Finding the Best Website for Cheap Flights – Intro

Flying continues to rapidly grow as one of the most popular methods of travel, making flight booking websites equally as popular.

In fact, the United States Department of Transportation reported that a record-breaking 895.5 million passengers boarded US-serving airplanes in 2015, including domestic and international flights. If you’re looking for the best flight booking site, you’re certainly not alone.

Rising prices from factors like airline mergers, capacity controls, and route deductions make finding cheap flight booking websites even more crucial for airline travelers. With increasing numbers of flight passengers and an enhanced demand for simple, cheap booking, flight booking sites are everywhere.

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Award Emblem: Top 6 Flight Booking Sites

If you’re looking for the best website for cheap flights, it may be overwhelming—or even impossible—to sort through each and every advertisement for the best website to book flights.

Using expert guidance is a great way to decide on the best website for cheap flights. In order to help consumers identify the best flight website for them, the below review provides an in-depth analysis of the varying services, methodologies, and benefits to using the top flight booking sites on the market.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Flight Booking Sites

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that advisor):

Top 6 Best Flight Booking Sites (Best Sites to Book Flights)




Table: Top 6 Best Flight Booking Sites | Ranking | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Differences Between Flight Booking Websites

Not all flight booking sites are created equally. The crucial difference between these websites comes down to the search algorithms that they use. This is why a flight may appear through one website but not on another.

best website for cheap flights

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

Search algorithms can produce different prices, flight times, and airports, which can make finding the best site to book flights difficult. In contrast, these search algorithms are also why flight booking sites are able to provide more options than the airline websites.

The best websites for cheap flights will employ various search algorithms, producing numerous combinations of prices, flight times, departures, and destinations.

Many flight booking sites also operate as online travel agents. This is why some sites are advertised as the best site for cheap flights as well as hotel stays. Depending upon individual travel needs, the best website for cheap flights may also need to supplement cheap flights with equally cheap hotel stays or car rentals.

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The Advantages to Using Flight Booking Sites

There are many advantages to finding the best website for flights, aside from the obvious factor of price. Before examining various options, it’s important to understand why finding the best site to book flights is so important.

1. The ability to review multiple airlines. Part of what makes using flight booking sites so advantageous is that they allow users to review multiple airlines all at once. Rather than choose one single airline, the best website to book flights will provide a variety of options and airlines.

2. Better customer service. In some cases, using flight booking sites can also result in quicker—and better—customer service. These companies typically have faster response times than major airlines. Of course, this varies from one site to the next, so finding the best website for flights is important from a customer service perspective.

3. Flexible travel date airfare searches. Travelers can potentially save hundreds of dollars by arriving or departing a day or two earlier. Some of the best sites for cheap flights allow for flexible travel date airfare searches. A few of them even allow the ability to search 330 days ahead of schedule to find the cheapest options.

AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Flight Booking Sites

Below, please find the detailed review of each firm in our list of top best websites for cheap flights. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these flight booking websites to score so high in our selection ranking.

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Cheapair.com Review

CheapAir is an airfare shopping tool that began with humble beginnings. From a dorm room in 1989, it has blossomed into 90 team members and 4 million airfares sold today. CheapAir uses a creative, data-driven approach to help travelers find the best airfare prices.

Its company mission is to stand out as a best flight booking site by using these key components: cutting-edge technology, an abundance of airfare data, and superior customer service.

Aside from providing airfares, CheapAir also provides travelers with information on hotels, car rentals, and even train schedules. Its blog offers travel ideas, tips for taking the best trips, and updates on new website features.

Key Factors That Enabled This Website to Rank as a Top Best Website for Flights

Below are the primary reasons we selected cheapair.com to be rated as one of this year’s top flight booking sites.

Company Innovation

When looking for the best site for flights, company policies and innovation will certainly play a big factor. The best website for fights will place a keen focus on evolving to produce the best possible travel experience, and cheapair.com certainly fits the bill.

In the past five years, CheapAir has undergone massive transformations to enhance its online travel booking experience. In fact, it has multiple claims to being the first online travel agency to make these customer-oriented changes.

In 2011, cheapair.com introduced its “Price Drop Payback” program, becoming one of the first flight booking sites to offer credits if airfares drop in price after purchase. In the years to follow, it also became the first website to show in-flight amenities, integrate train schedules, accept bitcoin as alternate payment, and even provide flights to Cuba.

Multiple Travel Deals

Part of what makes CheapAir into a best site for flights is that it offers a wide range of travel deals. The website partners with TravelZoo to provide last-minute deals on flights, resorts, and cruises. Each of these deals comes with exclusive promo codes, travel discounts, and coupons to enhance overall savings.

