Comparing and booking flights online
Although it’s been possible to book flights online for over a decade, the idea still makes some travellers nervous. What if you accidentally enter the wrong details or don’t see the best deals? These worries can be debilitating if you’re not a confident travel booker.
However, if you spend time doing your research, comparing and booking flights online can be a piece of cake. Here’s our pick of the web’s best flight comparison websites.
Using flight comparison sites
One of the best flight comparison sites around is Skyscanner. Skyscanner has a simple interface that’s quick to use and turns up wide-ranging results. Results can be easily filtered too: for instance, you can choose to see only direct flights or specify journeys with short flight durations. Skyscanner is completely free and when you’ve selected the right flight for you, you’ll be redirected to another website to complete your booking. You can book hotels and car hire on the site too.
Cheapflights.co.uk is another reliable and comprehensive flight search engine. On this homepage, you’ll find a table of top flights updated daily. And if you’re still not sure where you want to go on holiday, Cheapflights.co.uk’s map of top five destinations per continent will offer some happy inspiration. You can also compare flights with Travelzoo. Their comparison tool is hidden at the bottom of their homepage, but works well if you’re looking for something simple and effective.
Kayak is a big-hitter in the flight comparison market too – and if you find most travel websites a little too busy for your taste, Kayak’s clean and uncluttered design is for you. Like Skyscanner, it lets you book hotels and car rental. However, you can also book holidays and city breaks – i.e. flights and hotels together – on Kayak, in one transaction. For more “flight + hotel” bookings, compare the latest deals at Opodo and Expedia. And if you want to make use of a sudden gap in your schedule, Lastminute.com often has flights at impressively low prices if you’re departing in just a few days’ time.
For something completely new, up-and-coming flight comparison site Momondo is worth exploring. This American website is beautifully designed and easy to use, with some fabulous photography to ignite your wanderlust.
Find out more about booking flights online
If you’re not sure which flight comparison websites you can trust, seek expert recommendations. In January 2014, the Telegraph published a very detailed article on the best flight comparison websites, where you’ll find a wide range of suggestions of who to use and avoid here.
MoneySavingExpert.com’s cheap flights page also has an exhaustive list of tips that’s constantly updated. Here, you’ll find recommendations for the best travel search engines depending on your requirements. Their top sites for booking flights, for instance, are different from their suggestions for booking flights and hotels or holiday resorts. You’ll also find invaluable tips on how to avoid the extra charges often levied by budget airlines and advice on the best time to book. So you’ll have all the information you need before the booking process starts.