Skyscanner is a great online platform for searching low-priced flights to hundreds of destinations around the globe. The Scotland-based metasearch engine-cum-travel agency has a large number of users and growing. You can find and book flights, hotels, and hire cars, too, through the company’s website (and mobile app).
In this travel guide, we are going to share with you some tips for how to use Skyscanner to find cheap flights.
Step-by-Step Guide for How to Use Skyscanner to Find Cheap Flights
Searching for budget flights and booking your reservations on Skyscanner is a hassle-free experience. By providing the necessary details of your travel and completing the on-screen instructions, you’ll be all good to go in just a few minutes.
Below are a couple of simple steps to help you find the cheapest flights on Skyscanner’s website. In addition, you may also use Skyscanner’s mobile app to search for flights.
- Step 1: Head to Skyscanner’s Website
First, you will need to visit Skyscanner’s website. Head over to https://www.skyscanner.net using a web browser on your desktop computer, laptop, or tablet device.
- Step 2: Enter your Travel Details
In the next step, you will be required to provide details and preferences of your travel.
Begin by choosing the type of flight – One-way, Round-trip, or Multi-city. Select your dates for travel and the destination city. To get better results, make sure you leave the “From” and “To” fields open to any airport in the area. You can select your cabin class and the number of travelers here, as well. Also, if you want to do some city hopping, make sure to select the “Multi-city” option.
If you’re unsure about your travel dates, you can simply choose an entire month or the “Cheapest Month” option. In the “Departure field”, click the “Whole month” option and enter the month you plan on traveling. Bear in mind this option won’t work if you have specific dates you plan to go. However, if you have a more flexible schedule, then this option is great because it lists the cheapest flights to any destination during the selected month.
You can use the calendar view to see the dates with the cheapest flights (represented in green dots) or the dates with the more expensive flights (represented in yellow and red dots). If you use the bar graph view, it shows you the cheapest flight prices week by week. This is perfect for finding the cheapest flight, where the lowest bar will indicate the cheapest flight.
All of these initial options will give you a ton of flexibility in searching for the best and/or cheapest flights.
- Step 3: Review Results and Include your Preferences
Now, click the “Search Flights” button, and you can view the results by dates or destinations. If you are planning on flying with someone else or in a group, you can change the number of passengers to the number of people traveling. Although this isn’t necessary to compare flight prices (unless you are purchasing all the tickets together) but to ensure that there are enough seats on the flight for the number of people you are traveling with.
In this step, you will see the results which are fetched with regard to the details you provided on the website. Here, taking into consideration a combination of price and speed, your results are automatically sorted by the “Best” options, but you can also sort by “Cheapest first” or “Fastest first” options. In this case, the cheapest flight takes twice as long as the quickest option, but you’ll save a few hundred dollars.
You can also filter the results even further using the filter options. You will find several filters located on the left panel. For example, you can filter results by the number of stops, departure time, specific airlines, and many more.
- Step 4: Purchase Flights through Skyscanner
In the final step, based on your searches and preferences, you’ll be able to book your flight reservations.
Once you see a flight that works for you, click the “Select” button. You will be taken to the checkout page, either on the OTA (online travel agency) or the airline carrier’s website, where the specific flight was found.
Skyscanner will quickly check to make sure the deal is still available. From there, you can continue booking your budget flight. Upon completing your flight booking, you will receive an e-mail, which usually contains information related to your flight and travel schedule.
Pros and Cons of Using Skyscanner
Here are some advantages and limitations of using Skyscanner for searching for cheap flights.
Searching Destination is Flexible
You can easily search for both wide and specific results, whether it be flying to an entire country, a specific city, or a particular airport.
Fly to “Everywhere” Option
If you just need to get away and are not picky about where you want to travel to, you can use Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” option. Using this option lets you bring up and sort flight results from anywhere in the world that are within your budget.
Search by Cheapest Month
In addition to the above, if you are not downright selective about when you travel, you can search by entire month, or choose Skyscanner’s “Cheapest Month” option to search for the cheapest month for flights based on the locations chosen.
Lacks Calendar View
Unlike other popular flight search engines, like Google Flights, Skyscanner doesn’t have a calendar option that allows you to easily compare prices across different dates if you have flexible dates.
Searches Lack Flexibility
Skyscanner is not quite capable of showing fares across multiple dates or multiple destinations at one time. So, if you want to search flights departing from say, New York and Philadelphia, you will have to perform individual searches.
Fetches Result Mainly from Smaller OTAs
This one is mostly based on personal preference and research. Like Momondo, Skyscanner mainly fetches results from smaller travel agencies that you’ve probably never heard of. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, as these small OTAs can sometimes offer rock-bottom deals on flights. However, they can also be less reliable or more of a pain to deal with if your travel plans were to change.
Fortunately, Skyscanner assigns star ratings to OTAs based on user feedback. This will help make your research a bit easier.
Using Skyscanner’s website and mobile app for finding cheap flights gives you control over the searches and thus, get what you desire. It matters not whether you have a specific travel date and/or destination city in mind. Doing a random search will also get you the best deals on airfares and explore locations that are not on your wish list.