THE BEST WEBSITE FOR FINDING CHEAP FLIGHTS
It’s always been challenging to find a cheap flight. From deal-finding websites like Going to travel hacking tools like Point. me, travelers have plenty of options for finding cheap tickets.
There are a lot of options for searching fares. You have Google Flights, Expedia, Orbitz, Momondo, and so many other websites touting that they will find the cheapest fares.
There needs to be one best flight search website. They all have their blind spots.
But, out of all the search engines I’ve used, Skyscanner is my all-time favorite. It always seems to find the best deals more often than the other websites, and their ability to search globally means that they leave no stone unturned. It’s my favorite.
While Skyscanner is very straightforward to use because of all its features, it helps to have a bit of a primer so that you can be sure you’re taking advantage of all its capabilities.
In this Skyscanner review, I’ll show you how to make the most of the site so you can always find the best deal!
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What is Skyscanner?
Skyscanner is a travel search engine that allows you to search for cheap flights around the globe and the best deals for car rentals and hotels.
It started in 2003 when three IT professionals became frustrated with the difficulty of finding cheap flights. Budget airlines were beginning to pop up, but there was no central place to search across all airlines at once for the most reasonable prices. So, they took matters into their own hands and created Skyscanner.
In recent years, they’ve added the ability to search for hotels and rental cars, and today, more than 100 million people worldwide use the app and website every month, with 80 billion prices searched every day.
How Skyscanner Works
As it’s predominantly a flight search engine, to use Skyscanneryou input your desired travel dates (you can search by specific dates or by month) and destination, and voila — all your flight options appear. You can search by airport, city, or even an entire counSupposey.
If you’re flying to and from major cities with multiple airports (such as New York and Paris in the example . In that case, below), you don’t have to search between all the different airport combinations, as it will automatically sort them all out for you.
Use the month calendar view to see the cheapest days to fly. Even if you have specific dates, it might be helpful to take a glance at the monthly statement because if you’re able to shift your dates even by a couple of days, you could save hundreds of dollars:
(Note: If a date doesn’t have a price, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any flights that day. It just means no one has searched for that flight recently, so Skyscanner doesn’t have updated data. These dates are still searchable, and a price will be added as soon as you search.)
Once you choose specific dates, you’ll get your results and can refine your search even more until you find your perfect flight. At the top of the results, Skyscanner gives you a helpful breakdown to see the best, cheapest, and fastest flights immediately. It automatically displays the best overall flight first, but you can toggle that to sort by cheapest, most instantaneous, or time.
You can also filter your search in a variety of ways, including:
- Number of stops
- Departure times (on outbound and inbound)
- Trip duration
- Airlines and airline alliances (Star Alliance, SkyTeam, and Oneworld)
- Airports (and for cities with more than one airport, you can toggle on the option to fly out and back using the same airport)
- Carbon emissions (toggling this on will only show flights with lower emissions)
Let’s say you’ve sorted and filtered your results and found a flight you want to book. Just hit “Select,” and you’ll be brought to a page showing all the websites where you could book that ticket. Skyscanner calls attention to the airline itself with a little green box next to that result:
It’s always best to book directly with the airline, even if it’s slightly more expensive (in this case, it’s cheaper than third-party sites), as should something go wrong (such as a flight delay or cancellation), they’ll be on the hook to make it right. If you book with a third party (such as Expedia or MyTrip), getting refunds or changing/canceling a flight adds another layer of difficulty.
(But no matter who you book/fly with, you should still get travel insurance as it protects you against unexpected expenses that arise when things go wrong on the road, including delays and lost luggage.)
If you’re unhappy with the current search results or aren’t ready to book yet, you can set up a price alert and receive an email if the price changes.
Skyscanner’s Everywhere Feature
The most fabulous feature of Skyscanner is the Explore Everywhere option. It allows you to search the globe from any airport for the cheapest flight. This is an excellent option if you have a specific time frame you’d like to travel but are open to going wherever the most affordable flight will take you. You can search by a specific date or an entire month for even greater flexibility:
Once you’ve chosen your time frame, you’ll be brought to the results, ordered by country. Let’s say you’re searching in November for cheap flights from New York. You can see that the most affordable flights are elsewhere in the continental United States, with Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Canada, El Salvador, and Colombia all coming up next (and for super cheap! ).
If you’re open to traveling anywhere, this is an invaluable tool. I use it all the time and can’t recommend it enough!
If you’re considering a trip with multiple destinations, Skyscanner has a handy “multi-city” feature where you can add up to six legs on one itinerary. This is perfect for anyone planning a trip worldwide who wants to book their main flights in advance and have everything in one place for simplicity.
You can even use the multi-city tool to find and book flights where not all legs are connected. For example, say you want to go NYC-Madrid-Paris-London and then back to NYC — but you want to take the train from Paris to London, so you don’t need a flight for that leg. You can skip portions with the multi-city tool, meaning that you can mix and match flights with other forms of transportation as you travel, giving you a lot of flexibility as you plan and book.
Skyscanner’s Savings Generator Tool
Skyscanner’s latest tool is its Savings Generator, which uses past flight data to give travelers insights on how and when to book the cheapest flight for an upcoming trip. You put your departure airport, month, and desired destination into the tool, and it’ll tell you the best days to travel on as well as how far out to book: