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The 12 Best Websites for Booking Flights at the Cheapest Prices [February 2024]

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

Senior Content Contributor and News Editor

Countries Visited: 28U.S. States Visited: 29

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
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Stella Shon

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...
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Juan Ruiz

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Juan has been involved in credit cards, loyalty, travel, and personal finance for more than 10 years. He has worked for several outlets including The Points Guy and Forbes and was previously Editor-in...

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Searching for a flight can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many factors: dates, times, price, fare class, airline, and more. Even when you know exactly when and where you want to fly, where should you look for the absolute best price?

Unfortunately, no website consistently has the lowest prices. Most of the popular OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) are usually in the same ballpark for the price, but not all offer the same benefits or search functionality.

We’ve combed through many popular OTAs to compare prices and show you the benefits and drawbacks of each site.

Book Direct Through the Airline’s Website

More often than not, booking directly through the airline’s website will give you the best price, or will at least be the same as the OTAs.

Some airlines, like Southwest, won’t even show up on sites like Expedia or Orbitz, so you have to book direct. It can also be the most simple way to book. If a problem arises, you don’t have to deal with a third party to get it resolved.

Another reason to book directly through an airline’s website is to use those frequent flyer miles — hooray for award flights!

Of course, to book through the airline’s website, you first need to know which airline has the best prices. There are lots of travel search engines and OTAs that can help you find the best deals so you know which airline’s website to visit. Some OTAs even offer perks that might make it worth booking someplace other than the airline’s site.

Hot Tip: A card such as The Platinum Card® from American Express earns an impressive 5x Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with AmexTravel.com on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.

1. Momondo

Momondo is a travel metasearch engine similar to Kayak. The home page displays a simple search box where you can plug in your travel details.

One of the things we love about this site is the visual way it shows you the price trends for your flight. At first glance, you can tell if you could save some money by shifting around your travel dates a bit. It also offers a price tracker and lots of filtering options on the left-hand side of the screen.

Monmodo flight search
You can quickly see how the prices for your travel dates compared to others. Oftentimes, you can save some money if you have a bit of flexibility. Image Credit: Momondo

It also offers Mix & Match fares (formerly Hacker Fares) which are simply 2 one-way tickets from different airlines packaged together to get you the best deal. However, unlike other sites, you must go to 2 separate websites to book these types of tickets.

Pros and Cons of Momondo

Pros:

  • Great price tracking tools

Cons:

  • Mix & Match fares require you to make 2 separate reservations; this is usually handled “behind the scenes” on other websites

Hot Tip: We cover the ins and outs of finding cheap airfare with this website in our guide to using Momondo.

2. Kayak

Kayak is not an OTA. Rather, it’s a travel search engine — making it a great place to start your flight search.

The site compares prices from many different websites all in a single spot, so you can easily see where the cheapest options are. Most of the time, you’ll click through to a different site to complete your booking.

Kayak offers the ability to combine 2 one-way tickets (usually on different airlines) in 1 itinerary, which is a great way to save money on your flight. These itineraries can be pretty good deals and something that doesn’t always appear in search results of other websites.

Pros and Cons of Kayak

Pros:

  • Ability to combine 2 one-way flights on a single itinerary
  • Price Alerts to keep an eye on flight prices

Cons:

  • Kayak offers the most benefit when your travel plans are very flexible; many of its most valuable tools help you search for deals, so this site might be less appealing when you have a specific flight in mind

Bottom Line: For more information about Kayak’s travel search tools, check out the complete guide to booking travel with Kayak.

3. Expedia

Daily Deals Special: Click here for up to 40% off at Expedia

Expedia is another tried-and-true OTA that people have been using since the 1990s. Back then, Expedia was a go-to source for searching and booking flights. But how does it stack up now?

As far as price goes, you aren’t necessarily getting a better deal booking through Expedia, but you aren’t paying any more than you might on the airline’s website.

A nice perk of using Expedia is that it offers a rewards program called One Key. This program offers member pricing plus the ability to earn points for flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, activities, and more.

Hot Tip:

The One Key loyalty program is also used by Hotels.com and Vrbo.

If you’re a member of an airline’s frequent flyer program, you’ll be happy to know that you can still earn airline miles on a flight booked through Expedia. However, you often won’t be able to earn miles toward status or be eligible for seat upgrades.

