A Guide to Finding Inexpensive Flights

While some people have these things called hobbies, I enjoy finding cheap airfare. It’s become somewhat of a game to me. I have become the official flight finder for my friends and family. At this point I might just have to start charging a booking fee.

I’m in the mood to do a good deed so I thought that I would share my tips and tricks to finding the cheapest airfare.

Skyscanner

Good for being spontaneous

http://www.skyscanner.com

Skyscanner is where I always start my search. You begin by putting in which airport you’d like to fly out of and then have the option of choosing a specific destination or anywhere in the world. You also have the choice of specific dates or all dates within a whole month/year. If you choose the everywhere option as well as non-specific dates, it will take you to a page that lists various destinations cheapest to most expensive on each day of that month. Skyscanner is the best for those uncertain where they want to go and have flexibility with their travel plans. This website helped me score an $80 airfare from Rome to London round trip with Norwegian. Study abroad students/ backpacker should bookmark this website.

Airfarewatchdog

http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/

Great for domestic travel

Airfarwatchdog is a website that will tell you the current best fares from your city within the next 30 days. They also have the feature that allows you to search for airfare on specific dates, but I have honestly never used it. As I go on it right now, I see airfare from Des Moines to Las Vegas, Orlando, Atlanta and Phoenix all under $145.00 round-trip. Once you click on whatever you’re interested in, it will tell you what airline they found the airfare on and direct you to their website to book it. Airfarewatchdog also offers features that update you if there is a price drop on a flight you are interested in as wells as email you airfare deals weekly from whatever city you choose.

 

Secret Flying

http://www.secretflying.com/search2

Useful for finding error deals

Secret Flying is a website I just recently found. I have not booked any flights with them yet, but I sure will in the future. This website is amazingggg for international travel. They search for incredibly cheap flights as well as find error deals (pricing mistakes made by airlines). Some current ones that I see right now are Pitsburg to Cork, Ireland for $199 round trip as wells as Atlanta to Venice for $495. This is another website that is great if you’re undecided on where to go and have somewhat flexible dates.

Cheap O Air

https://www.cheapoair.com/

For the person with an airline preference

Cheap O Air is set up like any normal airfare finding website such as Kayak or Expedia. You put in your desired route of travel/dates and it searches hundreds of websites to find the cheapest prices. It will bring you to a page that compares each airline’s cost as well as the itineraries which is nice if you have a preference. Though I am not picky about airlines, I do know a lot of people that won’t fly certain carriers. I have found some pretty great flights on here. Back in 2013 I booked a flight from JFK to Milan for $750 round-trip on Emirates. After purchasing the ticket I looked on Emirates website to see how much it was listed for. I was amazed to see they had it for sale for $1,800. Being a bit more naive back then, I called Emirates to make sure I wasn’t just scammed. They confirmed with me that it was legit as well as congratulated me for finding such a great deal (lol).

Google Flights

https://www.google.com/flights/

Good for the lazy person

I love Google Flights. It’s very simple and great for those that want a visual when choosing where they want to go. When you search your planned itinerary, Google Flights shows you the cheapest fares along with the times of day the flight departs at. You are also able to pick a different carrier for your return flight and they make that super easy to book. What separates Google Flights from the other websites is their Flight Map. This feature pulls up a map of the whole world and shows you the price from your chosen city to every city possible. I love exploring on this map because it shows you possibilities that you didn’t even think of. I was recently looking at prices from Minneapolis to Mexico for my spring break and stumbled upon flights to Lima. Peru for $450 round-trip. I am now excited to say I will be hiking Machu Picchu with my week off in March.

The Matrix

For the person that likes filters

The Matrix Airfare Search is also powered by Google and a great tool to use. This is definitely less popular than other websites, but I’m not really sure why. The Matrix has an option of finding flights up to 2,000 miles (you can choose less) from your start and end airports. For example, maybe flying from Chicago instead of Minneapolis will save you $500 or flying into Dublin vs London will save you $300. It also has a flexible calendar which makes it easy to view price by date as well as color-coded time bars to find flights that won’t have you up too early or too late. You can decide if you’re okay with having airport changes as well as layovers. The Matrix goes so in depth that it will even calculate your cost per miles. What I really love is that it doesn’t only search economy options. If you’re interested in flying economy plus, business or first, you can see the lowest fares for those cabins too, something I have yet to find on other websites.

 

What is the best deal you have ever found?

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