Priceline had a price glitch for an international flight route that included New York City to Italy and then Prague to Tokyo. The final airfare price was $151.70 per person!
She Hit Refresh’s co-founder, Cepee, immediately bought three tickets: one for herself and one for her brother and sister, all before even asking them. Hey, you gotta act fast! She then woke them up with an early morning surprise, telling them to take off school and work because they were going to Italy, the Czech Republic, and Japan! Here’s the proof:
You may be wondering how they made it back home from Japan. Luckily they had enough airfare miles to get one-way tickets home.
Our Picks for the Best Cheap Flights Sites
Google is our go-to search engine for everything, so it’s no surprise that Google Flights is one of the most popular places to search for the best flight prices online. It’s fast, powerful, and easy to use. And it has a lot of cool features, such as:
- Multiple airport searches. Include up to five airports in your search to find the best departure and arrival airport for your trip.
- Price tracking. If you’re not ready to book, you can keep an eye on a flight by setting up tracking on it. You’ll receive email alerts when the price of the flight changes significantly.
- The explore map. Don’t have a destination in mind? This search tool allows you to search for the best flights from your starting point to anywhere in the world. Just plug in your dates and departure city.
- Price calendar. See a calendar of pricing for two months that shows you the cheapest days to fly.
Google flights searches most major airlines and OTA’s to provide the best flight prices; however, it does not search for mistake fares.
Momondo may not be as well known as other sites, but it is one of the largest and best sites for cheap flights. It’s also a free travel fare aggregator. It pulls information from over a thousand sites, including smaller budget airlines that other sites leave out of their results. Momondo also incorporates helpful features like price tracking, a price calendar, and a trip finder if you need help deciding where to go.
Scott’s Cheap Flights recommends searching for the best dates to fly on Google Flights and then plugging those dates into Momondo’s site to possibly find an even better rate.
Another great travel search engine we frequently use is Skyscanner. It’s an airfare aggregator and search engine that searches multiple airlines to bring you the cheapest fares. Like Google Flights, it has a lot of cool features such as the “search everywhere tool” that allows you to search by departure city and date, while leaving the arrival city open to find the best deals. You can also search a flight price by month instead of a specific date to see the best daily prices over a two-month period.
Have you heard of Hack the Flight? Neither had we but since then we’ve signed up for the newsletters and here’s why! This airfare aggregator casts a wide net to bring you all the online deals in one place. You can sign up to get regular notifications and a newsletter so that you don’t miss any deals. Search their dashboard for “hot deals” as well as deals to/from specific destinations.
Yes, the ever so popular and one of our favorites, Secret Flying! Why is it you ask? Because it brings you both the best promotional deals and mistake fares from around the world. You can do a simple search on their site by region, point of departure, destination, and month. We prefer to follow their Facebook page to stay abreast of all the deals they find. They also have a newsletter and announce deals on Twitter, Google +, and Instagram. These deals go quickly so you need to act fast to snag one.
A different travel site from the rest of them is Scott’s Cheap flights. It is a subscription-based site that sends alerts about the best international flight deals. They offer a free and premium subscription. Premium subscribers have the option of receiving all of Scott’s Cheap Flight deals, while free subscribers receive about one-third of the deals. You can choose to receive deals from a variety of departure points: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. They will add Africa soon, crossing our fingers!