How to Find Cheap Airfare

As you might know, I really enjoy traveling.  I also really enjoy finding a good deal on travel.  There are a few good resources for finding cheap airfare.

Notification Services

Scott’s Cheap Flights

I discovered Scott’s after I booked my 2018 China trip.  They have a team of people who look for airfare deals.  Scott’s has both paid and free accounts.  The folks with paid accounts get the deals first and the people with the free accounts get the deals later.  The paid accounts cost $49/yr which is a lot of money but if it saves you $500 on a ticket, it’s worth the investment.

FareDrop

I started using FareDrop last summer after it launched.  At $47.88/yr, it is similarly priced to Scott’s but it has some filters that Scott’s doesn’t have and it is uses some sort of automated magic for finding the deals.  I’m not sure yet if it is better than Scott’s but it seems to be sending me some good deals.

Search Services

Google Flights

Google Flights lets you search for the cheapest airfare between two airports by showing you the cheapest price for every day, for two months at a time.  You can page through the calendar and find the abnormally low prices.

When I flew to London last January, this is how I found my super cheap airfare.

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is another flight search engine.  It has really good coverage with the various airlines and ticket agencies and allows you to limit the results based upon when you need to leave, duration, etc.

Momondo

Momondo is very similar to Skyscanner.  It searches all the things to help you find not only the cheapest flight but the cheapest way to buy it.

Much like Skyscanner, you can filter the results however you want.

Credit Card Points

I signed up for a Chase Sapphire Reserve card roughly a year ago for the travel benefits.  When I signed up for it, there was a new member benefit of ~$750 worth of travel points.  In addition to that, you get $300/yr worth of credit towards travel, a priority pass membership, and 3x points on travel and dining.  When I signed up for it, the card had an annual fee of $450 but this month, they increased it to $550/yr.  Is it still worth it at $550/yr?  I’m not sure but I have 11 months remaining to decide.

How to best use these tools

I have a paid FareDrop account, a free Scott’s Cheap Flights account, and the CSR card.  I keep a list of travel goals and occasionally check the various airfare search services for deals.  You can get the best prices if you can find a deal on a specific flight and then book it on the credit card’s website.  Doing that, you can (at least partially) pay for it using points.

 

Have a question, comment, etc?  Feel free to drop a comment, below.  This post is part of my occasional travel hacking series.  Let me know if there is a particular topic that you want to see me cover.

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