Stop navigating from one website to another, and read ALL the information you need before you leave home.
It is surprisingly easy to find very cheap international flights nowadays. The arrival of low cost carriers to the market has had a great impact on fares. As a result, the prices have plummeted in the last few years.
The number of booking sites has increased dramatically because of the rising number of airlines, flights, routes, destinations and fares. Type ‘flight booking site’ in your favorite search engine and you will get millions of results. The task can be overwhelming…
The price of your ticket depends on several factors. The dates of your flight, your destination or the company you will be traveling with are just some variables that determine the final price. For example, you may want to travel with a certain company because of a fidelity mileage card that you’d like to use.
Apart from finding very cheap international flights, booking sites are also helpful finding special deals on flights + accommodation or ‘fly & drive’ packages.
Skyscanner – It is the best tool to find the cheapest rates.
Pros: The site’s flexible search options mean you can browse prices across a full month, or even a year. Again, this is easily customized in the search options. Click on the calendar icon and choose ‘whole month’ or ‘whole year’. A bar graph displays the current fares.
Skyscanner can also be a travel inspirer if you don’t have a specific destination in mind. As a matter of fact, you can search flights to ‘everywhere’. All you have to do is leave the destination box blank and Skyscanner will display the cheapest countries. You can also type a country and you will get the cheapest destinations of that particular country.
You always book direct with the airline or travel agent, so you get the lowest price, with no extra fees added.
Cons: Similar to momondo, Skyscanner is not a travel agent so you will need to go through a third party to purchase your tickers.
Unfortunately, Skyscanner flights are not always the cheapest. That’s why I also use momondo and compare the results I get at both.
momondo – It is a global aggregator like momondo and I always use it to cross check the results I got previously. This site is based in Copenhagen (Denmark) and has 22 international versions. It currently searches across 700+ travel websites simultaneously (airline websites and online travel agencies) and its network expands as new travel website are launched.
Pros: momondo is a very user friendly website. All you have to do is choose your language and currency. Once you have set the origin and destination, select your departure and return dates. And it has a multi-destination tool search!
Don’t worry if you don’t have the exact dates yet. When you introduce the dates of your trip a bar chart indicates the lowest fare for each day. Browse across the dates according to the prices displayed. Note that the return fares vary depending on the departure date you set. You will see how the return chart varies so play around until you find what you are looking for.
In addition to this, you can also use several filters to personalize your search. Select the number of stops, the airports, the alliances and the airlines to what suits you best.
Finally, you can browse the results by price and time of the flights. No extra fees are added since you book directly with the airline or the travel agent.
Cons: momondo is not a travel agency. It’s just a search engine so you won’t able to book or buy a ticket through this website. All you have to do is select your flight and momondo will redirect you to the website (airline or travel agency) where you purchase your ticket.
It is not as flexible as Skyscanner. That’s why I use both.
If you are looking for cheap air flights to Spain, here are some additional tips to travel hacking.
Apart from the two global aggregators mentioned above, developers have designed some fantastic tools that can complement your search and air tickets purchase. Here are the ones I frequently use.
SeatGuru – It helps you choose the best airline seats and in-flight amenities. In order to do so, it offers two great features.
The first one is a wide range of detailed airplane seat maps. You can look for any plane model that you can imagine and you can even browse by airline.
The second one is that it provides seating advice, suggesting you where to seat and why.
It has the ability to search by carrier and flight number, if you don’t know the aircraft type.
Flight Stats – It is a comprehensive and user-friendly site that provides real-time flight status, flight delays and other airport information. You can search by flight, airport or route and the results will tell you about the schedule and actual departure/arrival of the flight, the type of plane, etc. Essential for your own use or if you are expecting the arrival of a relative or friend.
WebFlyer (Mileage calculator) – Use this accurate tool to calculate the distance of your whole trip. You can add up to 4 stops in addition to your final destination. The results are given both in kilometers and miles.
AirlineMeals – Anticipate how your next flight’s meal looks like. Thanks to thousands of contributions, you can browse airline caterings by company and class (economy, business and first). You can even do an advanced search detailing the route.