Cheapair.com also allows users to compare its deals with other travel websites. This ensures that users know that they are getting the best airfare deal possible.

As previously mentioned, cheapair.com also employs its “Price Drop Program,” allowing for travelers to save money if their airfare changes after purchase.

Flexible Options

As a best flight website to consider, cheapair.com provides flexible options when choosing airfare. With its Mix & Match option, travelers can search for different departures and returns from various airlines. This allows for enhanced customization of roundtrip flights. In turn, this alleviates frustration from travelers who can’t find the right departure or return from a single airline.

Although the Mix & Match function will default to the flight with the higher price, it is still a valuable option for travelers looking for enhanced customization of their flights.

Cheapoair.com Review

With a little bit of help from its parent company, FarePortal, CheapOair has thrived, becoming one of the best sites for cheap flights. Those who are looking for the best place to book flights will love having access to over 450 different airlines through CheapOair.com.

Its dedication to providing high-quality services has resulted in over 50 different awards. These awards were given for its creation of a high-performing mobile app, outstanding customer service practices, general excellence, and various awards for being the best site to book flights.

Cheapoair.com - best website for flights

Photo Courtesy: Cheapoair

As the largest independently-owned travel agency in the U.S., CheapOair enjoys consistent high rankings and positive customer reviews. The website and call center have issued tickets for over 180 countries, with over 150 million site visitors each year.

Key Factors That Enabled This Website to Rank as a Top Best Website for Flights

Below are the primary reasons we selected cheapoair.com to be rated as one of this year’s top flight booking sites.

Enhanced Customer Service

As previously mentioned, customer service is a huge component in what makes a best flight website. For CheapOair, its customer service certainly propels it forward as a best place to book flights while experiencing great customer service. In fact, its telephone service consistently brings in nearly perfect customer service ratings.

Its 2,000 employees are composed of trained travel agents. Users are encouraged to call for any travel needs, whether before, during or after the planning process. In fact, its customer service line is highly-advertised—it appears on every single page.

For CheapOair, customer service is a high priority. With seven call centers spread throughout the U.S., Canada, India, and the U.K., travelers have multiple opportunities to speak with a live representative. As a best site for flights, CheapOair believes that expert interaction—outside of a computer screen—is an important feature.

Keen Focus on Airline Amenities

While cheapoair.com provides travelers with the usual amenities of flight booking sites—cruises, car rentals, and hotels—its primary focus is in becoming the best place to book flights.

This means integrating tons of flight ancillaries, like baggage fees, lounge passes, food, and priority boarding. CheapOair works with over 10 airlines to allow users to add their own ancillaries. Travelers have more options to customize the comfort of their flight along with the price.

In fact, CheapOair is the first site to integrate these ancillaries. For flight booking sites, adding additional flight options marks a new territory and a new frontier, one which is headed by CheapOair.

High-Quality Mobile App

As modes of access change and evolve, the best site for cheap flights also needs to have enhanced online access. For many flight booking sites, this involves utilizing mobile apps as a way to enhance the flight booking experience.

CheapOair’s mobile app is one of the best available. Its app is ranked in the top 10 listing for flight booking sites. The app functions exactly as the website does, allowing for exchanges, name changes, and other common self-service features.

CheapOair rarely advertises its mobile app, but it doesn’t seem as if it needs to. Its mobile app has reached over 5 million downloads, independent of extensive ad campaigns.

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Momondo Review

As one of the best sites for cheap flights, Momondo adheres to a strong set of company values. The company aims to open the world by fueling curiosity, exploration, and opportunity through travel.

This top-rated, best flight booking site operates as a free, independent online search engine. It searches over 600 different airlines, travel agencies, search engines, and similar flight booking sites to find the best possible deals.

Momondo - Top flight booking sites

Photo Courtesy: Momondo

Perhaps its most notable feature is its focus on becoming a global brand, offering flight deals from around the world. A focus on connection and experience enhance the overall affordability of flights through Momondo.

Key Factors That Enabled This Website to Rank as a Top Best Website for Flights

Below are the primary reasons we selected cheapoair.com to be rated as one of this year’s top flight booking sites.

User-Friendly Display

A quick search on Momondo yields colorful graphics and highlighted prices, departures, and arrivals. The website uses large font, colorful graphics, and charts to show flight patterns and prices.

Not only does this appearance give the website a certain sense of character, but it also makes for a user-friendly interface.

