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With flight prices at an all-time high, many people are looking for the best ways to find affordable flights. I am always looking for ways to get to where I want to go as cheaply as possible without sacrificing quality or time. That’s where the best discount airline booking websites come in extremely handy.
Finding affordable flights can be tricky with so many airlines out there. Airline booking websites are designed to help you compare flight prices quickly and easily. I wouldn’t have been able to travel to half the places I have if it wasn’t for sites like these helping me find the cheapest fare. Let’s talk about how these websites work, the different types of discounts you can find, and my recommendations for the best discount airline booking websites based on my own experiences. Whether you’re planning a vacation or just need to take a quick trip, these sites will help you save money on your airfare.
Bottom Line Up Front
The best discount airline booking websites are typically a mixture of comparison sites and sites that alert you to rare flight deals. My personal favorites are Skyscanner, Google Flights, and Jack’s Flight Club. These three sites tend to give you the best deals and you can turn on a notification for them to let you know if your flight’s price has dropped.
My Top Picks
These are some of my top picks when it comes to finding an affordable flight:
- Skyscanner: A comprehensive comparison site, this is one I always use. I love their ‘Everywhere’ feature.
- Google Flights: Great for looking at lots of flight data at once. You can search for a lot of flights at once with this tool.
- KAYAK: A great travel search engine, KAYAK will compare prices across various sites. Their ‘Hacker Fares’ are great for helping you find a bargain.
- Momondo: Full of features, Momondo is great for finding cheap flights. It’s a very visual engine and allows you to see the cheapest flights at a glance.
- Jack’s Flight Club: A great site for finding last-minute deals, they send the cheapest flights straight to your inbox.
- Expedia: If you want to book a package vacation but also want to choose everything yourself, you’ll love Expedia.
- Hopper: A great site for monitoring cheap flights. Hopper will let you know if you should book the price you’ve found or wait until it drops more.
What Is The Best Way To Book a Flight?
There are several good ways to book a flight:
- You can go directly to the airline
- You can use a travel agent (although these are becoming less popular)
- You can use a discount airline booking website.
My personal favorite, as I guess you can tell by the title of this article, is to use a discount booking website to find the best deal on flight prices. I’ve consistently found the cheapest flights this way and have often found deals that I would have otherwise missed.
How Do Discount Airline Booking Websites Work?
How do these booking websites ensure that they are finding the cheapest deals? They work by aggregating flight data from multiple different airlines and displaying the results in one easy-to-use interface. This makes it easier for you to compare prices and find the best deals on airfare. They typically also have deals with certain flight providers, which further helps ensure you get the best deal. Occasionally they don’t find the best deal, or the airline with the best deal isn’t their partner, but this is rare. Nine times out of ten, you’ll get a better deal by using a discount booking website.
What Are The Different Types Of Discount Airline Booking Websites?
It’s also worth noting that many different types of discount airline booking websites exist. Many have different features and operate in slightly different ways, ensuring you’re getting the best deal. Here are some of the different types of cheap airline booking sites.
Cheap flight finders
These types of sites will search the web for a good deal or a fare reduction and let you know with a notification when the price drops, usually via email or the app on your phone. When you sign up for the sight, you typically enter your standard departure airport so that the site knows where you would prefer to fly from. It will send you the best deals leaving that airport with worldwide destinations.
I’ve found some wonderful deals using sites like this. For example, I flew to Mexico from London Gatwick for just $350 this year, which is a fare that would’ve usually cost me $600 or more! Of course, the downside of sites like this is that there aren’t always deals, so you won’t get any notifications if the deals aren’t there.
Much like you would use a comparison site to compare the latest energy deals, you can also use a comparison site to get the best deals on flights. This tends to be the most popular and common type of discount airline booking website; plenty of them are on the web. However, the features of each are what sets them apart, but this is something we’ll get into later in the article.
Mistake flight alert sites
This type of cheap flight finder is similar to the first on this list. However, instead of just finding cheap flights, the mistake flight finder will find airfares that are not meant to be priced that low. Yup, it happens! Sometimes airlines make mistakes. Whether this is a typo or simply getting the fare wrong, these error fares can be a real godsend. In this case, you will need to be prepared to snap the flight up quickly because, once the airline realizes it’s made a mistake, the price is typically gone for good!
