Updated March 2012
People often ask me “What’s the best search engine to find a cheap airline ticket?”
The simple answer is that there is no one best search engine, rather, it depends on where you’re going and when you can go and your flexibility in both of these. In short, you’ll find the cheapest airline ticket when you’re flexible about your dates and about your destination. Note that I’ve including coupon codes where applicable.
So, what I’ve done here is compile all the best search engines for finding cheap plane tickets. They are categorized depending on what type of travel resource you’re looking for.
It’s essentially an Ultimate List of Cheap Airline Ticket Search Engines.
Below I’ve listed the category of travel search engines/websites — for instance, International Travel Search Engines or Domestic Discount Airlines — then I’ve given a brief description of when to use those sites, and then I’ve listed the best sites within that category.
For people who frequently search for cheap airline tickets, there are a few sites and tools that may even be new to you — like those in the Market Comparison section.
Without further ado, I bring you the:
Find Cheap Airline Tickets Cheat Sheet
Market Comparisons/Buy or Wait
Before you buy a ticket, check out these sites to see average fares, price history, and if prices are rising or falling. Again, check these sites out before you start looking into airfares to get an idea of what you should expect to pay.
The best search engines for searching for airline tickets. You don’t book through them, rather they redirect you to the airline’s homepage. (This is what makes them different from online travel agencies.)
When you’re searching for an international ticket, I have found these search engines to be best for finding a cheap airline ticket.
Non-Aggregators/Online Travel Agencies
These sites allow you to search for cheap tickets and buy through them. This means that you deal with that company and not the airline if something goes wrong. (I generally advocate booking directly with the airline.) The online travel agencies may charge ticketing and booking fees for booking through them.
Flexible Dates Flying on Weekends
If you’re looking for a flight on an upcoming weekend, these sites are best.
Flexible Destinations (including last minute travel)
If you don’t care where you’re going, you just want to go somewhere cheap, these sites list destinations with cheap airline ticket prices.
Finding parking at airports is critical to success in finding a cheap plane ticket. Here are some sites that allow you to do that:
Holiday Extras offers low prices and great choice of Luton airport parking – both on-airport and off-aiport locations.
Suntransfers offers airport transfers between airports and your destination – worldwide.
I hope you find this Cheat Sheet useful. Please consider bookmarking it with your favorite bookmarking site, so that everyone can learn how to find a cheap airline ticket.
What are your favorite travel search engines?
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