The 11 Best Search Engines for Flights
The resources on the internet make backpacking trips incredibly easy to schedule. There are resources that help you find the most affordable tickets, the best places to visit, and to prepare for all that you may encounter. However, we’re going to focus on some of the best search engines for flights, as well as booking sites, and summarize the tips you should keep in mind.
Check24 is an extremely versatile search engine for flights. The portal takes numerous vacation factors into consideration to help you book both short and long trips. Thanks to its huge database, users can quickly find and compare different offers specific to the trip they’re planning. This site groups flights by the providing airline, making it easier to compare travel times. However, Check24 tends to specialize in package holidays, meaning they don’t always have the lowest prices.
Skyscanner has been a valuable resource to travelers for years. This company was one of the first to include affordable flights as an element of its search engines, making it incredibly useful for those on a budget. Skyscanner can edit travel periods and search for cheap flights at specific times. However, it tends to be better for longer routes since it doesn’t always show direct connections. Because of this, it may be more efficient to look at the airline’s website.
If you’ve ever searched for a flight, you have probably used Google to try and compare dates and prices. Google Flights browses the entire Internet to find the cheapest and fastest connections for passengers. However, this search engine doesn’t always find the best connections. Navigating Google flights is a tricky task, but it’s gradually improving.
Lastminute.com has significantly contributed to the idea of low-budget traveling, especially in Europe. This website lets you search for flights, vacation packages, and accommodation all at once. The search results for flights are divided into the categories of Best, Cheapest, and Fastest, allowing travelers to prioritize whatever they value most. If you don’t know where you’ll be flying, we recommend browsing lastminute.com beforehand.
Momondo is probably the best-known search engine for flights that are both affordable and have the shortest connections. You can apply parameters restricting price range, date, and type of flight. Momondo stands out because users can search for all possible connections, even before they’ve decided on a destination. As a bonus feature, it lets you set up a price alert so you can snag affordable flights before they’re gone.
TUI, which became known through the classic in-store travel agencies, allows you to browse through various travel options, such as round trips, cruises, and excursions. TUI remains a popular provider that relies on its long-standing experience. Unfortunately, its renowned status prevents TUI from having the most affordable offers.
Expedia is one of the biggest online flight booking agencies. It allows you to search for accommodation and rental cars. More recently, Expedia has integrated attractions and specific activities into their search function, allowing customers to filter their travel options according to what activities interest them. However, it lacks some of the more basic filters that other websites offer. The advantage of Expedia is that the website lists additional information such as luggage prices and keeps users up to date on potential price changes. Because Expedia is also well known, like TUI, cheap offers aren’t available for every route. Another thing to keep in mind is that the platform is more suitable for large itineraries than small excursions.
Opodo is one of the most popular travel portals for low-budget flights. The system is designed to suggest the shortest connection while allowing travelers to select the flights that best suit their needs. Both the website and the app allow travelers to book hotels, package tours, and rental cars. The disadvantage of Opodo is its reputation for poor customer service.
KAYAK is one of the younger companies on this list, but it has made a name for itself in just ten years. In addition to flights, you can book accommodation, rental cars, special activities, and campers. What more could a backpacker want? The company offers an astonishing number of search filters that differ from those of its competitors. Like Momondo, it lets you for all possible destinations in a specific window of time. Their prices aren’t the cheapest, but they’re more affordable than TUI.
Checkfelix isn’t as popular as competitors like Google Flights and Skyscanner, but you can still find good deals here. This site allows you to select an arbitrary country where you can view all available destinations. In addition, the website searches for cheap offers specifically from your chosen departure airport. It’s well-suited for travelers who want to collect ideas first before deciding where to go.
The company Urlaubspiraten (Holiday Pirates), based in Berlin, is a smaller provider than the other platforms on this list. While the website prioritizes local offers, it can also search for flights, vacation packages, accommodation, and cruises. Like weg.de, Urlaubspiraten allows you to search by vacation type.
Important: Urlaubspiraten uses the KAYAK search engine and compiles offers from various airlines. Therefore, users should read the booking details carefully – especially for flights with layovers.
Checklist When Using Search Engines for Flights
Today’s technology lets search through dozens of travel platforms to find the cheapest flights and the best connections. Below, we’ve summarized what we consider some of the most important tips for you, so you can stay relaxed and excited while booking your next trip. And for further reading, here are some tips relating to safety you should always keep in mind.
- Compare offers. Have you compared offers with other providers? Does the price seem realistic or is it too good to be true?
- Reviews. How many customer reviews are there for the provider you are considering? Can you find information about the travel portal online?
- The fine print. Many travel providers combine flights from airlines that do not cooperate with each other. This means that travelers have to check out and check in again for connecting flights. Therefore, when booking, it’s important to make sure your flights are carried out by the same airline alliance.
- Travel dates. It’s always a good idea to check different dates before deciding on your actual travel window. Flights are often cheaper during the week and more expensive on the weekend. Therefore, it’s best to look at as many alternatives as possible.
- Travel portals, not airlines. Buying a seat with a flight portal offers you a future ride with the airline. This is not the same as buying a ticket for a specific flight.
- Travel planning.
- Do you have to check out and check back in for your flights?
- Can you book your luggage directly to your destination or not?
- Even if your flight is interrupted, you should always find out whether you are allowed to leave the airport before exiting.
- Especially when airlines are not partners, it is the passenger’s responsibility to ensure they can reach their connecting flights