Pros and Cons of Expedia

Pros:

  • Earn and redeem points through the One Key program

Cons:

  • Booking through Expedia may limit your mileage earned toward elite status
  • Your ability to be eligible for upgrades can be limited when you book through Expedia

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our post about how to use Expedia to find great deals on flights, hotels, vacation packages (and more).

4. Priceline

Priceline is a popular OTA that introduced the Name Your Own Price tool and opaque bookings. These types of bookings can offer discounts, but many of the details are hidden until after the booking. The Name Your Own Price tool was discontinued for flights in 2016, so now Priceline operates like most other OTAs out there.

One of the nice things about searching for flights on Priceline is that it has a nice color-coded calendar, so you can easily see which days offer the lowest prices.

Priceline color coded map
You can see at a glance which days offer the best flight prices. Image Credit: Priceline

The search results on Priceline are clear and easy to navigate. As you scroll through your search results, you can easily see the cheapest nonstop options and things like flights with no change fees or early bird flights.

Priceline search results
Priceline search results are labeled so you can easily find what you’re looking for. Image Credit: Priceline

Another way to save money is by looking at Priceline’s Express Deals. These “opaque bookings” are ones where select details of the flight (like the departure, arrival times, or even the airline) are hidden until the booking is complete.

Pros and Cons of Priceline

Pros:

  • Express Deal flights can offer a good discount if you have some flexibility; many of the details of the flight, including airline and arrival and departure times, are hidden until the booking is complete
  • Color-coded calendar and easy-to-read search results
  • Price Match Guarantee
  • Free online cancellation within 24 hours of booking (except for Express Deal flights)

Cons:

  • No rewards program
  • Express Deal flights can be good deals, but they can sometimes be even more expensive than a standard booking

Bottom Line: For more information, check out the complete guide to booking travel with Priceline.

5. Orbitz

Daily Deals Special: Check out Orbitz’s Daily Deals

Orbitz is another reliable OTA that has been around since 2001. One thing that makes this site a little different is that it offers its own rewards program called Orbitz Rewards. You can earn Orbucks when you book hotels, flights, and vacation packages through Orbitz. However, you can only redeem Orbucks for hotels.

When booking a flight through Orbitz, you’ll earn 1% of your purchase price back as Orbucks (or 2% if you use the Orbitz mobile app). If you book a $500 flight, you will earn 5 Orbucks, which is worth $5 toward a hotel booking. Joining the Orbitz Rewards program is free.

Earn Orbucks on flights
You can earn Orbucks on every flight you purchase through Orbitz. Image Credit: Orbitz

Unfortunately, Orbitz sometimes charges a 1% booking fee. Keep an eye out for these on your trip summary page before finalizing your purchase, and factor them into your calculations to see if you’re getting a good deal or not. While earning Orbucks is great, paying a booking fee could wipe out all of the benefits.

Orbitz booking fee
Watch out for booking fees on your flight purchase from Orbitz. Image Credit: Orbitz

Pros and Cons of Orbitz

Pros:

  • Orbitz Rewards lets you earn Orbucks that can be applied to hotel bookings
  • 24-hour cancellation policy
  • Low Price Guarantee: if you find a lower price for your flight on another website within 24 hours, Orbitz will refund the difference

Cons:

  • Flight booking fees

Bottom Line: For more information, check out our guide to booking travel with Orbitz.

6. Agoda

Agoda is an OTA owned by Priceline. This website doesn’t offer much more than a simple search with limited filter options when looking for flights. If you’re looking for unique accommodations such as an apartment or private villa, Agoda is worth checking out, but it doesn’t offer much when searching for flights.

One cool thing about Agoda is that the site is multilingual. You can select your language by clicking on the flag in the top menu bar.

Agoda
You can easily change the language on Agoda by clicking on the flag icon in the top menu bar. Image Credit: Agoda

Pros and Cons of Agoda

Pros:

  • Simple search functionality
  • Multilingual option

Cons:

  • Limited filtering options for flights

Hot Tip: Agoda has a loyalty program called VIP, but it only applies to hotel stays. For more information, check out our guide to booking travel through Agoda.

7. Hotwire

Special: See these Hotwire Flight Deals

Hotwire is a popular OTA that has been around for almost 20 years.

The simple home page offers the main search box to input your departure and arrival cities as well as your desired dates of travel.

Hotwire can offer a great deal when booking a hotel along with your flight. Many times during the booking process, you’ll see pop-ups or prompts advertising great savings when booking a hotel at the same time. We tested it, and every time we priced out a Hotwire vacation package deal against purchasing a flight and hotel separately, the package deal was cheaper.

