The Ins and Outs of Booking Cheap Flights
January 20, 2020
Cheap Websites and Budget Airlines to Book Flights
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people ask “Is this site reliable for booking flights?” or “Is this a good airline?” The thing is…you are going to find a bunch of people who had great experiences and a bunch of people who had poor experiences and probably people who have had both good and bad happen to them using the same airline or website. I don’t know anyone who says that they have had only good experiences with American airlines. I mean, come on, there is just no way. Now don’t get me wrong! This doesn’t mean that I don’t absolutely hate Ryanair for charging me 80 euros for losing my boarding pass between security and the gate after I had already checked in with it, but just keep in mind that with every horror story you hear, there will be plenty of people who had a fine flying experience.
Now that is over…let’s talk logistics for your flight. How do you even begin the flight search for your trip? First, head on over to Google Flights to get a great overview of what airlines fly from your current location to your destination.
INITIAL WEBSITE TO CHECK FLIGHTS
1. GOOGLE FLIGHTS-this site gives you a basic overview of many different flight options if you have an idea of where you are going. For example, if I know I am going to fly from Barcelona to Rome, I would use this site first to get an idea of price and airlines that fly in between the two cities. Of course, it helps if you have the dates already in mind and are somewhat flexible on those dates when finding the cheapest option. After I do some thorough research on Google Flights and have a better idea of what airline and flight I want to take, I head on over to a bunch of other discounted sites to confirm that I have found the best option.
CHEAP WEBSITES THAT I LOVE TO USE
2. SKYSCANNER– my FAVORITE site! Why is that? Because I can put a departure city such as Los Angeles, California and then my arrival city as “flexible everywhere” and see— in order —the cheapest places to visit from my departure city. This works fabulously if you are in Europe, are being super spontaneous, and have nowhere pressing to be. The prices are not always 100 percent accurate; however, Skyscanner will give you a great overview of what country is cheapest to fly into and then breaks it down by city as you continue clicking. MOMONDO is another search engine that many people use to find cheap flights. This site has clear options that you can choose from: “cheapest,” “quickest,” and “best,” so you can really break down the flight categories.
3. CHEAPOAIR AND eDreams– I have had personal success with both of these sites as I used cheapoair to book a flight from Madrid to Greece on Aegean airlines and I used edreams to book 1) Barcelona———>Sevilla and Granada —-> Barcelona 2) Madrid —> Munich roundtrip (for Oktoberfest!) and 3) Vienna—> Malaga on a roundabout way home after traveling for spring break while living in Madrid. The benefit to these two websites is that you can find discounted prices on LEGIT airlines: Aegean, Lufthansa (also got upgraded to business class!), and Spainair. It is always such a luxury to fly on these airlines as opposed to the cheap ones if you have the opportunity to via websites like these.
4. STA TRAVEL AND STUDENT UNIVERSE– If you are a student, teacher, under 26, or like to pretend that you still are (I have bought tickets through both sites and have never personally been questioned), it doesn’t hurt to check out these two student discount travel websites and see if they have any better deals to your destination of choice.
EUROPEAN BUDGET AIRLINES TO FLY ON
5. VUELING AND 6. EASYJET– I have never had a bad experience on these two airlines. They do have annoying carryon restrictions but if you are traveling domestically for an hour or two, these two airlines are cheap and easy and relatively on time. Just make sure you read all of the rules and regulations carefully as you purchase the ticket. Also, if you purchase a checked bag online ahead of time, the price really is not too steep at all.
7. NORWEGIAN– I just flew this airline from Los Angeles to Copenhagen one way for about $500 dollars. Oh, and I booked the flight only a couple weeks prior to my trip. The best part was that this flight was nonstop! It was on time; I spent about $100 more to get food and one checked bag which I didn’t end up needing because my backpack was under 10 kg anyway. They had personal TV’s so I watched Wild, Moulin Rouge, and HGTV shows, and they serve free wine! My flight was on-time and so easy. Norwegian currently flies from Los Angeles, New York, and Oakland-San Francisco in the US.
8. RYANAIR– I have flown Ryanair many times, and it is NOT my favorite. Do not ever plan on sleeping on the flight as there are advertisements playing on the overhead speaker throughout the flight. Also, read all the directions super carefully, make sure all of your materials are in order, and DO NOT lose anything on your way from security to the gate. Since I lost my boarding pass, I ended up having to pay an exorbitant amount of money and unfortunately, crying hysterically did not help. I have found flights though for a grand total of 11 euros on the website before, so as much as I hate on the site, it doesn’t hurt to take a quick look.
JUST FOR FUN
8. EUROWINGS (formerly Germanwings)- I have ALWAYS wanted to try the Eurowings blind booking feature. For 66 euros roundtrip, you can choose a category such as Party, Culture, Shopping, and they will send you on a trip of their choosing. You just have to choose one of the following three options for your departure destination: Cologne-Bonn, Dusseldorf, or Hanover. Once you select your category, Eurowings will show you a list of typically between 10-20 places and you will be going to one of them.
Have you ever had a good experience on Ryanair? And has anyone every used the blind booking feature on Eurowings? If anyone ever decides to do the Blind Booking from Eurowings, please let me know via email or in the comments! This is a major bucket list item for me and I am so curious as to how it turns out? If you have any other questions of comments in regards to cheap flights, please share in the comments below!
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