Overview: Ranking & Finding the Best Sites to Book Flights (Top Flight Booking Websites)
According to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, there are over 87,000 flights across the United States per day. If you’re one of those potential passengers, you may be wondering, “What are some of the best flight booking sites?”
Image Source: Chris and Crew Cartoons
Long gone are the days when traveling anywhere involved calling or visiting a travel agent who presented their specific package deals as the best.
In this day and age, some of the best sites to book flights are available at the click of a button. There are countless websites that promise you great deals, but which are really the best flight booking sites? We’ve looked through numerous sites and figured out which are the best sites for flights.
Straight to the Source
It is hard to pin down one clear winner for the cheapest flight booking site. You can search directly on airlines’ websites, checking out popular companies like American Airlines, Delta, Southwest Airlines, or United Airlines.
According to the International Air Transport Association, these are the top four most-traveled airlines.
Image Source: Best Flight Booking Websites
Booking directly from a single airline might not be the most cost-efficient method of booking a trip. However, if you wish to accumulate frequent flier miles with a particular airline, the pay-off could be greater later. Either way, they are some of the best flight sites where you can rest assured that the customer service will be up to par.
Easiest and Best Sites for Flights
Say you want to by-pass all the research and confusion of doing cost comparisons of the best flight booking sites yourself. The good news is that you don’t have to! There are actually many websites dedicated to being the best online flight booking sites for customers who want to balance factors like getting a good deal with not having twenty-hour layovers.
One company has largely cornered the market in providing some of the best sites to book flights. Expedia Inc. encompasses some of the world’s leading online travel brands that are certainly in the ranks of the best sites to book flights.
Since June 2010, Expedia Inc. has held the prestige of being the largest travel agency in the world. Their tremendous growth has been due to their development of the best flight booking website and buying out their competition to ensure they are the cheapest flight booking site.
Expedia Inc. has received numerous accolades for their industry leadership, community stewardship, and being a great workplace environment:
- Recognized in 2014 as a Top Corporate Philanthropist by Puget Sound Business Journal
- World Travel Awards honored Expedia as the World’s Leading Online Travel Agency 2015
- Named “People’s Voice” Travel App in the 2016 Webby Awards
- Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards 2016 named Expedia one of the best places to work
All of these awards are indicative as to how Expedia Inc. owns and operates the best sites to book flights. But there are many other reasons why Expedia, Inc. can provide you with the best flight booking sites, and we will look at a few of them below.
Image Source: Expedia
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Expedia: Best Site for Booking Flights
Expedia.com, the best flight booking website, is a common household name at this point, but it began as just a small division within Microsoft in 1996. Since then, Expedia has revolutionized the way that people think about travel by providing for the first time the best online flight booking opportunities formerly only found by working with a travel agent.
The website has an easy-to-use platform to find affordable flights:
- Choose between flight, flight + hotel, flight + car, or all three
- Select roundtrip, one-way, or multiple destinations
- Enter where you’re flying to and from
- Put in your departing and returning dates
- Choose number of passengers
After that, you will receive the best results with options of ranking by price, flight time, and more. Expedia will even give you the option of extending your flight by a day or two if the search engine discovers that would be cheaper.
A great feature that sets Expedia apart is the automatically generated “Scratchpad” which tracks the flights you’ve been searching for. Because Expedia is arguably the best online flight booking site, you can also enter your email to receive price alerts in regards to the cost trend of your desired dates.
Travelocity was acquired by Expedia Inc. in January 2015, but the site is still up and running just as before. Travelocity already had great brand recognition as one of the best flight sites before the Expedia buy-out (who doesn’t love those little vacationing gnomes?), but now, the website also has increased search engine capacity.
Image Source: Travelocity
Something that Travelocity has that makes it one of the best sites to book flights is the section called “Things to Do,” which can give you great ideas about activities and adventures near you or where you’re traveling to. These activities can be family-oriented, romantic, or historic, but all are sure to be a great part of your vacation. The inspirational ideas that correspond with your flight destination give you as a customer a unique experience when using Travelocity, one of the best online flight booking sites.
Egencia: Business Travel’s Best Site for Booking Flights
Egencia is Expedia’s branch company exclusively devoted to business travel. If you commonly fly for your job, Egencia is one of the best sites to book flights.