Hotwire flight and hotel deals
You can often save money by booking a hotel and flight together on Hotwire. Image Credit: Hotwire

Bottom Line: If you need a hotel in addition to your flight, booking both together through Hotwire can save you money.

One other thing to keep in mind when using Hotwire to find great flight deals is that sometimes a booking fee will be charged.

Pros and Cons of Hotwire

Pros:

  • Package deals that include a hotel stay can save money
  • 24-hour cancellation policy
  • Low Price Guarantee

Cons:

  • Hotwire can sometimes charge a booking fee

Bottom Line: For more details about finding great deals, check out our complete guide to booking travel through Hotwire.

8. Skyscanner

Skyscanner is another travel search engine that does not sell flights directly. It shows you a list of flights and links to the airline’s website or OTA to complete the purchase.

This site excels for travelers with flexibility. In the search box, you can select Explore everywhere to search for the cheapest destinations on your chosen dates.

Skyscanner search option
If you’ve got flexibility, you can use Skyscanner’s “Explore Everywhere” feature to save money. Image Credit: Skyscanner

If you have a set destination with specific dates, Skyscanner operates like most other travel search sites.

Pros and Cons of Skyscanner

Pros:

  • Flexible searches, including Explore everywhere and Multi-city search
  • Easy to change language and currency
  • Price alerts

Cons:

  • No rewards program

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our in-depth piece on Skyscanner

9. Travelocity

Travelocity is yet another OTA that has been around for a while and is very similar to the other websites we’ve been looking at.

On the plus side, there are some nice filtering options to help you find the best flight for your needs. On the downside, prices can change between selection and booking. We did a dummy booking, and by the time we got to the payment section, the flight price had gone up from $157 to $338!

Travelocity flight price change
Watch out for flight price changes when booking through Travelocity. Image Credit: Travelocity

Much like other online travel agencies, Travelocity can also charge booking fees, so keep an eye out for those in the payment section of the booking process.

Travelocity booking fee
Travelocity may charge a booking fee on your flight. Image Credit: Travelocity

Pros and Cons of Travelocity

Pros:

  • Price Guarantee: If you find a lower price on an identical itinerary within 24 hours, Travelocity will refund the difference in price
  • Free cancellation on flights within 24 hours of booking (on most airlines)

Cons:

  • Travelocity sometimes charges a booking fee
  • Prices can change between flight selection and payment

Bottom Line: For more information, check out our guide to booking travel with Travelocity.

10. Google Flights

Google Flights is not an OTA. Rather, it’s a metasearch engine similar to Kayak. Once you find a flight, Google Flights will link you to the airline’s direct website or an OTA to complete the purchase. It is a powerful search engine built on the ITA Matrix, which was originally developed for travel agents.

This site shows you price trends and how your date of travel could affect the cost of your ticket. Plus, it allows you to track the prices of a route, so you can jump on low prices when they pop up. These features make Google Flights a great tool to help you feel confident that the price you’re getting is a good deal.

Google Flights Price Graph
Google Flight’s price graph allows you to see price trends so you can choose the best time to fly. Image Credit: Google Flights

Google Flights recently rolled out a price guarantee feature on select flights departing from the U.S. If you book a flight with the price guarantee badge and the price drops, you’ll get a refund of the difference (with a maximum of $500 per calendar year) from Google Flights via Google Pay. However, you can only receive up to 3 price guaranteed refunds at any one time.

Google Flights price guarantee
Google Flight’s new price guarantee feature will refund the difference if your flight’s price drops on select flights. Image Credit: Google Flights

Pros and Cons of Google Flights

Pros:

  • Price graph shows you the pricing trends for your route and allows you to see what days might be cheaper to fly
  • Price tracking will send you an email when your flight’s price increases or decreases
  • Automatic price guarantee on select flights

Cons:

  • Since this search engine is so powerful with lots of options, it could get complicated for a novice traveler

Hot Tip: You can earn frequent flyer miles on flights booked through an OTA, but you might not earn miles toward elite status.

11. CheapOair

CheapOair is an OTA that offers its own credit card. Before you go apply for the card, we recommend considering choosing a better travel rewards credit card for more lucrative and flexible travel rewards.

This site might not be as cheap as you would think. That’s because it can charge expensive “agency fees.” For most flights, the fees can be up to $35; however, once you read the fine print, you’ll see they can actually be as high as $200 per ticket!

