Booking International Flights The Cheapest One
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Finding a flight online can be a little overwhelming. There are numerous variables, including the dates, times, cost, fare class, airline, and others. Where should you look for the lowest price, even if you know exactly when and where you want to fly?
Sadly, no website consistently offers the best deals. Although the prices of the majority of well-known OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) are typically comparable, not all of them provide the same advantages or search capabilities.
In order to compare prices and show you each site’s advantages and disadvantages, we combed through a large number of well-known OTAs.
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Use the airline’s website to make a direct booking.
The majority of the time, booking directly through the airline’s website will result in the best price, or at the very least, a price that is comparable to OTAs.
You must make direct reservations because some airlines, like Southwest, won’t even appear on search engines like Expedia or Orbitz. It might also be the simplest way to make a reservation. You don’t need to deal with a third party to solve a problem if one arises.
Using frequent flyer miles to book directly through an airline’s website is another benefit — yay for award travel!
Naturally, you must first determine which airline offers the best deals in order to make a reservation through the airline’s website. You can use a variety of OTAs and travel search engines to find the best offers so you can choose which airline’s website to visit. Some OTAs even provide benefits that might encourage customers to book elsewhere in addition to the airline’s website.
Similar to Kayak, Momondo is a travel metasearch engine. You can enter your travel information in the straightforward search box that is displayed on the homepage.
The visual way this site displays the price trends for your flight is one of our favorite features.
You can tell right away if you could save some money by rearranging your travel dates. On the left side of the screen, there are numerous filtering options as well as a price tracker.
Additionally, it offers “Hacker Fares,” which are just two one-way tickets from various providers combined to give you the best price. To book these tickets, however, you do need to visit 2 different websites, unlike other websites.
Momondo’s benefits and drawbacks
- great tools for tracking prices
- You must make 2 separate reservations for mix-and-match fares; on other websites, this is typically done “behind the scenes.”
Hot Tip: In our guide to using Momondo, we go over the specifics of how to find cheap airfare using this website.
Kayak is a search engine for travel, not an OTA. It’s also a great place to start because it’s a search engine.
The website consolidates price comparisons from numerous websites into one location so you can quickly identify the most affordable options. To complete your booking, you’ll typically end up clicking through to a different website.
Save money on your flight by using Kayak Hacker Fares. Instead of using a round-trip ticket on a single airline, these itineraries are made by combining 2 one-way tickets (typically on different airlines). These can be excellent offers that don’t always show up in other websites’ search results.
Kayak: Pros and Cons
- Costs of Kayak Hackers
- Price Alerts to monitor flight costs
- When your travel plans are very flexible, Kayak is the best option; however, since many of its most useful tools allow you to search for deals, this website might not be as appealing when you have a specific flight in mind.
The complete guide to booking travel with Kayak has more details on Hacker Fares from Kayak as well as other travel search tools.
People have been using Expedia, another tried-and-true OTA, since the 1990s. Expedia was the go-to site for finding and booking flights back then. How does it fare now, though?
If you book through Expedia, you won’t necessarily get a better deal than you would on the airline’s website, but you won’t pay any more either.
Utilizing Expedia has some nice benefits, including a rewards program. Unfortunately, there is less opportunity for profit from flights than there is from lodging, transportation, cruises, activities, and vacation packages.
Although you can accrue miles for a flight booked through Expedia, you frequently can’t do so in order to advance in status. Additionally, you might not be qualified for seat upgrades.
Expedia’s benefits and drawbacks
- Expedia Bonuses (although the earning potential is better on hotels, cars, packages, activities, and cruises than it is on flights)
- Your mileage toward elite status may be limited if you make a reservation through Expedia.
When making a reservation through Expedia, there may be restrictions on your eligibility for upgrades.
Hot Tip: Read our article on how to use Expedia to find fantastic deals on flights, hotels, and vacation packages for more details (and more).
Popular online travel agency Priceline invented the Name Your Own Price feature and opaque bookings. Discounts may be available with these bookings, but many of the specifics are not disclosed until after the reservation. Since Priceline no longer offers the Name Your Own Price feature for flights, it now functions like the majority of other OTAs.
One of the benefits of using Priceline to search for flights is that it has a nice color-coded calendar that makes it simple to see which days have the best deals.
