What's the best site to get the best airfares

I’ve been around and around on this: from webjet to skyscanner, from ozbargain to google travel. Even directly to the airline sites themselves and I’m still none the wiser. Does anyone have any other tips or websites to find the best airfares?


I tend to use skyscanner because it scans most other comparison websites. But what I also do, is then call flight centre and get them to beat the best airfare I could find, because some of the companies just aren’t reputable enough and people have had issues (like cancellations, etc.). The caveat here is that flight centre will only do so if the company has an ABN listed and you can do a screen shot of the webpageonce you have clicked through - but before you have entered payment details. This is because Flight Centre wants to know the price you will actually be charged and not just the quote price.


Great advice, @kvignehsa! Love it! I haven’t done an overseas flight in a little while - but I will keep that trick in my back pocket for when I do!

I saw that @fernei @margaret.eva @richardwarland @timthornley are pretty active fliers from another thread. Have you got any hot tips on flight comparison sites?

Skyscaner or any of those type sites but only as a starting point. They don’t always include all airlines.

I almost always book direct with the airline. Don’t just go to the booking page, look for special offers, many have them. Booking direct usually works out better if you need to make a change or something goes wrong. Less middle men.

Don’t only think about the cost of the flight. Bad flight times can add to your accommodation costs or just leave you tired. Tight connection times sound good when you are booking but add to stress on the day.

Seatguru is great to find out how far apart the seats are. I am tall so it matters to me.

Most budget airlines don’t submit themselves to international safety audits so they are only regulated by the country that the particular aircraft is registed by. Some countries do not have the best regulators so safety may or may not be the same as on a full service carrier.

Just my ideas.


I find that the parent airline website usually offer the best deal, sometimes their price only matchs the prices of the aggregator websites but usually there are more flight options available.

The biggest factor in saving money on flights is to buy as early as possible preferable months before the travel and avoid the frills and upsell for insurance etc when getting reservations, buy them separately. Choice is your friend with selecting these.

As a former airline maintenance worker I can advise that world wide the best safety selection is pick the airlines with the newest equipment, that is the latest version of the newest technology aircraft. This factor has been a major reason the commercial airline crash rate has declined dramatically particularly over the last 15 to 20 years. The actual rate is so low now you have a many 100 times greater chance of being killed in the taxi on the way to the airport than actually be involved in a aircraft accident.
As a general rule African and third world airlines including former soviet era aircraft still figure higher in accident statistics.


@timthornley this tip is so true. Arrival times are really important - I’m looking at booking a flight to Kenya at the moment. We want to arrive before midday so we can drive the 4 hours to where we need to go, it’s not safe to drive after dark so we’d be stuck in Nairobi for the night at great expense if we arrive at a bad time. It could cost us $100s.

I’m a bit old fashioned and for anything less than simple (multiple flights, complex locations) I try a specialty travel agent. Especially for any African or Middle East holidays as they’ll know the best deals and the best connections!

For simple flights (like an upcoming trip I have to west coast USA), I do a skyscanner search and then book directly with my chosen airline so I can make any changes easily and usually (by begging and by not choosing a budget airline) without fees.

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A drawback with specialty agents or any travel agent is the bigger incentive that is invisible to the customer that they receive if they select certain airlines and connections, these selections can often deliver the biggest commission rather than the offering the client every available option.
Some airlines offer bigger incentives to agents book with them and from time to time offer extra special sales incentives deals with agents to lift traffic

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You’re right @tndkemp. I think the last time I used a travel agent to book flights I was flying from Sydney to Kenya to Israel to Sydney - a bit of a weird journey and needed an expert to book it all in one ticket.

We’ve got this great article up on Travel Agent v DIY for anyone who is interested: https://www.choice.com.au/travel/general/advice/articles/travel-agent-vs-do-it-yourself


I use momondo or Jetabroad for international flights. These search other travel websites for the cheapest leg/route options.

The are are good for multileg trips (e.g. Australia to Taiwan to Japan to China to Australia) and have found their prices comparable to other low cost websites, if not cheaper. Also have found quotes directly from the carrier about 10-25% more than the above websites (for tge same flights on the same day)…

also always clear my browser cookies as have found that prices can be different if old cookies are kept. …haven’t experienced this yet with momondo or jetabroad though but expect over time this may change


Interesting. Thanks @phb I hadn’t heard of momondo before. Another one …

Hi rachelbee I am not an active flier so I may not be the best person to advise you on this. Most of my recent trips have been work related (booked via work travel agent) or have been on frequent flyer points. I know people who frequently travel for leisure use comparison sites such as kayak.com.au to find the most competitive price and then go to the airline or relevant website to make their bookings.

On a family trip to the US a few years back we used Flight Centre. My experience with Flight Centre was not positive as they gave us competitive airfares but made up for it by overcharging us for everything else!!


Similar to @timthornley, I’ll use aggregators to search for fares, but then almost always go direct to an airline’s site to book.
I tend to avoid the real cheapie airlines that don’t have much of a safety record yet.

Two tactics that might work for some:

  1. Instead of hunting for the lowest price, establish a target price in your own mind and write it down. (“What would I be comfortable to spend on my flights?”) Then look for the airline with the best reputation for service, or with the most inclusions, within your target fare. In any industry, customers who are very price sensitive do indeed drive down prices, but airlines (or any other providers) respond to competitive pressures by removing services, features and benefits. We can create a race to the bottom.

  2. Don’t ring the airlines reservation number first up. Ring their customer service number, and key in whatever number takes you through to difficulties or complaints. They will be more than happy to transfer or direct you to sales, and you will have discovered how easy - or difficult - it is to find help from your potential carrier.


I travel OS twice a year.

I have made extensive use of online resources both aggregators and airlines.

However, everytime my travel agent has found better pricing/routing. They are from Flight Centre but any good agent would be fine IMHO.

Domestic is done online with the airline.

One very good service that is often overlooked in Australia for some reason is Adioso and their “deals radar”.

Another good one is Airfare watchdog.

Finally, you should consider using Airfare consolidators if you have flexible travel plans.

Our ‘Chief Hacker’ wrote a review of all these options (and a few others) here

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I use Expedia and have found them excellent for long range bookings…they keep you informed on changes to flight times…when we had connecting flights they made sure they were all kept uptodate if there were changes at no extra cost to us.

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Airlines have very often specials too. For business or first class flights check out flyL4L: downside is now with exchange rate to US$ not as cheap anymore as it was.

@anon83705985 I love these tips! The journey isn’t over once you’ve purchased the tickets so these methods will help the average traveller understand just how easy or difficult their flight might be.

I think I said it above, but booking through the airline is always best if you can - if anything goes awry and you’ve booked through an aggregator (like Expedia), the airline will simply direct you back to them if you have the change or fix anything to do with your booking. A real hassle!

Safety should be your first priority - before price. Not all airlines flying into Australia have a good safety record. Remember the “A-A” plane that flew to Australia on 70 flights, with a critical navigation system fault - before crashing on a flight from Surabaya to Singapore in 2014, with the loss of 150 lives.

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That’s why I ensure to research the flights and accommodation and will tell them the pricing I can get, otherwise I book the accommodation on my own.