There are a lot of ways to find those discounted flight deals out there! Here I’ve pulled together what I think are the best resources to find that $500 flight to Europe.
Ben recently posted about how to find deeply discounted deals in a lie flat seat. But, even with discounts sometimes the prices can still be out of reach for the average person. Being able to use rewards points from Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige towards the cost of a paid ticket helps mitigate this but if you just want to get to a destination, no matter the cabin of service, this is the post for you!
The Flight Deal
Not a day seems to go by anymore without seeing another blogger post about a $500 flight to Europe, a $600 flight to Thailand, etc. But it can be difficult to keep track of all of these. That’s why the Holy Grail for flight deals is The Flight Deal.
The Flight Deal is one of the very few newsletters I actually sign up for and read. It aggregates all the deals from various cities and shows up once a day in your inbox. It has the best roundup I’ve found by far. Once on the website you can easily sort by the city you want to leave from as well. If you have too many emails in your inbox their twitter feed is great too!
For those who did read Ben’s post about finding first class deals you know Flyertalk is an amazing resource. They also have a general mileage run forum for inexpensive economy flights. Getting used to the coding can be challenging for a newbie but there are some great deals to be found!
When the dates and destination matter
Above are my two favorite “go-to’s” for cheap flight deals. But what about when the destination matters? Or of course, when you need cheap airfare for exactly when your PTO was approved? The Flight Deal and Flyertalk are great when you aren’t picky about where you are going and just want to get across one pond or the other for dirt cheap, but sometimes you need to get somewhere specific, on specific dates. The below 4 websites all are great for different reasons.
Google Flights. The new gold standard for finding cheap flights easily. You can see calendar of lowest fares, search by airline alliance, see airfare for different destinations from your originating airport, and more. Below I’ve put in I want to go somewhere in July, for 1 week, leaving from Phoenix. There are all sorts of fun search features to play around with (yes, I consider this fun…feel free to make fun of me).
Kayak is great for a few reasons. One, you’re not just comparing flights. You can compare rental cars, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, and more. The filtering options are really nice here and you can easily set date parameters such as leave July 1st or 2nd and come back July 7th. It’s super simple, easy to use, and I think the best option for the average traveler who knows the dates they need to be somewhere.
Skyscanner. Alright, so Kayak has alerts too but I like Skyscanner more. The alerts are easy to set up and use. There’s absolutely no monitoring needed from you, just check your email. There are a lot of options on how you want your alerts as well. Here’s one I have set up for American’s new nonstop flight from Phoenix to Santa Rosa (the heart of the wine country!).
ITA Software Matrix. Ok, so you’ve used all the above resources and are a whiz at finding deals. If that’s the case then you need to graduate to ITA. Here you can really nerd out by picking specific routings, certain airports you want to stop at, certain airlines you want to fly segments on. There is a lot you can do with ITA and I do not claim to be the utmost expert. However, here is The Flight Deal’s Beginner Guide and Upgraded Points Advanced Guide. ITA is an incredibly powerful tool, but also complex. If you’re ready to hunt for those amazing hidden deals or want to find very specific deals I highly recommend getting to know ITA. But this is definitely not a flight deals 101 resource.
There are tons of resources out there to find cheap flight deals but I hope by sharing these best of the best you can snag that $500 flight to Europe soon!
Any sites I’m completely missing? Anything you disagree with?
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