From Expedia to Kayak: The Best Cheap Flight Booking Sites

Many travel websites advertise cheap tickets, but too many options can be overwhelming. GOBankingRates reviewed some of the top travel deals sites to learn what sets them apart — and explored how to use them to get the best deals. Check out the results and pick the best site to help you save money on travel.

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Airfare Deals From Travel Websites

Deciding which is the best site for flights is often a matter of personal preference, so it makes sense to conduct some research. Check out these sites and decide if any might work for you when you’re ready to book a vacation.

You can also employ some tricks to maximize savings: Use your web browser’s privacy mode (like Google Chrome’s Incognito) to prevent the site’s algorithm from recording your interest and raising prices. Many of the best travel sites also have social media accounts; following them can enable you to access special offers and flight deals.

Be sure to read the fine print from wherever you book — there’s always some little detail in there you might easily overlook. 

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Key feature: Explore feature lets you search trips by budget

Kayak Explore lets you set your travel budget and your departure city and view available destinations that come in at or under budget, thanks to cheap flights. Kayak enables you to learn about affordable, fascinating places to visit that you might never have considered otherwise.

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Key feature: Ability to scan entire month to find the best fares

If you want to use the best website for flights within a specific month, check out SkyScanner. Pick your month, designate your departure city and you’ll see a map that shows you available destinations — and available cheap tickets. The online map alone is enough to provide inspiration and the deals are often excellent if you can adjust your dates accordingly.


Key features: Option to name your own price, package deals

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It’s hard to decide which is the best site for cheap flights because they’re all so different — and some are so new. Priceline, however, has been around since 1997, and you can still find great travel deals through it. You can still “name your price” and bid on hotel rooms, or you can check out “Express Deals” for straightforward discounts on accommodations. You can also search for cars, flights, cruises, hotels and package deals.

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Key feature: Search travel products from multiple sites, airlines and travel providers

You’ll find listings from most of the major travel discount sites as well those operated by travel vendors, like airlines. The listings enable you to compare prices and make your choice, and the site also offers an app so you can check out offers while you’re on the go. Launched in 2003, CheapFlights sees upwards of 120 million people around the globe visit its sites and apps.

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Key feature: Its flexible ticket service enables consumers to rebook flights up to 24 hours before scheduled takeoff

If you prefer to book travel by phone, SmartFares offers live support 24/7. In fact, its reservation agents are privy to unpublished fares, so it might make sense to call even after you’ve searched the site.

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Key features: Multiple destinations search, bundle deals, loyalty program

You can search Expedia flights for multiple destinations, and you can also get information about baggage fees, which can be fierce these days. The company’s loyalty program allows patrons to earn two Expedia Rewards points for every $1 spent on hotels, cars, packages and things to do, and one point per every $5 spent on flights.


Key feature: Unpublished fare information, travel credit card analysis, personal touch

AirfareWatchdog is different from many discount travel sites because it has human analysts reviewing travel deals and providing information about things like an unpublished flight sale, the best credit card for earning miles and travel-related issues. Although this is definitely an e-commerce site, it also has the feel of a personal website or blog.

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Google Flights

Key feature: Allows users to search and track flights, embedded price tracker

Google Flights isn’t a traditional travel deals site: Google doesn’t sell travel, but you can book your flight through one of its travel partners directly through the Google Flights interface. You can also research and track flights so you can monitor costs and book accordingly. Google will send you emails or text messages when a flight price changes, and if/when a fare is about to expire or a fare might go up. Google Flights also touts a map search feature, which can reveal the cheapest fares to a number of destinations.

Scott’s Cheap Flights

Key Feature: The site emails you whenever there’s a good deal for your destinations

Know where you want to go, but only willing to pay when the price is right? That’s when Scott’s Cheap Flights comes in handy. The site sends out deal alerts from actual flight experts, who also provide insight on how long the deal may last.

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ITA Matrix

Key Feature: It’s the powerful software that Google Flights uses 

Google acquired ITA Matrix in 2011 and has since used the software to assemble data for Google Flights. If consumers are looking to bypass Google Flights and get straight to the source, they can book flights directly on ITA Matrix.  The site doesn’t have the most glamorous interface — and seems downright janky compared to Google Flights — but don’t let appearances fool you. The site is super powerful and allows users to search for split fares and search for flights going to a specific region rather than a specific airport.


Key Feature: Price tracker and filtering options 

Momondo’s slick and colorful website is more than just easy on the eyes, it’s also a great destination for cheap flights. Similar to Kayak, the homepage asks users to plug in their travel details and voila: It finds the best deals on airfare. The site touts a price tracker and an abundance of clear filtering options so that users can hone in on exactly what they’re looking for.

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Key Feature: Excellent rewards program and 24-hour cancellation policy 

Launched in 2001, Orbitz stands out as a titan metasearch engine — but is also great for users who are up for joining their rewards program (which is free, so why not?). Through Orbitz Rewards, travelers can rack up “Orbucks” when booking flights, hotels and vacation bundles. The catch is you can only redeem the points when booking hotels through Orbitz. You can also cancel your flight in-app up to 24 hours in advance.  


Key Feature: Price match guarantee

The longstanding site Travelocity has a stellar Under the Price Match Guarantee, and will refund users the difference in price if they find a cheaper flight through another platform. They’ll also throw in a $50 coupon to use on future airfare, hotel or hotel bundle booked on the site.

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Nicole Spector contributed to the reporting for this article.

Last updated: Sept. 20, 2021

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About the Author

Lainie Petersen is a writer, radio host and media professional living in Chicago. She holds a master's degree in library and information science from Dominican University and has managed or written for numerous business and personal finance blogs. She enjoys cooking, tea and working with a start-up media network in her hometown of Chicago.
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