Airline tickets are sorted between cheapest, quickest, and best, making for quick and easy filters. Additionally, travelers who are looking for more specific options will enjoy simple options for time of departure and arrival.

The use of these filters allows for a higher ease of use compared to other flight booking sites, making Momondo into a best website to book flights.

Includes Smaller Airlines

While smaller airlines may not have the widest range of flight patterns, they certainly can have the cheapest prices. Not many flight booking sites include small airlines or lesser-known airlines—but Momondo does.

A review in the New York Times reported that Momondo was able to find drastically cheaper flight prices as a result of including low-cost or lesser-known airlines. These lesser-known airlines often fly underneath the radar of common flight booking sites.

In order to get the best possible deal, considering smaller airlines can often be the best financial decision. The same New York Times review found that choosing options from these types of airlines can easily save $200 or more.

Enhanced Features

Momondo adds value to its website by promoting various levels of travel. This is done in a simple and user-friendly fashion through its Trip Finder feature.

Users simply input details, like where they want to go (e.g., cities, beaches, nature or nightlife), their preferred times for travel, and even their preferred budget. This is great for travelers focusing on environment or attractions rather than specific locations.

This feature can connect travelers with affordable, budget-conscious trips that span across the globe, making Momondo into not only one of the best websites for cheap flights but also one of the best websites for travel.

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Priceline Review

Priceline has long been considered one of the best websites for cheap flights. There is no denying that it has reached high levels of success through guaranteeing the lowest prices on flights, hotel stays, and car rentals.

Founded in 1997, Priceline reached early and widespread success with its trademarked Name Your Own Price tool. For budget-conscious travelers, this opened up a whole new method for finding the best flight prices. Since then, Priceline has followed suit by implementing budget-friendly tools – most notably the Express Deals option.

In 2016, Priceline was ranked among other flight booking sites, taking fourth place in the Forbes industry list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” As a leader in world travel and affordable booking, Priceline is a strong contender amongst the best websites for cheap flights.

Key Factors That Enabled This Website to Rank as a Top Best Website for Flights

Below are the primary reasons we selected Priceline to be rated as one of this year’s top flight booking sites.

Large Company Umbrella

As Priceline started to grow in popularity, the company evolved, acquiring multiple independently-operated brands. Officially known as Priceline Group, booking through Priceline allows travelers to utilize the resources of these various travel and flight booking sites:

  • Travel Web
  • Activehotels.com
  • Booking.com
  • Agoda.com
  • Rentalcars.com
  • Kayak
  • Open Table, Inc.
  • PriceMatch
  • RocketMiles
  • ASDigital

As a whole, Priceline Group opens travelers to wider opportunities to save on international travel, car rentals, hotel reservations, and even restaurant visits.

High Customer Satisfaction

Customer service and customer satisfaction go hand in hand. The best website for flights should also have the best customer satisfaction, and Priceline is certainly a top contender for satisfied travelers.

According to a 2012 study by J.D. Power and Associates, customer satisfaction for Priceline came in well above the average. Out of a total 1,000 points, Priceline scored 808 while most flight booking sites scored 798.This score was taken purely from consumer responses, making Priceline one of the best websites for cheap flights.

Even four years later, Priceline continues to deliver high customer satisfaction. Trust Pilot, a well-known ranking system for flight booking sites, gave Priceline 8.9/10 stars. Ease of use, quick results, and dependable flight prices were the most highly rated components in its customer service rankings.

Price-Saving Tools

Part of becoming a best website for cheap flights comes from offering enhanced options to save money on the entire travel experience. Priceline stands out among other flight booking sites for its unique price-saving tools for hotels.

Name Your Own Price and Express Deals allow for travelers to save up to 60% on their hotel stays. Simply put in a preferred location, star level, and price range to see deals that fit your budget.

Both of these tools encourage flexibility and affordability in travel. As one of the best flight booking sites, Priceline offers valuable travel supplements with cheap deals on hotel stays.

TripAdvisor Review

For travelers looking for a more unique and thoughtful experience, TripAdvisor is one of the best flight booking sites to use. Founded in 2000, its goal is to provide space for honest, helpful commentary between fellow travelers when booking flights, hotels, and restaurants.

Aside from connecting users to the most affordable flights, the site also offers valuable tools as a best website for cheap flights. This past July, TripAdvisor unveiled its new airline and flight ratings services, allowing travelers to post reviews on their flight experience.

TripAdvisor - best site to book flights

Photo Courtesy: tripadvisor

Ultimately, TripAdvisor promotes interaction between travelers, creating a global network of recommendations, commentary, and reviews. With 385 million reviews and 350 million monthly visitors, it is certainly succeeding.