What Criteria Did I Use To Come Up With This Selection?
I had several things in mind when coming up with these discount airline booking websites. First and foremost was my preference and what I use to book my flights. I figured there was no point recommending a site or app that I don’t use myself! However, I have a few more requirements outside of that:
The website has to have a range of features that make it easy and enjoyable. This includes things like being able to book flights, hotels, and car rentals all in one go. I also want to be able to search multiple destinations at once to see which ones are cheap around a certain date. Finally, I want there to be some kind of added value. This could be in the form of exclusive deals and offers or a loyalty program that gives you further discounts down the line.
The ‘Everywhere’ feature deserves its own point because this is one of my favorite ways to search for flights. I’m forever browsing ‘Everywhere’ because, typically, when I decide I want to go away, I don’t have a specific destination in mind. If I do, I’m totally happy to pick somewhere else if that price is better. Flexibility is key when finding affordable flights, and I think having these features makes a discount airline booking website that much better.
Easy to use
Of course, it also has to have a user-friendly interface. I know how frustrating it can be trying to navigate a website that’s not well designed! You can end up putting the wrong information in the wrong place or just end up hitting a brick wall and not being able to do anything. I ensured that all the websites on this list were easy to use and have a logical layout.
Not only does it have to be easy to use, but I also want the websites and apps to have an attractive user interface (UI). This is important because booking flights can be frustrating. If you’re looking at a pleasing screen, it makes the process much less painful! The websites and apps on this list all have an attractive UI that makes booking flights easy and enjoyable.
Do they find good deals?
A discount airline booking website’s ultimate function is to find you good deals. If they don’t do that, there’s not much point to them, is there? I ensured that all the websites on this list find the cheapest flights out there.
Are they accurate?
Accuracy is also key. Suppose a site tells you you can buy a flight for $100. In that case, there’s nothing more frustrating than clicking on it only to find out that it’s actually more like $150. of course, this is often the case when booking with budget airlines, but that’s an entirely different discussion.
Only one site on the list requires a paid subscription, and I believe it’s worth it. However, many people don’t travel enough to warrant a tool like that, and paying a premium just isn’t worth it. I’ve included a mixture of free and paid-for sites to make sure there’s something for everyone.
My Top Discount Airline Booking Website Recommendations
So, now that we’ve investigated the types of discount airline booking websites on the market and their desirable features let’s dive into my personal favorites. In all my time traveling, I have used all of these sites at least once. Some I like more than others, and I tend to use a combination of about 3 of them every time I book a trip. Here are the best discount airline booking websites out there:
Skyscanner is one of my all-time favorite places to find cheap flights. It’s a flight comparison site that searches millions of flights worldwide to find you the best deal. You can either search for flights to a specific destination or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can search ‘everywhere,’ and Skyscanner will show you a list of the cheapest places to fly to from your starting point. This is one of my favorite features of the tool.
Another favorite feature of mine on Skyscanner is the ‘month view.’ This lets you see which month has the cheapest flights for your journey. If you’re not tied down to specific dates, you can fly whenever is cheapest! I’ve found some amazing deals using Skyscanner and will check this site whenever I book a flight.
- The ‘month view’ tool is great for finding the cheapest time to fly.
- You can search for flights to specific destinations or ‘Everywhere.’
- It searches for millions of flights worldwide.
- Sometimes, when I’ve used the ‘Everywhere’ feature, the actual price is more than what Skyscanner predicts.
2. Google Flights
Google Flights is another favorite of mine. It contains a lot of data about cheap flights, and you can find some fantastic deals with the right searches. One of my favorite features on Google Flights is the ‘price graph.’ This allows you to see how the price of your flight changes over time. This is similar to Skyscanner in that if you’re not tied down to specific dates, you can fly whenever is cheapest!
Another great feature is the ‘explore map’ function. With this feature, you first pick your starting point. You can then scroll worldwide and see how the prices differ from destination to destination. Clicking on a destination brings up the flights in price order, and you can see the airline and any stopovers. If you’re looking for a cheap getaway and have some flexibility on where you go, this is a great way to find the best deals!
- You can get extraordinarily technical flight data with this tool.
- The ‘price graph’ and ‘explore map’ functions are both great for finding cheap flights.