You can quickly determine which days will save you money on your flights. Picture Source: Priceline
On Priceline, the search results are easy to understand and navigate. Check out the less expensive options directly above your search results if you have some flexibility with your travel dates. The cheapest nonstop flights, as well as options like early bird flights or flights without change fees, are then easily visible by scrolling.
Examining Priceline’s Express Deals is another way to save money. Select flight information, such as the departure and arrival times and even the airline, are concealed until the booking is complete in these so-called “opaque bookings.”
Priceline’s benefits and drawbacks
- If you have some flexibility, Express Deal flights may be a good value. Many flight specifics, such as the airline and arrival and departure times, are concealed until the booking is finalized.
- A calendar with color-coding and easily readable search results
- Price-Match Promise
- Free cancellation online within 24 hours of the reservation (except for Express Deal flights)
- No rewards scheme
- Express Deal flights can offer excellent savings, but they occasionally can cost even more than a regular reservation.
Conclusion: For more information, see the detailed guide to using Priceline for travel.
Another trustworthy OTA that has been around since 2001 is Orbitz. This website differs slightly from others in that it has its own rewards program, Orbitz Rewards. When you use Orbitz to make hotel, flight, and vacation package reservations, you can earn Orbucks. But you can only use Orbucks to pay for lodging.
You can receive 1% back as Orbucks (or 2% if you use the Orbitz mobile app) when you book a flight through Orbitz. You can use $5 toward a hotel reservation by earning 5 Orbucks for a $500 flight booking. The Orbitz Rewards program is open to everyone.
On each flight you book through Orbitz, you can accrue Orbucks. Picture Source: Orbitz
Sadly, Orbitz occasionally levies a 1% reservation fee. Before completing your purchase, keep an eye out for these on your trip summary page and include them in your calculations to determine whether you’re getting a good deal or not. Earning Orbucks is fantastic, but paying a booking fee might negate all of the advantages.
Orbitz’s benefits and drawbacks
- You can earn Orbucks through Orbitz Rewards and use them to pay for hotel reservations.
24-hour policy for cancellation
- Low Price Guarantee: Orbitz will refund the difference if you discover a lower price for your flight on another website within 24 hours.
- Booking fees for flights
Summary: For more information, see our Orbitz travel booking guide.
Priceline is the owner of the OTA Agoda. When looking for flights, this website doesn’t provide much more than a straightforward search with a few selectable filters. Agoda is worth looking into if you’re looking for unusual lodging options like an apartment or private villa, but it doesn’t have much to offer when looking for flights.
The fact that Agoda is multilingual is a neat feature. By selecting the flag in the top menu bar, you can change the language.
By selecting the flag icon located in the top menu bar, you can quickly switch the language on Agoda. Picture Source: Agoda
Agoda: Pros and Cons
- simple search capabilities
- Optional multilingualism
- limited flight filtering options
Hot Tip: For more details, see our article on using Agoda to make travel arrangements.
Popular OTA Hotwire has been in business for almost 20 years.
The straightforward home page provides a main search field where you can enter your desired travel dates and cities of departure and arrival. To access the flight search, you must click on the third tab in the main search box.
When booking a hotel and flight together, Hotwire can save you a lot of money. You’ll frequently see pop-ups or prompts during the booking process promoting significant savings when booking a hotel at the same time. We put it to the test, and each time we compared the cost of a Hotwire vacation package deal to booking a flight and hotel separately, the package deal came out on top.
Bottom Line: Booking your flight and hotel together through Hotwire can result in financial savings if you need both.
You might find a Hot Rate flight while looking for your flight. These are flights whose precise departure and arrival times, number of stops, and carriers are not disclosed until after your order has been placed. We discovered that the price difference was as little as $20 and that these call for a fair amount of flexibility. It can occasionally provide a fantastic deal, but frequently, there aren’t many savings.
Another thing to keep in mind when using Hotwire to find fantastic flight deals is that a booking fee may occasionally be assessed.
Hotwire’s benefits and drawbacks
- Savings are possible with package deals that include hotel stays.
- 24-hour policy for cancellation
- Low Price Promise
- Hotwire occasionally levies a booking fee.
- Hot Rate flights don’t always result in substantial savings.
Bottom Line: Read our comprehensive guide to booking travel on Hotwire for more information on how to find great deals.
Another online travel agency that doesn’t offer direct flight sales is Skyscanner. It displays a list of flights and provides links to the airline’s website or OTA where you can make your purchase.
For flexible travelers, this website excels. You can choose Everywhere in the search box to look for the least expensive places to go on the specified dates.
