Now, we’ve put out there some articles on how to find obscure flight routings, like FlightMapper Flight Finding: $5521 to $2052, for when you’re really travelling off the beaten path, or Airwander for when you’re dead set on working in long stopovers …
… but most of the time you’re not going to be doing that, you’re going to want a simple search, right? And here is a solid article on what the best sites are at the moment from the good folk at Frommer’s:
#1: Momondo.com remains, hands-down, the best place to find the cheapest airfares every single time. In our 25 search scenarios, this aggregator, which points you to other sites to make your final booking, found the lowest price 16 times, and the second-lowest seven times. It was also the only site of any we tested that never fell in the bad-to-worst range. Its overall score tells the story. We used a complicated, weighted scoring system (including negative points for finding the worst fares). The results for the top three finishers? Google Flights: 9 points. Skyscanner: 19 points. Momondo: 39 points. ‘Nuff said.
All 10 are worth reading about mind you, as there’s interesting features about pretty much all of them, like Hipmunk’s unique graphical results — excellent for picking up on long stopover opportunities! — or Skyscanner’s full month price comparisons.
Also, it’s worth noting here one that didn’t make their list, but is right up there at the top of our research lists: Kiwi.com is, as far as we know, the only flight search engine that will find you multi-ticket journeys, and has much more comprehensive low cost carrier listings. However, this power is very much a double-edged sword; yes, you can save hundreds to thousands on your flight, but if anything goes wrong, it’s all your problem, not any of the multiticketed airlines. So don’t book any quick connections that way, unless you actually thrive on stress!
While we’re discussing airfares and all, here’s another article we noticed recently that’s a good basic grounding in
1. Go Incognito
If you are going to do a search for airfares on any booking site do so from an “incognito” window. In Chrome click on the 3 little dots in the top right hand corner, select “New incognito window” and do a search from there. Other browsers also allow this. You can also go to the website duckduckgo.com where you can search incognito. By doing this the booking sites won’t retain your IP address and hike the airfares each time you search.
Although industry execs say that searching incognito doesn’t help, Travel and Leisure stated that Dynamic Pricing is not only real and airlines track your ip address but they also look at previous airfare search habits and show you prices based your previous search and booking history.
We’re not sure whether that’s true or not as a general rule. There definitely are experiments that try all kinds of things for higher prices —
— bumping up Mac users’ price by a few percent is a particularly notoriously well-attested example —
— but we’d tend to suspect that higher prices for repeat searchers are in the nature of an experiment that also tried out whether lower prices for repeat searchers worked out better for the final profit.
And for yet another take with a couple more options to be aware of, check out
You can find cheap airline ticket prices on the mileage run deals on FlyerTalk. FlyerTalk is a comprehensive online forum serving the frequent flyer community. You don’t have to be a frequent flyer to use the site.
Got a question about an airline loyalty program? You can usually find the answer on FlyerTalk. FlyerTalk is easy to use and navigate.
The forum offers two sections for flight deals: mileage run deals and Premium fare deal (Business Class and First Class)…
We’ve overlooked mentioning that since we’re always going places far too obscure to have fare wars, but yes the various frequent flyer boards are excellent places to hang out if you’re looking for cheap fares, as are the various deal scrapers they mention.
And finally, in The Ultimate List of Travel Apps & Tools for Nomads there’s even more options, including sites that will work on commission to beat the best price you can find yourself!
So there you go, a pretty thorough roundup of best current practices for searching flights in late July 2018. Got any newer or better tips? Be sure to let us know!