- The map function allows you to view a lot of flights at once.
- You can set up price alert notifications.
- The interface can be a bit overwhelming and difficult to use.
- It isn’t available as an app, so you have to use a PC.
Like Skyscanner, Kayak is another travel comparison behemoth. You can use it to compare flights, hotels, and rental cars all in one place. KAYAK also has an ‘Anywhere’ feature, allowing you to search for any flight you want. However, it combines this with its ‘Anytime’ feature, allowing you to search anytime in the same search, so you don’t need to enter specific dates. You can simply search for flights from your city to ‘Anywhere,’ and it will show you the cheapest places to fly and when the cheapest dates are to fly!
You can also use KAYAK’s filters to find exactly what you’re looking for in a flight. If you want a direct flight with no stops, you can find that. If you want the shortest flight time, you can find that too! There is also hacker fares, which is a handy feature that will let you bunch together two or more flights into one package, which is usually for a cheaper deal. KAYAK is a fantastic all-in-one travel comparison site and one to check out before booking your next trip.
- The ‘Anywhere’ and ‘Anytime’ feature is great for finding cheap flights.
- You can use filters to find how many layovers and times you want to spend on your flight.
- It’s an all-in-one travel comparison site, so you can also find hotels and car rentals on KAYAK.
- Hacker Fares are brilliant.
- Sometimes, the prices it finds are more expensive than other sites.
Momondo is another great travel comparison site with some amazing features. One of my favorites is the ‘Price Calendar.’ This shows you, at a glance, the cheapest days to fly to your destination. If you’re looking for a cheap getaway and have some flexibility on when you go, this is a great way to find out when is the cheapest time to go. Momondo also has an ‘Inspiration Search’ feature where you can search for flights to ‘Anywhere.’ This will show you a world map with the cheapest destinations. If you’re looking for a cheap getaway and have some flexibility on where you go, this is a great way to find out where the best deals are!
Momondo has a few other cool features that make it worth using. Their flight tracker feature lets you track whether your flight is on time and what flights have been canceled. They also have a cool ‘measure my bag’ feature, which allows you to take a photograph of your bag, and Momondo will tell you if it fits cabin baggage requirements. Pretty cool, right?
- The ‘Price Calendar’ is great for finding cheap flights.
- The ‘Inspiration Search’ feature is great for finding cheap flights to destinations you might not have considered.
- They have some cool features, like flight tracking and a ‘measure my bag’ feature.
- You have to do a little more admin than you do on other travel comparison sites.
5. Jack’s Flight Club
This is one website that isn’t ideal if you have specific dates or destinations you want to travel to. However, what they lack in specific searches, they make up for in the spectacular deals if you’re willing to be a bit more flexible with when and where you travel. Jack’s Flight Club is a flight deals newsletter. Every week, their flight deal finders scour the internet for the best flight deals. They then send out an email to their subscribers with all the best deals they’ve found. All you have to do is sign up and wait for the emails!
Jack’s Flight Club is definitely worth signing up for if you’re willing to be a bit flexible on when and where you travel. This is the website that bagged me my cheap Mexico flight deal. I do have a paid subscription (there is a free option with much fewer flights), but I’ve made my money back on these flights alone!
- You don’t have to do any work, just sign up and wait for the emails.
- They find some amazing deals!
- It’s not ideal if you have specific dates or destinations in mind.
- To get the best deals, you must pay for a subscription.
I tend to use Expedia more for hotel bookings than for flights. Nonetheless, it does also feature a pretty powerful flight comparison tool. One of the things that I like about Expedia is that you can book flights, hotels, and car rentals all in one go. If you’re looking to do a bit of everything on your trip, this might be the site for you! It’s kind of like you’re booking a package holiday, but you can choose each and every aspect.
Additionally, they will send you customized deals and offers if you sign up for an Expedia account and add your travel preferences. This is a great way to find out where the best deals are. The account will also give you perks and points. The more points you earn, the more discounts you can get on bookings. I would also say that Expedia is one of the more user-friendly booking sites. The design is clean and easy to use, and I find that it’s one of the more reliable booking sites out there.
- You can book flights, hotels, and car rentals all in one go.
- They will send you customized deals and offers if you sign up for an account.