Skyscanner works like the majority of other travel search engines if you have a predetermined destination and specific dates.
Skyscanner: Pros and Cons
- versatile searches
- Simple language and currency changes
- price warnings
- There isn’t much about this website that is special; all of the features it offers can be found on other websites.
Hot Tip: Read our in-depth article on Skyscanner for more details.
Another well-established OTA that is very similar to the other websites we’ve been looking at is Travelocity.
The good news is that you can use some nice filtering options to find the ideal flight for your needs. The prices may alter between selection and booking, which is a drawback. When we made a fake reservation, the price of the flight had increased from $157 to $338 by the time we reached the payment screen!
When making a reservation through Travelocity, be aware of flight price changes. Picture Source: Travelocity
Keep an eye out for booking fees in the payment section of the booking process because Travelocity, like other online travel agencies, may impose them.
Travelocity’s benefits and drawbacks
Price Guarantee: Travelocity will refund the difference in price if you discover a lower price on an identical itinerary within 24 hours.
Free changes to reservations for flights within 24 hours (on most airlines)
- Travelocity occasionally levies a booking fee.
- Between choosing a flight and making a purchase, prices can change.
Conclusion: For more information, see our Travelocity travel booking guide.
10. Flights on Google
An OTA is not Google Flights. Instead, it’s a metasearch tool akin to Kayak. Google Flights will direct you to the airline’s direct website or an OTA to complete the purchase once you’ve located a flight. It is a potent search engine based on the ITA Matrix, which was made for travel brokers initially.
This website displays price trends and how your departure date may impact the price of your ticket. Additionally, it enables you to keep tabs on a route’s costs so you can take advantage of low prices when they appear. These features make Google Flights an excellent tool for ensuring that the price you’re being offered is a fair one.
Google Flights: Pros and Cons
- Price Graph displays the pricing patterns along your route and enables you to determine when it might be more affordable to fly.
- You will receive an email from price tracking whenever the cost of your flight rises or falls.
There are numerous filtering options available so that you can tailor your search.
This powerful search engine has a lot of options, so it might be challenging for a traveler with little experience.
Hot Tip: While frequent flyer miles on flights booked through an OTA are possible, elite status-qualifying miles may not be earned.
An OTA that provides its own credit card is called CheapOair. We advise choosing a better travel rewards credit card for more lucrative and flexible travel rewards before you go ahead and apply for the card.
This website might not be as inexpensive as you might believe. That’s because it can charge exorbitant “agency fees” that, although they usually range from $35 to $200 per ticket when you read the fine print, can be charged for the majority of flights.
Additionally, CheapOair charges a fee to modify or cancel any ticket, even one purchased within 24 hours, whereas many other websites offer these services free of charge.
CheapOair’s benefits and drawbacks
- Price Match Promise: If you discover a lower price on the same itinerary on a significant OTA within 24 hours of booking, CheapOair will refund the difference.
- In addition to high booking fees, CheapOair also levies charges for flight changes and cancellations.
- Price Match Promise has very few restrictions; the only flights that qualify for the guarantee are those found on Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, and Travelocity.
Conclusion: CheapOair might not actually be that inexpensive. Although it promotes low base fares, the booking fees it levies typically cause the price to exceed that on the airline’s website. Check out our CheapOair guide for more details.
An app called Hopper aims to foretell the best moment to book a flight. It asserts that you can save up to 40% on flights by using its app. You can see the cheapest and most expensive times to fly to your desired location using the straightforward interface and color-coded map.
If your travel dates are flexible, you can also set up alerts to monitor prices for an entire month or for your specific dates.
Hopper’s benefits and drawbacks
- Simple to use
- Choose to monitor prices for a particular trip or for the entire month.
- no desktop search functionality
- few options for filtering
Hot Tip: A lot of credit cards include travel insurance along with extra safeguards like trip interruption and cancellation insurance and baggage delay coverage.
Comparisons of prices
To compare prices side by side, we looked up flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to New York City (JFK) on various travel booking websites. The cheapest ticket each website offered is listed below.
We weren’t considering anything other than price in this search. There will probably be more considerations when choosing a flight when you are actually making the booking.
|Website||Lowest Cost Flight (With Taxes and Fees) Available for LAX>JFK|
In this case, the same price on the same airline was made available on Kayak, Hotwire, Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Google Flights. The cost was highest on CheapOair.
