The Definitive Guide to Find Cheap Flights online, in less than 10 minutes!!
The “Flying Guru Method.”
Who will benefit from this guide?
- First of all, this article is a guide dedicated to those that have little to no experience on how to search the internet for the best flight deals.
- If you are looking for advanced techniques like using miles to get better prices or if you are a frequent flyer, you should refer to Flyertalk.
- Furthermore, it contains a powerful method I use called “The Flying Guru Method” and outlines all the steps and scenarios. It’s the method I use to find cheap flights for me, my friends and acquaintances.
- Some people use services like Flightfox and pay 50$ just to find cheaper tickets. By trying my method, you can find almost the same prices for free. And for those who don’t have the time to read the whole guide comment below this article and I will help you for free, asap.
What tools do we use to find cheap flights?
There are two flight search engines used in this guide.
The first is Skyscanner and the second is Kiwi, but more will be added in the future!
If you know how to handle these two sites, then that’s all that you need to plan your perfect trip with the least expenses on flights.
You should always use both of the search engines mentioned here to get the best price.
Before I begin with my step by step guide I suggest that you should use Kiwi.com only as a reference guide.
I have never booked with them because I’ve read many negative reviews online about their services and their insurance.
But their search engine? Magnificent!
Scenario one: Specific dates on specific destination.
In this scenario, you can actually use whichever search engine(Kayak,Google flights etc.) you like. But I use Kiwi for the reasons explained on the second example. Kiwi has some extra useful features that you might not find in other search engines.
I have a specific destination and dates on my mind. Let’s say that I wanted to travel from my hometown, Orlando, Florida to Los Angeles, California on 7th of July and return on 11th of July. I went on Kiwi.com and searched for these dates. And the lowest price it found is $240.07.
You’ll notice that Kiwi even returns results from budget airlines like Frontier in this example. Other search engines don’t return some budget airlines.
Fortunately, Skyscanner does for most of them. So after Kiwi, I went on to Skyscanner, and for the same dates and flight, I found this price $228. Wow $12 cheaper, right? $12 cheaper for no apparent reason at all. That’s why I don’t usually book with Kiwi. I don’t have a clue what these $12 are for.
Skyscanner usually prompts you to book straight from the airline by providing a link targeted to the desired flight, but sometimes a 3rd party agency might have a better price than the airline or a discount.
I have booked through a 3rd party agent, and everything went smoothly, but I suggest you check online for the agency’s credibility before booking.
Ryanair is a budget airline that doesn’t make connections. Neither with other airlines nor with its own planes. Transfers cost for airlines, so budget carriers usually don’t support them.
On another “specific dates and place” occasion I wanted to travel from Athens to Amsterdam. Let’s say from 13th of October to 24th of October. I first checked on Kiwi and the cheapest tickets I found were going for $111,58. On the first leg of the trip, we travel with Ryanair.
- You’ll notice that Ryanair lands in Sofia, Bulgaria. There is a layover for 12 and a half hours until the next flight with Transavia. You should also know that there isn’t actually a connection between Ryanair and Transavia. But Kiwi discovered the combination of budget flights that you can take to reach your destination. That is why it’s a great tool for searching. I haven’t found anything similar yet.
- In this layover, you will have to collect your baggage, if you have any, and re-check them before your next flight. Of course in this example the layover is huge, and you’ll have to consider that there are layovers like this that may not be worth it. You will have to take into account how much money you might have to spend at the layover airport or a hotel you might have to book.
In this example, on Kiwi, I found this trip for $111.58. I then searched at Skyscanner for the same dates. The cheapest flight that I got in return is a $154 roundtrip with Transavia only. That is the main disadvantage with Skyscanner. That it cannot find this kind of connections. I hope in a future update they will add some of Kiwi’s features and they’ll become the best flight search engine around.
- Of course in this example, it’s better to book with Skyscanner’s results. The $40+ difference is not worth it for a 12-hour stay at any airport. Unless you can find a very cheap hotel, or if you don’t mind these long layovers.
Scenario 3: You have a particular destination in your mind but not the exact dates you want to travel.
Case 1: When you can travel for a specific number of days, anytime throughout the year.
- Let’s say I wanted to visit Tokyo from San Francisco. Hypothetically I can take 15 days off from my work, anytime! So I want to find the cheapest tickets to Tokyo, and I know I can stay there for 14 nights.
- I entered San Francisco and Tokyo on the first boxes and on the date boxes I entered “Anytime” in the “Departure” box, and I clicked on the “Arrival” box and selected “Time of Stay” “13 to 14 nights.” So it found that from 30th of October to 14th of November the ticket price with a return is just $483. It has a long layover in Shangai which is pretty cool for me if I want to visit the city.
Isn’t this a handy tool? Unfortunately, as you’ll see later, Skyscanner doesn’t have that much of flexibility and ease of use regarding dates.
Case 2: When you can travel for a specific number of days within a time frame. For example, in summer.
- Now I know I can take a two weeks vacation as before, but I can only take them sometime between 20th of September to 30th of October. So again I chose 13 to 14 days in “Time of Stay,” and then on the departure box, I selected “Date-Range” and put 20/09 to 30/10.
- It returned these results
Again, great feature!
- Now on Skyscanner, the only useful feature was to search for the cheapest month to fly to Tokyo. After you fill the FROM and TO boxes, you click on the Depart and Return boxes and select “whole month” and then “cheapest month” in both of them.
- Then you will have to manually search on the calendar for the cheapest days.
It’s definitely a useful feature, but it’s more useful if you don’t care about when you are going to travel or how long you’ll stay at your destination.
I wish Skyscanner had more features on their search engine, that’s why I contacted them regarding Kiwi’s more useful search engine. I hope they’ll implement them someday and if they do, they’ll be the best site to book from.