- The design is clean and easy to use.
- Membership can lead to further discounts on flight and hotel deals.
- You may not be eligible for seat upgrades if you book through Expedia.
One of the less heard-of discount airline booking websites is Hopper. Like other flight comparison sites, the first thing you’ll need to do is select your departure airport and arrival airport. Hopper differs from others because instead of taking you straight to their comparison list, it will bring you to a graph of the entire year. Each date on the graph is color-coded as either red, yellow, or green. Red means that flights on that date are expensive, yellow is a medium price, and green is affordable. Before you’ve even selected your dates, you’ll know if you’re paying above or below average.
I also like using Hopper because of its ‘price forecasts’. Once you’ve selected your dates from the graph, it will then bring you to another page with a flight price prediction. With this feature, you can see whether the price for your flight is expected to go up or down in the next few days. If you see that the price is forecast to drop, you could wait a few days and book then, or if the price is forecast to rise, you could book immediately! This feature takes all the guesswork out of trying to time your flight purchase ‘just right.’ Hopper lets you watch that trip, so when the price does drop, you can pounce and book a better price. In my opinion, that makes it worth its weight in gold!
- The graph of the entire year lets you see at a glance whether you’re paying above or below average for that route.
- The price forecast feature takes all the guesswork out of trying to time your flight purchase.
- You can watch trips and be notified when the price drops, so you never miss a deal.
- There are not as many options to filter the flights, so you have to look for yourself.
- Even though Hopper will find you the cheapest flight, booking it on the airline’s website is often even cheaper.
The Major Differences Between Discount Airline Booking Websites And Booking Directly Via The Airline
Let’s very quickly talk about why you should use one of these cheap airline websites in the first place. There are several reasons that I typically go for a comparison site rather than straight to an airline directly:
- You can see a range of flights at once instead of searching through many different websites to compare prices.
- Comparison sites will include OTA (online travel agents) in their search. These travel agents will typically sell flights at a slight discount which means you may get the price cheaper than on the airline’s actual website.
- Often, these sites will also have deals with airlines where they get a commission for every flight booked. To encourage you to use their site rather than the airline’s, they will pass on some (or all) of that commission to you as a discount.
As you can see, there are several reasons to use a discount airline booking website. Plus, you can’t generally set up the airline’s website to notify you when the price drops.
Answer: The best way to get flight discounts is to use a discount airline booking website. These websites work by searching multiple airlines at once and comparing prices. This means you can easily find the cheapest flights without having to search through many different websites.
Answer: Some tips on how to save money when booking an airline ticket include:
Using a discount airline booking website
Booking in advance
Being flexible with your travel dates
Avoiding peak times (such as school holidays and bank holidays)
Checking for sales and special offers regularly.
Answer: There is no definitive answer to this question as it can vary depending on several factors. However, booking an airline ticket at least six months in advance is usually cheaper. This is because airlines typically release their cheapest tickets around this time.
Answer: The cheapest day to fly is typically a weekday (Monday-Thursday). This is because fewer people usually travel these days, so airlines will offer cheaper tickets to try and encourage more people to fly.
Answer: No, it’s the opposite. Airline tickets generally rise closer to the date as demand increases. This is usually because people in business will pay top dollar at the last minute if something comes up. However, there are sometimes last-minute deals to be found if you’re willing to take a risk.
Answer: Yes, general research has shown that airline tickets are cheaper on Tuesdays, especially in the morning. This is because airlines will release their cheapest tickets on Monday evening to try and encourage people to book early in the week.
Answer: Generally, flight prices will not go up just because you have searched for them a few times. However, if you search for the same flights multiple times in a short time, the airline may recognize this and think you are desperate to buy those tickets. As a result, they may slightly increase the price to try and encourage you to buy them. Searching in an incognito tab will help avoid this.
There you have it, my top picks for the best discount airline booking websites. I hope you find this list helpful, making booking your next flight a breeze. Overall, I recommend using a strong comparison site like Skyscanner and Google Flights to find the cheapest flights and a cheap deal-finding site like Jack’s Flight Club to find sneaky deals you might have missed! There are plenty of other excellent discount airline booking websites out there, but these are definitely my favorites. If you’re looking for a good deal on your next flight, be sure to check out one or all of these sites.
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