As a business traveler, you will find support from Egencia each step of the way to ensure a smooth and stress-free travel process. Egencia not only has easy and efficient online booking; they also promise immediate help when plans change.
Image Source: Business Travel Booking Site
Egencia Travel Consultants are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure you have assistance if you hit a few bumps in the road. Consultants will help you immediately book, cancel, and exchange or update itineraries as needed, providing the kind of service that makes Egencia one of the best flight booking websites.
Their “SeatGuru” tool will also ensure that you get the most comfortable seat on your flight. As a businessperson who is always on the go, you can rest assured that Egencia will meet your mobile needs through their Egencia app, available through Android and the Apple Store. Use this app to book flights or hotel rooms, receive important notifications, view your flight information, and more.
As one of the best flight sites, Egencia caters to the professional in a way that many other sites do not.
Make It a Double…or a Triple!
Another reason that explains how Expedia Inc. provides the best site for booking flights is their sites that plan beyond just the airplane ride. Expedia really delivers the whole package as one of the best flight booking sites.
If you’re looking for a more traditional stay, Hotels.com is also owned by Expedia. When you’re using this search engine on one of the best sites to book flights, you can get a package deal of your hotel room and ticket. And if you’ll need to get around in the city you’re visiting, you’ll find results from CarRentals.com included in your Expedia search for a similarly discounted joint rate.
Some of the other brands that Expedia Inc. owns and operates include some of the best flight booking sites and hotel booking sites in the business:
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Priceline: Another of the Best Flight Sites
Even though Expedia may have won the title of best site for booking flights, as a conscientious consumer it’s still important to check out the competition. Another website that is also one of the best sites to book flights is Priceline.com.
Searching for your flight on their main homepage is pretty simple: just enter where you’re going to and leaving from, your departing and returning dates, and number of passengers.
But without question, what makes Priceline one of the best sites for flights is their combination vacation packages. As one of the best online flight booking sites, Priceline is dedicated to providing you with an affordable experience in the air and once you land.
Similar to the travel agents of old, Priceline has experienced agents put together affordable package deals that will be sure to entertain as you visit memorable locations such as the Bahamas, Walt Disney World, and more. This helps makes Priceline one of the best flight booking sites if you’re interested in the maximum vacation experience.
Airfare Watchdog claims to be the cheapest flight booking site around, and this claim isn’t far from the truth. “If it’s low, we’ll let you know,” is their catchy slogan, indicative of why Airfare Watchdog might be the best choice for you.
Image Source: Airfare Watchdog
The company is very effective at alerting you when prices are low to buy the tickets you want.
Fare Compare.com is another of the best sites to book flights that will help you find some of the cheapest options out there. But most importantly, they care about customer education.
When-to-Fly helps you as a customer know what dates, days of the week, and time of day will generally be cheaper to fly. Where-to-Go fills you in on often overlooked getaway spots that will save you money without costing you memories.
Image Source: Fare Compare.com
When-to-Buy lets you know about today’s deals and also gives tips about when it’s best to buy tickets. How-to-Shop gives you the inside scoop on hidden fee comparisons among airlines, including a helpful airline bag fee chart. Global Events can give you inspiration in planning your trip. For these reasons, Fare Compare is one of the best sites for flights around.
Other Ticket Buying Tips
Just because you use some of the best flight booking sites doesn’t mean you’ve taken advantage of all the practical tips that can make your travels more affordably priced. Even the best online flight booking site is limited in success by these tricks of the trade.
1. Search at the right time. After midnight, many of the best sites for flights reload their computers with the discounted prices that many customers hope for.
2. Check a range of dates. If you’re flexible about the timing of your trip, Travelocity and Orbitz, two of the best sites for flights, have the solution to finding the cheapest flight. Travelocity will let you search within a range of months for the cheapest options, while Orbitz will let you look for the lowest price over a weekend you choose.
3. Book award tickets early and in advance. An online reservation of your reward trip through one of the best sites to book flights costs nothing from most airlines, but could cost up to $15 per ticket.
Now go out there and use one of the best flight sites to explore new horizons, rekindle distant connections, and make the world a better place.
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