By comparing all the individual flight search sites, Cheap Flights Finder’s birds eye view highlights strengths and weaknesses of all major flight comparison sites, such as Skyscanner, KAYAK, momondo, Tripadvisor and Google Flights.
The website facilitates around £6 million worth of flights a year and saves customers - who mostly come from the UK and USA - around £2 million annually on their tickets, based on each saving an average of £300 per sale.
CEO Shahab Siddiqui states: “Our passion for travel extends to our users and our aim is always to find the best value fares. We know there are some common beliefs held by travellers around booking flights, which simply aren’t true. It’s therefore our mission to bring transparency to the market”.
TOP 5 FLIGHT BOOKING MYTHS THAT SIMPLY AREN’T TRUE…
1). USING ONE FLIGHT SEARCH SITE SUCH AS GOOGLE FLIGHTS WILL PRODUCE THE BEST PRICE EVERY TIME: FALSE
“Research shows that using one travel search site alone, even if it is Google Flights, does not always automatically result in the cheapest fare. A study undertaken by Cheapﬂightsﬁnder.com on 60 popular ﬂight routes from London, Manchester and Birmingham reveals some surprising statistics,” states Siddiqui.
The following sites were tested head to head on the same return ﬂight routes on the exact same dates - KAYAK, Cheapﬂights, Skyscanner, momondo, Google ﬂights, Jetcost and Dohop:
Travel search engines which showed the most expensive ﬂights or joint expensive:
1.) Google ﬂights - 53% of the time Google was most expensive.
2.) Jetcost - 35% of the time Jetcost was most expensive.
3.) Skyscanner 13% of the time Skyscanner was most expensive.
4.) momondo - 8% of the time was most expensive.
5.) Cheapﬂights - 8% of the time was most expensive.
6.) Dohop - 6% of the time was most expensive.
7.) KAYAK - 5% of the time was most expensive.
Cheapest or joint cheapest search engines -
1.) Skyscanner - 40% of the time found the cheapest.
2.) momondo - 38% of the time found the cheapest.
3.) KAYAK - 36% of the time found the cheapest.
4.) Cheapﬂights and Dohop - 35% of the time found the cheapest.
5.) Google ﬂights - 18% of the time found the cheapest.
6.) Jetcost - 13% of the time found the cheapest.
“What we can conclude from these findings is that if consumers want to locate the absolute best ﬂight, they should search as many comparison sites as possible, as no single site will bring up the cheapest ﬂights 100% of the time. Cheapﬂightsﬁnder.com makes this easy, with its intuitive meta-meta ﬂight search dashboard. This allows travellers to compare all of the top search engines side-by-side in seconds,” Siddiqui adds.
2.) THE BEST FLASH FARES & ERROR FARES CAN ONLY BE FOUND BY PROFESSIONAL FLIGHT HACKERS, THROUGH A PREMIUM NEWSLETTER SERVICE: FALSE
“In recent times new sites have popped up from self-proclaimed ﬂight hackers, who charge a premium for locating cheap online deals. However, it is fairly easy to ﬁnd ﬂash fares and error fares by yourself. Travellers simply have to make a broad search for ‘everywhere’ on websites which allow this and then look for the lowest prices. Skyscanner, KAYAK and Google ﬂights allow broad searches to anywhere at anytime, enabling you to see the best ﬂash fares in seconds.”
“In addition, Cheapﬂightsﬁnder.com’s new deals search engine makes it super easy to ﬁnd the lowest fares in seconds, for which other newsletter services charge a premium,” Siddiqui comments.
Here are some flash fares from Cheapﬂightsﬁnder.com, for which users would have otherwise had to pay a premium on a newsletter subscription:
London to Bangkok - £277
Manchester to San Francisco - £223
Edinburgh to China - £349
London to New York - £216
London to Moscow - £59
Manchester to Delhi - £287
Manchester to Dubai - £259
Birmingham to Mexico City - £372
Birmingham to Barcelona - £39
London to Mexico City - £330
3.) YOU HAVE TO CLEAR BROWSER COOKIES TO AVOID PRICE HIKES: FALSE
“We undertook a study of 60 ﬂights with cookies enabled and the exact same search in incognito mode (cookies disabled). We found this made zero difference in ﬂight price. The only downside is you may see adverts for the meta search engine on other sites as your digital footprint shows you have been looking for particular ﬂights on a particular site,” Siddiqui says.
4.) IT IS CHEAPER TO BOOK FLIGHTS THROUGH THE AIRLINE DIRECTLY - ESPECIALLY FOR SOUTHWEST AND NORWEGIAN, WHICH DON’T SHOW UP ON COMPARISON SITES: FALSE
“It is generally cheaper to book through a travel agent rather than going to the airline direct, as they can often offer discounted fares after buying in bulk. We did a test to see which would be cheaper - a comparison site or an airline’s website direct. We found most airlines appear on comparison sites with the one exception of Southwest Airlines.
London to New York - 11th to 18th October 2018
BA website price - £340.86
Cheapﬂightsﬁnder.com price - £322 - Flying BA, booking with Travel Trolley
London to Dubai - 13th to 20th November 2018
Emirates website price - £325.77
Cheapﬂightsﬁnder.com price - £306 - Flying Emirates, booking with WeDoFlights
London to Las Vegas - 13th to 20th December 2018
Norwegian website price - £375
Cheapﬂightsﬁnder.com price - £375
Norwegian airlines prices show up on most comparison sites and consumers are taken direct to the airlines website to book
“In conclusion we always suggest starting your search for fares on comparison sites as they usually oﬀer the best value for money rather than going straight to the airline direct,” Siddiqui adds.
5.) TRAVEL AGENTS FEATURED ON COMPARISON SITES ARE NOT TRUSTWORTHY: FALSE
“Most travel agents featured on the largest comparison sites have been vetted and are ABTA certiﬁed. However, it is always wise to do some independent research before booking with any company you have not heard of before. One way we recommend achieving peace of mind is by undertaking a meta-meta search for your ﬂights. all this means is that you are comparing your options on multiple ﬂight comparison sites. This method greatly increases your booking options and where you decide to spend your hard-earned cash,” Siddiqui states.
For example – searching Cheapflightsfinder.com for a ﬂight from London to Chicago, 13th to the 20th December 2018:
KAYAK oﬀers £340 booking with Travelup
Skyscanner oﬀers £329 booking with BYOjet
Google ﬂights oﬀers £330 booking with Iberia and American Airlines direct
Jetcost oﬀers £338 booking with ﬂight oﬃce
“Within seconds, travellers would see they have lots of diﬀerent booking options. They can then choose with whom they would feel most comfortable booking a ﬂight and at the same time get a great deal,” Siddiqui concludes.