Friday, February 19, 2010

Using the best travel search engines to find the cheapest airfare

Traveling photographers who fly from Cleveland have lots of choices with Continental having a hub here. But even withal those choices, most photographers are still looking for the best price they can get when it comes to flying. Use of the best search engines for travel searches can make sure you get the best rate with the most convenient timing. Great rates are wonderful, but if you have to fly out at 6:00 a.m. and return at 1:00 a.m., you might not consider it a good deal after all. is the site I’ve been using for years. Each year it just seems to get better with additional features for the traveler. does not sell tickets, but rather searches all the other sites out there to find the best results for you.It can even launch separate search windows to check with Hotwire, Priceline, Travelocity and Expedia, saving the effort of typing in your choice over and over. Once you select a fare you like, sends you the appropriate site to place your order.

Some of the most valuable features are the capability to set ranges of departure and arrival times that fit your schedule, how many layovers you will tolerate and how long they can be, and which airlines you will consider or not consider. (Like all other search engines, it doesn’t check Southwest or JetBlue.)

Kayak also has a robust i-Phone app that in addition to searching for travel prices, will also allow you to track flights and lookup various airline baggage fees. There is a free version and a $1.99 version which also checks first class and business class seat prices. is a newer search engine that is actually powered by Kayak, but specializes in price changes. They will notify you if a searched price lowers in the future, or help you get refunds after you purchase. Certain airlines will give you refunds for prices drops of any amount, while others will only refund the difference if it exceeds a certain dollar value. The airlines and their trigger amounts are listed on Yapta’s site. does a selection of searches from most airlines but offers a wider variety of dates to choose from if your travel is totally flexible. By picking months instead of individual dates, you can quickly see which days of the week and month will result in the lowest fares. (Kayak has similar flex date searches but only displays recent searches by other users.)
Be careful however, when Travelocity lists a price as USD 438.00+. The little plus sign can mean big dollars. When checking a price from Cleveland to Nassau recently, it showed the price as $438.00 but when drilling down to the actual flight and getting ready to book it, it turns out that there is another $107.00 in taxes and fees that the airline adds, bringing your real cost up to $545.00.
Do you have another favorite search engine? Please share with your fellow readers and leave a comment below. Happy searching.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

College Specials