There isn’t a single location where you can always find the best deals on flights. When it comes to pricing, the majority of OTAs are comparable.
Many of these websites can assist you in locating the most affordable travel dates and locations if you have some flexibility.
If you want to make a more conventional reservation, start by searching all of the other websites using a travel search engine like Kayak or Google Flights. That will help you determine which website will enable you to make the biggest savings on your upcoming flight.
Booking Multi City Flights Using Skyscanner
Booking Multi City Flights. A multi-destination flight may be just what you need if you’ve been missing out on travel. A multi-city flight can save you a lot of money, but it also allows you to visit many diverse locations and cultures on a single, convenient itinerary.
Disclaimer: Before making travel plans, always check the most recent regulations for your destination and review the most recent CDC recommendations.
For the most recent information on all things travel, go to the COVID-19 travel hub on Skyscanner.
image of Booking Multi City Flights
FAQs about intercity flights
A multi-city flight is a single travel reservation that enables you to travel to multiple cities at once. They are simpler and typically less expensive than booking one-way flights between several locations. Your itinerary will remain connected if you take a multi-city flight.
An easy way to maximize any trip is to book a multi-city flight if you intend to visit multiple locations, such as a tour of Europe’s historic cities or Southeast Asia’s breathtaking natural beauty. Even if your next trip is only domestic, booking a multi-city flight will save you time compared to purchasing numerous one-way tickets. Plus, it frequently has a positive financial impact.
Booking all of your flights at once is much more practical (and less confusing). We make it simple to compare flights so you can get the best deal without having to visit multiple websites with our multi-city search and other booking tools. even make reservations with various airlines.
If you are unable to decide between a few destinations, think about booking a multi-city flight. You can reserve seats to several different locations at once by booking a multi-city flight, allowing you to travel in the most practical and economical way possible.
Insider advice: When looking for ideas, consider your surroundings. It is simpler to travel to Boston and New York City simultaneously than to Los Angeles and Miami.
To simultaneously book up to six legs on Skyscanner, follow the steps below.
- On the Skyscanner homepage or in the app, select “multi-city.”
- Type in the destinations and dates you want (up to six legs)
- Determine the number of travelers and the cabin category.
- Lookup flights
- Modify filters for particular airlines, times of arrival and departure, and more
- Find the desired flight, select it, and complete the booking.
Pictures of multi-city flight booking
- Simply go to the Skyscanner homepage and choose “multi-city” at the top of the search panel to make a reservation on our website. In the app, this functions exactly the same!
- Enter the dates and locations you desire (you can add up to six legs of your journey). Remember that your price options will improve if you are more flexible with your travel dates. Choose the cabin type and passenger count.
- To see the results of a flight, click the search button. Press the “select” button when you’ve found a multi-city flight itinerary you like. then adhere to the booking guidelines. The dream vacation is now booked!
Secret: By using the filters on the page’s left side, you can narrow down the results. You can select your preferred departure times, airlines, flexible tickets, environmentally friendly flights, COVID-19 safety ratings, and more with these.
A trip to several cities in the American South serves as an example.
Are you looking for multi-city inspiration?
To get you started, here is an example of a fun multi-city trip around the southern United States. With fantastic art exhibits, delicious cuisine, and stylish accommodations, these cities are at the top of our list of places to visit.
1. Commence with Charleston
Your trip will get off to a good start thanks to South Carolina’s well-known hospitality. Charleston, a port city and one of the oldest cities in America, is known for its exquisite architecture and long-standing culinary traditions. The town’s atmosphere is posh, but it’s also charming and tranquil.
2. Continue to Atlanta next
Atlanta is a distinctive Southern city because of its distinctive art and music scenes and moving past.
ATL is a sizable, expanding urban center. Spending time outside is pure joy thanks to the impressive network of public parks and green spaces that the sprawl has created. Visit one of the city’s many oddball neighborhoods to experience how culture and creativity are brought right onto the streets.
3. Nashville to Atlanta
There are more than just country bars in America’s Music City.
There is a sizable outdoor sports community in Nashville. But first, you must visit Hattie B’s to sample the city’s renowned hot chicken before paddling down the Cumberland River. Then, if you can’t get to Greece yet, check out the life-size replica of the Parthenon outside of Nashville. Before your next flight, be sure to enjoy a little boot-scoot-boogeyin’ in the honky-tonks in the evening.