Cheapoair agency fees
CheapOair can charge fees of up to $200 per ticket! Image Credit: CheapOair

In addition, CheapOair charges a fee to change or cancel any ticket, including within 24 hours, which is free on many other sites.

Pros and Cons of CheapOair

Pros:

  • Price Match Promise: CheapOair will refund the difference in price if you find a lower price on the same itinerary on a major OTA within 24 hours of booking

Cons:

  • CheapOair charges hefty booking fees in addition to fees to cancel or change your flight
  • Price Match Promise is very limited; the guarantee is only good for identical flights on Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, and Travelocity

Bottom Line: CheapOair might not be cheap after all. It advertises low base fares, but it charges booking fees, which usually result in a higher price than the airline’s website. For more information, check out our guide to CheapOair.

12. Hopper

Hopper is an app that tries to predict the right time to buy a flight. It claims that using its app can save you up to 40% on flights. The simple interface and color-coded map show you the cheapest and most expensive times to fly to your chosen destination.

Hopper Fare Calendar
Hopper offers a great visual calendar to quickly search for the cheapest days to fly to a particular destination. Image Credit: Hopper

You can also set up alerts to watch the prices for your specific dates or watch a whole month if you have flexible travel plans.

Pros and Cons of Hopper

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Choose to watch prices for a specific trip or choose to watch prices over a whole month

Cons:

  • No ability to search on a desktop
  • Few filtering options

Hot Tip: There are many credit cards with travel insurance and extra protections like trip interruption and cancellation protection and baggage delay coverage. We suggest looking at Chase credit cards or Amex credit cards for great insurance coverage.

Price Comparisons

We searched for a flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to New York City (JFK) across different travel booking websites to compare pricing head-to-head. Below is the cheapest ticket each website offered.

In this search, we weren’t taking anything other than price into consideration. When you are actually booking a flight, there will most likely be more factors that go into your decision of which flight to book.

SCROLL FOR MORE
WebsiteLowest Cost Flight (With Taxes and Fees) Available for LAX>JFK
Agoda
$438 (Delta)
CheapOair
$595 (American)
Expedia
$401 (American/Delta)
Google Flights
$398 (American/Delta)
Hopper
$398 (American/Delta)
Hotwire
$401 (American/Delta)
Kayak
$438 (Delta)
Momondo
$438 (Delta)
Orbitz
$401 (American/Delta)
Priceline
$398 (American/Delta)
Skyscanner
$438 (Delta)
Travelocity
$401 (American/Delta)

In this example, Google Flights, Hopper, and Priceline tied for the cheapest flight cost with Expedia, Hotwire, Orbitz, and Travelocity coming in just $3 more expensive. CheapOair was by far the most expensive option.

Final Thoughts

There is no one-stop shop to find the lowest prices on a flight every time. Most OTAs are in the same ballpark when it comes to price.

If you’ve got some flexibility, many of these sites can help you find the lowest-priced travel dates and destinations.

If you prefer a more traditional booking, start out with a travel search engine like Kayak or Google Flights to search all of the other sites. That will give you a good idea of the best website to use to save the most money on your next flight.

Are you a student? Don’t miss our guide to the best websites for cheap, discount student flights.


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The Best Websites for Booking Flights at the Cheapest Prices

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best website to use to book the cheapest flights?

There is no single website that has the cheapest flights all of the time. Most of the travel search engines and online travel agencies all have similar pricing, however you can find some really nice deals when looking at opaque (hidden) bookings or vacation packages.

What is an opaque booking?

An opaque booking hides many of the flight details, including arrival and departure times and the operating airline, until your booking is complete. Many sites including Hotwire, Orbitz, and Travelocity offer these types of bookings.

Will I earn frequent flyer miles when I book through an online travel agency?

Generally, yes, you will still be able to earn frequent flyer miles on flights booked through an online travel agency. However, miles earned to qualify for elite status may be not be awarded unless you book directly through the airline’s website.

What are the best websites to buy cheap flights to Europe?

Your best bet would be to start with a travel search engine like Kayak or Google Flights. You will be able to see prices from many different websites in one place and you can track flight prices to help determine the best time to purchase tickets. Be sure to check out our guide to the best websites to book European vacation packages if you want to bundle your flight with a hotel and/or rental car.

Is it cheaper to book directly on the airline's website?

Often, an airline will offer the lowest prices through its own website. However, you can often save money booking through an online travel agency (OTA) that has the ability to combine flights from more than 1 airline into a single itinerary.

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About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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