Key Factors That Enabled This Website to Rank as a Top Best Website for Flights

Below are the primary reasons we selected TripAdvisor to be rated as one of this year’s top flight booking sites.

Company Values

When evaluating for the best website for flights, company values can certainly play a big role. TripAdvisor operates under a core set of company values, enhancing overall value and performance. These values include the following:

  • Community: By providing an open forum for travelers to discuss and compare every aspect of their trip, TripAdvisor creates a global community of travelers.
  • Communication: Open and honest dialogue between the reviewed company and the reviewer makes TripAdvisor unique. Airlines can access and respond to each and every review.

Accreditations and Awards

TripAdvisor has been recognized for excellence in providing affordable and useful travel resources, both on a national and international scale.

In 2015 alone, these awards include:

  • Most Innovative Travel App (MITX Awards)
  • People’s Voice Awards, Travel (Webby)
  • Innovative Technology of the Year (Mobile App)

Supplemental Flight Information

TripAdvisor will search for the cheapest flights on up to 200 different travel sites—and it also provides a list of supplemental information with each and every flight search.

Each airport gets a list of relevant facts to assist travelers in planning their flights as well as to help plan the hours after landing. For example, a quick search for a flight to Orlando, FL yields the following supplemental information:

  • Distance between the airport and the city
  • Total number of airlines servicing the airport
  • List of top-rated hotels in the surrounding area

For travelers who are looking for a little more than simply the best website for cheap flights, TripAdvisor offers valuable supplements to its airline tickets.

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Kayak Review

As an independently owned subsidiary of Priceline, Kayak strives to make global travel not only better but more affordable. In fact, this keen global focus has produced 40 international sites in 20 different languages

Kayak operates as an enhanced search engine, pulling information from a wide range of sites that offer travel deals. Its ultimate goal is to turn every travel problem into a solvable solution.

Each year, Kayak receives 1.5 billion travel information queries, making it one of the most popular flight booking sites currently available.

Key Factors That Enabled This Website to Rank as a Top Best Website for Flights

Below are the primary reasons we selected Kayak to be rated as one of this year’s top flight booking sites.

Transparency in Airline Fees

Part of what makes Kayak a best website for flights is its dedication to clarity and transparency when discussing airline fees. Navigating these additional fees can certainly be frustrating, but Kayak strives to make this into a simple, clear process.

Its complete listing of airline fees provides a detailed account of the potential fees that each airline may add to a flight price, including additional fees for baggage, meals, and seat selection.

This makes searching for cheap flights much easier if travelers have a specific airline in mind. Looking through the airline fees may be one of the best ways to determine how cheap and affordable a flight actually is, particularly since these fees are not commonly advertised.

Enhanced Search Options

For travelers who don’t have a specific destination in mind but still want to travel on a budget, Kayak’s Explore feature is a great tool. By putting in a desired airport, travel month, and estimated budget, travelers can view global flight destinations that will fit within that budget.

Depending upon how high your budget is, this can certainly yield a wealth of options. Kayak makes it easy to apply filters for climate, continent, and attractions.

Those who are looking for flexibility and global outreach may find that Kayak is the best website for cheap flights on a global scale.

Award-Winning Mobile App

Kayak’s mobile app has consistently received high user ratings and high levels of recognition. The mobile app has won the following awards:

  • 2015 & 2014—People’s Voice Award, Travel Mobile Sites & Apps (Webby Awards)
  • 2013—Best Travel Mobile & App for Handheld Devices (Webby Awards)
  • 2012& 2011—People’s Voice Award, Travel Mobile Sites & Apps (Webby Awards)

Users are able to book flights, compare prices, set price alerts, and keep an eye on flight status directly through the app. It also features a customized packing list, currency converter, and a full airline directory.

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Conclusion – Top 6 Flight Booking Sites

As our analysis of the top flight booking sites comes to a close, we hope that this in-depth guide can identify the best site for cheap flights to best-suit your individual needs and preferences.

Each of these flight booking sites has its own unique strengths, and choosing one that meets your unique preferences is a crucial part of your search for the best website for flights. Some operate as the best site for flights internationally while others as the best website for flights and hotel deals.

No matter how you look at it, each travel experience differs from another. The best website for cheap flights may vary for each person. Make sure that you have a definite outline of what you expect from your online booking experience.

With a clear perspective and a little bit of motivation, finding the best site to book flights can be as simple as opening your browser.

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.