CHOICE membership

Where to find the cheapest flights


#1

The cheapest flights revealed in our recent article looking at comparison sites and direct airline bookings.


#2

We usually check the prices with the airline and also a number of booking sites/airline flight search engines. We often find that the airline prices are significantly more than that offered through the booking site/airline search engines. The only occasions when airline websites are comparable or cheaper, is when they that seat sales.

We also use a search engines Jetabroad and Momondo. The last few international flights we found that the online agents from the Momondo searches resulted in the cheapest flights/flights which best suited out needs and budget.

Something to be careful of is to confirm before booking what is included in the quoted airfare and don’t rely on the search engine information results. We have been caught out once where the booking site/search engine results indicated luggage was included but only found after booking the tickets through a second party online travel agent and after being issued that the fare didn’t include checked in luggage. We contacted the agent (EDreams) immediately and fortunately because we were in the 30 minute window from booking we could cancel the booked flight without any penalty (eith exception of loss of $0.01 due to a slight change in the exchange rate).

Also many discount airlines in other countries aren’t offered on booking/search engine websites so don’t assume that they will find the cheapest flights…as often these discount airlines will have cheaper seats, even when extras are included such as food/checked in luggage. It is worth searching to see what airlines operate in the countries one plans to visit and travel on domestic or short hop international flights.

It is also worth noting that airline seats change with time and it is best to do a bit of hunting to see when flights to a particular destination may be sold more cheaply. I understand that the sweet spot is generally around 6 months from flying, so if one is booking a flight say for a holiday well in advance, it is best to book when flight prices are likely to be at their cheapest. It is also worth checking flight prices regularly and several times per week.

If flights prices are checked regularly, make sure that either searches are done using the incognito/secret tab in the browser or clear cookies between searches.

The final comment is also consider what happens of a flight is delayed and a connection is missed. Some booking/search engine airlines will book different airlines for each leg of a multisector flight. These airlines may have no affiliation with each other, especially of the booked flights are on different tickets. If a flight is missed due to delay/cancellation of the preceding flight, you may be on your own to sort out the missed flight resulting in full fares being paid etc. Make sure a good travel insurance policy is held and check the policy in relation to flight cancellations/delays to ensure that you are covered in such eventualities.


#3

… find them anywhere but Regional Australia, particularly the NT where qaNTas seems to have utterly forgotten their heritage … Oh silly me, no shareholders in the NT I’m sure :wink: