5 Sites For Finding Cheap Travel Tickets

Lifehacker’s readers voted on their 5 favorite, and sometimes, unsung, travel deal websites. Here’s what they came up with:

What about you, what travel sites do you visit first when hunting for a deal?

[Lifehacker] (Photo: balmes)

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  1. FeuerrotBenz says:

    Side step is totally awesome! At the Beginning of March I booked a multi-flight trip to Europe (London & Berlin), and sidestep made it soooo easy! The trip was taking place at the beginning of may and I paid $768 for three flights!

    Chicago to London
    London to Berlin
    & Berlin to Chicago

    • jamar0303 says:

      @FeuerrotBenz: On the other hand, Sidestep doesn’t seem to be so good on flights not originating from the US. They quoted $3333 for JAL Shanghai to Nashville (JAL flies to Chicago, American codeshare to Nashville from there) when I got half that price by calling their local ticket office. Odd.

  2. FeuerrotBenz says:

    Also, the flights were on Virgin and Air Berlin. AB was a pretty standard flight, but the VA flights were awesome!

    • gibbersome says:

      @FeuerrotBenz: Virgin Atlantic is awesome, I completely agree.

      • FeuerrotBenz says:

        @gibbersome: Yeah, they gave me a free travel kit with toothbrush/toothpaste, stationary, and one of those things you put over your eyes to help you sleep. They serve awesome, filling meals with free glasses of wine. After dinner I enjoyed another free glass of wine and cheesecake while watching Cloverfield and family guy re-runs. I recommend Virgin airline to anyone traveling overseas.

        • littlemisslondon says:

          @FeuerrotBenz: Seconding this. Plus, they once cancelled my flight from Shanghai to London due to weirdness with airspace permissions, so they put me up in a great hotel and flew me FIRST CLASS (bed seats! free in-flight massage!) back to London the next day. And refunded me the price of the flight.

          That said, Virgin trains in the UK can be pretty dire, but Virgin Airlines = awesome.

  3. raleel says:

    while not specifically for getting cheap seats, finding out how good your cheap seats are is handy too, and for that, I go to seatguru.com. very interesting stuff… I upgrade from no-power to power seats on international flights with no increase in cost.

  4. Mina_da_mad_child says:

    Cheapoair.com is pretty good as well (if you don’t get frightened by the name)

    I took a trip from Newark to Beijing and Vietnam back to Newark and it was super easy to book everything and select my seats on the american airline. Plus their price was about $400 cheaper than the other sites

  5. serialportme says:

    Travelzoo. Got 4* Manhattan Times Square for $199.

    Believe me I have been obsessive, hotwire, priceline, anything. Nothing came close.

  6. ilves says:

    I like using Kayak then booking through the actual airlines site because that way if something goes wrong you can actually change/switch flights without a huuuge hassle.

    • ajlei says:

      @ilves: I do the exact same thing. Never had an issue with anything going wrong but it’s much easier to price check on Kayak and then go straight to the airline to purchase the tickets.

  7. JohnTheBastard says:

    [matrix.itasoftware.com]

    From the guys who actually programmed the search engine that all the other sites use. Simple, no ads, no b.s. The timeline view is especially helpful for picking flights.

  8. mike says:

    I like kayak’s historical feature. It shows you when what the prices have been historically and whether you can wait further on down the road.

    Remember: it’s always cheaper to fly on Wed or Thurs than it is any other day.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Kayak purchased Sidestep for about $200 million last December. They have separate sites but (it appears to me) the results are identical.

    Also use Yahoo Farechase – farechase.yahoo.com – I find it often gets different results to Kayak/Sidestep

  10. billbillbillbill says:

    I use many of these sites then go to the actual hotel website and 75% of the time, they have the same deal without the hassle of prepaying and having no flexibility. Most hotels also guarantee they are the lowest rate so you can call and get a better rate.

  11. MissPeacock says:

    I wish I had known this when I booked a flight to New York last week. I compared prices only with Orbitz, Cheap Tickets, Travelocity, and Expedia.

  12. jp182 says:

    I used Farecast earlier this year to get tickets to Seattle for PAX but found that the low priced seats were unobtainable. Like I would have a list of 5 flights and when I clicked on them, they were either all gone OR it would divert me to a higher priced seat.

  13. my_imaginary_friends_bore_me says:

    I always check several site, but 95% of the time I get the best deal at NWA (I live in Detroit)

  14. gkelly says:

    bookingwiz.com guys! It provides you w almost ALL the search engines listed above (8 total) for you to go down the list and click at your leisure for prices after you’ve typed in your initial depart/destination info. I’m in a long LONG distance relationship and travel once a month almost every month, and truth is that all the sites always vary in pricing, one may be cheaper than the other one month and then its the opposite the following. I go through all 8 search engine sites, and have yet to book a flight using the same engine twice in a row.

  15. holocron says:

    If meet the following conditions then Flyspy (www.flyspy.com) is an excellent option.

    1. flying out of Minneapolis
    2. Flying on Northwest

  16. rickshawed says:

    Since I like to quickly check all the online travel agencies out there without having to enter in my information a hundred times, I find myself going back to http://www.bookingbuddy.com more often than not.

    At least I know I’m going directly to each travel site directly and can open several windows at the same time and quickly compare all the prices.

  17. jodles says:

    lastminute.com

    When I was studying abroad in London I got a flight to Rome for $40. No joke. But it was on Ryanair which was an interesting experience…

  18. PeteyNice says:

    If it is not a last minute thing I usually employ a Yapta/Farecast combination for flights. Set Yapta up with a price I am willing to pay and then when it hits that price you get an email. Cue Farecast to see if it is going to go lower and proceed accordingly.

    There are two drawbacks to this plan though.

    1) Yapta will only price itineraries not city pairs so if you tell it to track the 8PM flight and the 7PM flight drops in price it won’t tell you. It is also subject to the vagaries of airline schedule changes. If the flight number changes even if the times don’t it will stop tracking and you will lose your historical data when you re-enter the information.

    2) Farechase only makes predictions 90 days or closer to the date of travel.

  19. spamaroni says:

    I contacted Kayak twice to tell them how much I liked various parts of their website. The first time the President of the company wrote back to thank me for my support. The second time my email was forwarded to the software engineer who designed the feature I liked (the fee comparison chart) who wrote me this great response about what they were working on to make it even better. I love Kayak.

  20. Etoiles says:

    We all started using Kayak at my last job to book work travel, after one employee found it accidentally. Totally my favorite now.

  21. Parting says:

    Kayak isn’t bad. However, for plain tickets, always check airline’s website first, and compare. Sometimes they beat everything else.

  22. bilge says:

    I’ve been using Vayama as of late. When they have some super deal where they can’t give you the exact details of the flights until you purchase them, they’ll usually tell you at least the alliance and departure/arrival windows so you can usually figure out which airlines and flights you’ll be on. I’ve also found them to be particularly strong when you need to get to some backwoods location or to some place where US carriers fear to go (like Tehran).

  23. Anonymous says:

    Mobissimo!
    i swear it comes up with the most variety of airlines, european domestic, small Indian local airlines and etc for the most complicated travel planning.
    some times the price doesnt include those ridiculous taxes, especially for non-US flight, but at least it gives you a good idea what flight you can actually get from a particularly obscure airport and etc.