Where Can You Find the Cheapest Flights and Airline Tickets?
Just a few years ago there were only a handful of websites offering cheap airline tickets. These days you have so many options it’s easy to get lost. Since you’ll be paying pretty much the same price at a lot of different websites, it becomes important to know how these services rate in terms of customer satisfaction.
Here’s a breakdown of three popular sources of cheap flights on the Internet.
Deal we found — Round trip ticket from Dallas / Ft. Worth to Boston, $190
Everyone talks about Cheap Tickets like they’re a bunch of criminals.
Before this year I’d never used Cheap Tickets, though they’ve been around for the better part of a decade, mostly because I heard the same old line from everyone — “their customer service is awful”. I’m not sure how it used to be but my experience and the experience of a few close friends tells me that Cheap Tickets is no less persnickety than your average airline.
People complain about losing their money when they cancel a trip with Cheap Tickets without stopping to think how common stuff like that is through any airline. When you start cancelling flights and moving them around you’re going to earn a bunch of fees and frustration, no matter the source of your ticket.
Cheap Tickets has an easy to use website though it isn’t exactly easy on the eyes. Head to Cheap Tickets when you’re booking something at the last minute — they’re known for surprisingly good deals on next-day flights.
Deal we found — Round trip ticket from Dallas / Ft. Worth to Boston + two night’s hotel stay, $398
Priceline.com may be the best-known of online cheap flights services mostly because of their nationwide commercials and affiliation with actor William Shatner. Just like Cheap Tickets, Priceline has plenty of people complaining about their services — people write really brutal reviews of these deal websites all the time. But what Priceline does it does well — providing a website offering deals as good as their competitors but packed full of features that makes the search for a cheap ticket easier. I love using Priceline’s website — is it the photos of Shatner or the super-fast search functions? I’m not sure.
I use Priceline when I’m planning a trip well into the future and need a car rental or hotel stay along with my flight deal. Their package deals are excellent and they have long-standing relationships with nice hotel chains and the top car rental agencies to provide Priceline customer discounts.
Deal we found — Round trip ticket from Dallas / Ft. Worth to Boston, $145
Cheapflights.com offered us the best overall deal on a flight from DFW Airport to Logan at just under $150 round trip, but Priceline’s inclusion of a nice two night stay at the Marriot for under $400 might rival it a little. Cheap Flights should offer package deals to be considered one of the big boys, and until they can hook me up with a hotel deal I probably won’t use them. Priceline’s charging about the same for flights while Cheap Tickets has lots of deal on last-minute travel. What’s Cheap Flight’s gimmick?
Sure, the prices are low and I’ve not heard too much complaining about their customer service, but it just doesn’t jump out at me as a place I’d want to do business.
I will say in Cheap Flight’s favor that their “handpicked deals” tab has all kinds of great prices available on other websites — it’s like a gallery of the best deals from Priceline, 1-800 Hotels, and other deal finders.
If you haven’t jumped on the “cheap flights” bandwagon and are still buying your tickets from the airline, you should give an online discount service a try for your next flight. It won’t make the in-flight meal taste any better, but the money left in your wallet could buy you a a few drinks to take the edge off your misery.
This is part of a series of blog posts we’re publishing about where to find cheap deals. The other posts in this series include:
- Where Can You Find the Cheapest Laptop?
- Where Can You Find the Cheapest Hotels?
- Where Can You Find the Cheapest Cars?
- Where Can You Find the Cheapest LCD TV?