For quite many years earlier, we only had the option of booking flight tickets either at airports or via an airline carrier’s official website. Later, travel agents hopped into the business that allowed individuals to easily book flight tickets, either by visiting their offices or via their websites. Now, we also have the so-called “meta-search engine” sites that allow us to do the same thing – find low-priced flight deals and book reservations online, even days, weeks, and months in advance.
In this travel guide, we will take a look at a few popular travel websites, or OTAs, where you can book cheap flights for your trip.
Why Choose Travel Websites for Booking Cheap Flights
This is an important question that many will certainly ask, especially when given an option for booking cheap flights quickly and easily.
Travel websites are also commonly referred to as online travel agencies (OTAs). Such sites basically use aggregators and algorithms in order to implement proper functioning of their operations, like querying, fetching, and delivering results (data) to users.
You may consider these sites as middlemen that help you find the best deals from their sources, and sometimes, may also offer you their own promotions and other deals. For instance, when you search for a flight on an airline carrier’s website and a travel website, the airfares may differ. You may find cheaper fares for the same flight on a travel site than its original price on the carrier’s site. This is one major reason why most people prefer using a travel site to an airliner’s site for finding cheap flights for their trips.
Nowadays, there are many travel sites that offer such services to users i.e., finding and booking flights (and with budget deals) which you simply can’t avoid. While some may earn a commission, others offer their services for free. It’s just a matter of choice.
Popular Travel and Meta-search Websites Where You Can Find Cheap Flights
You may already know of a couple of travel websites, such as Expedia, Kayak, Priceline, Cheapoair, Orbitz, Skyscanner, Travelocity, Google Flights, etc. These sites and more help you find the best deals and budget airfares, so you can pick your choice and book your reservations quickly.
Here, we have included some travel websites and meta-search engines (in alphabetical order) that allow you to easily find and book cheap flights within minutes. So, let’s take a look at these below.
Tech Giant Google first started with a search engine service that remained the default choice for many users. The search engine made finding anything online a breeze. Today, the company also provides users with another similar service called Google Flights. As the name already suggests itself, this service, technically known as a “meta-search engine”, allows anyone to quickly find, compare and book flights online.
As mentioned already, Google Flights is not an online travel agency, rather it’s just a search engine, that functions similarly to the Google Search engine by using algorithms and aggregators. The site is user-friendly and it also offers several features, like a map and calendar, etc., which you can use to filter results and make your searches more comprehensive. For example, using the service, you can easily find low-priced flights and routes to your desired destination.
However, keep in mind that you may not always find cheaper flights, or you may miss out on showing some airline carriers that you didn’t expect. But, it’s a pretty useful tool, though.
You can visit Google Flights’ site here.
Kayak is another popular search engine tool that not only lets you find flights, but you can also search hotels, cruise ships, and rental cars as well. These features make this search engine very useful, especially for those individuals that also need accommodation and ground transportation during their trips.
The site queries and fetches results from many sources i.e., airline carriers and OTAs, and smaller agencies as well.
In addition to finding flights, the search engine site also helps you look for low-priced airfares, hotel packages, and other bundled deals.
Once you have picked your flight and destination, the site will redirect you to the appropriate airline carrier’s or OTA’s website in order to complete the booking process. This is also the same when you wish to book hotels, cruise ships, and rental cars. All bookings are carried out by the providers via their sites.
You can visit Kayak’s site here.
Momondo is a simple search engine for finding flights and also allows you to compare cheap flights. Its primary function relies on fetching data from various airline carriers’ databases and OTAs, even the ones that are lesser-known, in order to give you the best deals. However, it does not offer many features other than the basic functions that are needed.
You can find great deals for flights at Momondo, and this is because of its reach to various sources. This means you may sometimes, have better deals here than at Google Flights or Expedia, etc. But, again, keep in mind that this also depends on availability. Also, the site may take a couple of minutes to display results, as already said, it queries a lot more sources than its competitors.
Since it is just a flight search engine tool, it will redirect you to the appropriate airline carrier’s or OTA’s website to complete the booking process.
You can visit Momondo’s site here.
Priceline is an online travel agency (OTA) that gives you the convenience of searching and booking flights, hotels, cruise ships, holiday packages, and rental cars, all on its website. Also, the deals which you are offered can also be booked directly on this site.
You will find cheaper deals and competitive airfares on this site. In addition, it also offers a feature called Express Deals, which lets you find the best deals on flights and save money. This feature is useful if you do not have a fixed travel schedule and/or destination.
You can visit Priceline’s site here
Skiplagged is an online travel agency and a meta-search engine site that lets you find cheap flights, hotels, and hidden-city fares as well.
Hidden-city flights generally refer to itineraries with multiple legs where the traveler de-boards at his/her destination airport prior to the flight’s arrival at its final destination. For example, a traveler who wants to go to San Francisco from New York would book a flight that is ticketed for NYC to San Francisco via Seattle and end their travel once they arrive in San Francisco and skip the leg to Seattle. This results in savings of up to 80% using Skiplagged. You can find the best prices on airfares and hotels, including hidden-city ticketing, which most airlines don’t usually show. The site uses algorithms in order to make searches faster and more accurate.
You can visit Skiplagged’s site here.
Skyscanner is a search engine that lets you find flights (also low-priced flights) online and redirects you to the airliner’s or OTA’s site for purchasing tickets and booking reservations. It fetches results from a few OTAs and airline carriers.
The site offers flexibility and provides features that can help you easily find what you are looking for. For instance, using their “Everywhere” tool will allow you to find the best deals for various destinations, in contrast to having fixed travel dates and destinations in your travel list.
In addition, the search site also provides its users with a calendar and multi-city search functionality. They also have mobile apps, if you wish to download one and use it for searching the best cheap flights for your trip.
You can visit Skyscanner’s site here.
Travel websites are a fine choice for users that want to find flights offering cheaper and/or discounted airfares, and other deals as well.