Photo: Flight from Tokyo to Sapporo (Japan)
Below are my favourite sites for flights along with some practical tips on how to search for the best deal. This page will be updated as I find better resources.
Skyscanner is often my first stop when looking for flights. The website is easy to navigate and the results page provides just the right amount of information to quickly find the best deal.
- Compare prices over an entire month – If you’re flexible with your travel dates, select ‘Whole month’ when the datepicker pops up. This will allow you to conveniently compare flight prices across an entire month! I go for the cheapest…
- Happy to travel anywhere? If you don’t care where you go, use the Skyscanner map to search for destinations with the cheapest flights from your chosen location.
- Best deal – In my experience Skyscanner returns some of the best and cheapest deals available. Just remember, the price displayed does not usually include checked baggage (even for international routes).
Momondo is usually my second stop. I would conduct the same search on Momondo and compare selected deals across the 2 platforms. Momondo also has agents/flights that are not available via Skyscanner – another reason to conduct a second search.
- Stopover location filter – For filter fanatics (like me), Momondo’s ability to filter results based on stopover location (under ‘Via’) is super handy. Use this filter for those times you just feel like exploring a random city you’ve never been to for a day.
- Compare prices over a period – Momondo compares prices over a set period using a column chart (displayed on the results page)… but the chart only allows you to see 20 days at a time (as opposed to a full month) and you can’t see the exact $ amount unless you hover over each column – not a fan! I prefer Skyscanner and Kiwi’s (below) approach.
- Good deals? Not really. While I often use Momondo to conduct my second search, I’ve booked through the website only a handful of times and it’s due to finding a better deal elsewhere!
Kiwi (formerly Skypicker) is an online travel agency. This means you book flights directly with them and on their website – you’re not redirected to some other website to finalise your booking (like an agent’s or an airline’s). If you’re really flexible with your destination and travel dates, Kiwi may just be the best starting point for you!
- Interactive map for flights – Map is clean and simple, and sits alongside the search form which is quite convenient. It’s a breexe to navigate and my all-time fave map!
- 3 ways to select travel dates – Select a specific date, a date range or ‘anytime’ for your departure and return fields. The datepicker displays the price of the cheapest flight for each day without requiring you to first select a month (as you do with Skyscanner). And the ‘anytime’ option will display flights to your selected location in the order of recommended, cheapest or shortest – the choice is yours.
- Baggage info… provided clearly and simply once you get to the payments page. Unlike other websites, it will clearly show whether or not checked baggage is included in the deal and allows you to add checked baggage or additional checked baggage (if permitted) on the same page.
- Good deals? Yes! However, for Ryanair flights, I’ve found it to be cheaper booking directly on the airline’s website.
4. Airline’s website
Just before booking any flight, you should visit the airline’s website. I’d say about 30 per cent of the time (for me), flights are cheaper when you book directly with the airline. I recall booking flights directly with Jetstar (often!), RyanAir, AirAsia, Scoot, All Nippon Airways (ANA), and Air Canada.
- Make use of fare alerts – it notifies you of any price changes to your selected flights.
- Subscribe to your favourite airlines so you’ll be one of the first to know of upcoming sales!
- If you have a particular flight or flights in mind, call up your local travel agent to see if they can offer you a better deal.
- Google flights returns some great deals too but I haven’t used it enough to provide any comments at this stage.