4. Next, spend a couple of nights in New Orleans
Your time in the French Quarter will be enjoyable whether or not you remember it. Drink traditional Crescent City cocktails at Arnaud’s or take a streetcar to the Garden District or Tremé neighborhoods to admire the French and Spanish architecture.
Discover unique dishes from New Orleans that are infused with rich flavor and history. You won’t want to leave the Big Easy when there is music playing on the breeze.
5. Complete in Tampa
Your trip should end stress-free, just like it began. In Tampa, it’s simple to find beaches with white sand and crystal-clear water. First, take a relaxing dip in the Gulf of Mexico to cool off. Then, visit one of the best aquariums in the nation, the Florida Aquarium.
Alternately, go all out at the International Plaza for some serious retail therapy. In this bustling city, there are numerous opportunities for water sports, including captains’ boats ready to set sail on open waters.
FAQ Booking International Flights
Which site is best for international flight booking?
Book Direct Through the Airline’s Website. Momondo. Kayak. Expedia. Priceline. Orbitz. Agoda. Hotwire.
When should I start booking international flights?
Generally, you should be booking international flights about six months or so in advance. You’ll want to give yourself more time to research than for domestic itineraries. The best advice for international airfare is to monitor the fares about 10 months before departure and pay attention to the trends.
What day is cheapest to book international flights?
Flights that depart on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday are historically the cheapest days of the week to fly, especially if you’re going international. According to Byers’ analysis, you could save up to 12% on airfare if you book a flight for those days rather than the weekend.
Can you book international flights online?
You can book international travel on your credit or debit card and receive an e-ticket and email confirmation within 24 hours. Electronic booking allows you to bypass airport lines by offering electronic check-in options at international airports.
How many days before a flight is the best price?
The best time to book an airline flight is the prime booking window, which is 21 to 115 days in advance. Airfares generally average 5% of their lowest prices during this period.
Which online flight booking is the best?
Top Flight Booking Sites Momondo. Momondo is our top pick when it comes to finding the cheapest airfares, especially for those looking for last-minute tickets. Booking.com. Skyscanner. Kayak. Google Flights. Hipmunk. CheapOair. Expedia.
Will flight prices go down in 2022?
Hopper released a report earlier in 2022 predicting that fares would decrease by the end of July—and, according to CNBC, the average cost of domestic roundtrip flights dropped from $413 in May down to $375 by July 14. In August, the average round-trip fare is predicted to drop to $286.
How far in advance should I book an international flight 2022?
The best day to buy is slightly further out from your travel date, so keep in mind that the sweet spot for 2022 in terms of booking a reasonable price is about 3 months from your departure date.
What day of the week is best to book a flight 2022?
In 2022, the cheapest day of the week to fly is Wednesday. Flying on Wednesday will save you $57 per airline ticket versus the most expensive day to travel, which is Sunday.
Do flight prices go up the more you search?
No, your search history doesn’t affect flight prices. “We run thousands of searches every day, day after day. If prices were rising based on those previous searches, we’d see it.”
Do flight prices go down on Tuesday?
Average domestic airfare price by day The cheapest days to depart if you’re flying within the U.S. are midweek — generally Tuesday or Wednesday. For economy tickets, Tuesdays are about 24% lower than peak prices on Sundays, which translates to savings of about $85 per ticket.
What time do flight prices drop on Tuesday?
Tuesday Around Midnight is the Cheapest Time to Book We found that travelers who search for flights on Tuesday at midnight save about 6% on their flights, making this the cheapest time of the week to book. In general, flights were slightly cheaper at midnight earlier in the week (Monday through Wednesday).
Is it cheaper to book flights through travel agent?
Booking with travel agents is often cheaper than booking online as they have access to awesome money-saving deals. Privy to secret airline prices, travel agents book scores of air tickets each day and will be able to easily tell you if the flight price you found online is a reasonable one.
How do I get the best price on airfare?
14 secrets to get the best airline ticket price possible Book flights on the weekends. Avoid flying on Sunday or Monday. Extend short trips into the following weekend. Buy tickets in advance, but not too far in advance. Take advantage of online price comparisons. Set up airfare alerts. Check for “hidden city” ticketing.
Where is the cheapest place to fly internationally?
If domestic destinations are just too close to home, there are still plenty of international ones that can be affordable. Some of the cheapest are in Central America and South America, where many of the US major and low-cost carriers fly, such as Costa Rica and Colombia.