5 Of The Best Websites To Use When Booking A Flight

When it comes to planning a trip, doing as much research as you can is highly essential, especially when you have a budget to stick to and a specific travel timeframe in mind. That means conducting your accommodation searches on various platforms. If your adventure entails getting on an airplane, booking a flight several months in advance is usually a good idea so you can track prices more efficiently.

There are also a lot of factors you ought to consider when booking flights. How much time do you have before your preferred travel dates? Although planning a last-minute trip is completely doable, finding cost-friendly airfare becomes a bigger challenge, especially if you don't have much date flexibility or are planning to fly during the holidays when travel is notoriously expensive. If money is an issue and you just want the cheapest flight combination available, you may have to be willing to slog through late or overnight flights or endure longer-than-usual layovers. Lastly, if you have credit card perks or rewards programs that offer free miles, you should prioritize avenues that allow you to take advantage of these benefits.

Considering all these components, the process of finding and booking a flight that fits most of your requirements is fairly easy to accomplish. To help you get started on your search, we've rounded up some of the best flight booking platforms for you to utilize based on personal experience, suggestions, and positive reviews shared online by travel experts and regular customers alike. At the end of the article, there will be a more detailed explanation of how we went about the website selection process for this roundup.


As a one-stop travel search aggregator that lets users look up not just flights but car rentals and hotel accommodations, among other things, Kayak is a popular go-to among air travelers who have a budget at the top of their priority list. It has a user-friendly interface, whether you use the platform on desktop or mobile. After entering the airports you'd like to depart from and arrive at as well as your preferred travel timeframe, you'll immediately see a list of available flight combinations, with the cheapest and best — in terms of flight times, the duration of all flight legs and layovers, and price combined — options at the top of the queue. Various filters are also on hand to help you finetune your results, allowing you to limit the number of stops, prioritize takeoff and landing times, and choose your preferred airlines, among other things.

When you access Kayak on a computer, even before you hit the search button on the main page, you'll immediately see a price trends graph given your selected destination, so you can sort of plan to keep an eye out for potentially lower prices. On the search results page, a useful Advice box at the top of the filter side panel tells you if it's a good time to buy or wait for a better deal. In any case, you can also switch the Track Prices toggle on so you can get email alerts regarding your flight search.

If your travel dates are not set in stone, simply indicate it in the date selection dropdown box before hitting the search button. This will produce a helpful Flexible Dates table on the results page that will let you choose the cheapest timeframe possible without having to do multiple searches.


Like Kayak — its parent company — Momondo is another travel search engine that is becoming a favorite among various online travel roundups. It has most of the same features and is likely providing the same flight search results as Kayak, but the price trends graph for your destination is conveniently on top of the results page instead, allowing you to make quick date modifications if needed without having to exit out of the flight's list.

There's also a nifty Flight Insights link at the top of the results page that gives you a guide on how to get the cheapest possible flight to your chosen destination. This feature mostly benefits travelers with flexible travel dates as it gives advice on which month, day, and time flights to the selected destination are most affordable, as well as the best airline options available. More importantly, a recommendation on how far in advance you should be looking into flights is also provided if you want to save some money.

Google Flights

Google's Flights portal is pretty straightforward and is a great option for people who don't want to open too many tabs to do their flight research. Everything you need to access is on the same page, and the list of available flights is generated pretty quickly. Results dynamically update even when you change the airports you want to leave from and arrive at, which is ideal when you're trying to pick the best location to fly to price and time-wise. There's a Date Grid button that lays out all the flight prices in a convenient matrix, with the most optimal options highlighted in green. Meanwhile, the Price Graph provides a selection of trip durations based on the number of days you've initially selected, in case you are able to move your itinerary earlier or later.

A number of the best flights available are separated from other available flight options, all of which you can instantly compare without opening a new window by clicking on the dropdown arrow next to the trips you are considering. There's also a useful Price History section that alerts you when the costs of flights are higher than normal compared to usual costs and illustrates it in a chronologically arranged graph.

Air travelers who just want to go somewhere for an adventure may enjoy Google Flight's Explore option, which provides you with the cheapest possible destinations that leave from your home airport. Note that suggested itineraries are based according to popularity, cost, and convenience, among other factors.


If you have a specific destination in mind, Skyscanner functions similarly to the rest of the travel search engines mentioned earlier. After providing your location, destination, departure and return dates, and number of travelers, you will be provided the most ideal flights available, with the best, cheapest, and fastest options highlighted at the top of the list. By default, flights are sorted according to what's best — determined by price, speed, number of stops, and the level of hassle, among others — but you can also organize the list in terms of flight duration, overall cost, and according to departure time at either your home base or from your flight back.

Skyscanner works a lot better if you have flexible dates and destinations. Using your home airport or your departure and return dates, the Explore Everywhere button on the home page will give you a wide variety of vacations, including international ones. You can highlight the cheapest flight suggestions or ones that fly you directly.

There's also a "Let us inspire your next trip" button, an AI-backed travel search currently in its beta stage of development. You can enter any phrase you like to describe your ideal escapade — "family beach trip in the Caribbean," for example — and be given relevant flight suggestions.


To round out your airfare research, make sure you check if Southwest services your particular destination. In most cases, the budget airline provides the cheapest options available. If you happen to have a Southwest credit card, you can also accumulate and use miles just as easily. Although the airline doesn't have assigned seats — priority boarding is based on the time you check in — one of Southwest's best perks is that, as a passenger, you get to fly with two bags for free.

Based on testing, none of Southwest's flights appear in search results when you use any of the previously mentioned flight-booking websites. Because of this, Southwest is a must-visit platform whenever you're booking a flight.

You can also make the rounds with other popular low-cost airlines just to cover your bases, namely JetBlue, Frontier, and Spirit, to name a few. Unlike Southwest, they may show up in aggregator searches, but it doesn't hurt to go directly to your chosen airline's website. If you're traveling internationally, make sure you look up budget airlines local to the area as well.

How we chose these travel sites

The websites featured in this piece were chosen based on our actual and successful experiences with them in our travels. We also considered suggestions and positive reviews shared online by travel experts and regular customers alike. While most of our suggestions are available via mobile app, we highly recommend conducting your airfare search on a computer for a wider view of the results and to access the full slate of your chosen platform's features.

The travel-booking services we highlighted in this list should adequately give you an idea of what to expect to spend on your impending airfare, but don't let this guide limit your search to just these websites. Finding the best flights isn't a perfect science. Since cost fluctuations are expected and unpredictable, it's recommended that you book a flight as soon as you find one within your parameters.

As much as possible, if you can, book your flights directly with your chosen airline. Whether it's because of your prior experience or it's the airline you have the most rewards points with, it's generally the smarter choice as it does away with extra fees and the potential hassle of having to course your booking through an online travel agency. If your flight gets canceled or there are any real-time issues the airline has to deal with, having a direct line of communication and getting timely assistance without going through a third party is more convenient. While trying out the flight-booking websites on our list, don't hesitate to also take a peek at what any mentioned airlines offer on their official websites for a well-rounded comparison.