In an age of Youtube and Facebook, it seems that there’s an app for everything nowadays. Whether you’re looking for the cheapest deal on a product on Amazon, trying to find a decent hotel in an obscure town, or even just looking to find love in all the right and wrong places, someone, somewhere has built an app that can help you. The same is true for flights. Whereas people used to have to phone up airlines or even visit travel agents when it came to finding out information about and booking flights, today you can do it all on the internet. What’s more, a couple of pioneering tech startups have created apps which allow you to find the cheapest and best flights available. We’ll take a look at some of the best ones below.
Hopper’s cartoon rabbit logo might throw you off at first and lead you to believe that they’re a somewhat childish company, but when it comes to finding cheap flights they’re anything but. The app monitors up to 15 billion flights per day in order to give you accurate predictions about flight prices and advise you on whether or not they will rise or drop. Hopper allows you to “watch this trip” and will send you alerts to tell you whether the price of the flight you’re watching rises or falls.
Skyscanner is the all-in-one go-to flight-finder. That’s a lot of hyphens, but for good reason. Skyscanner allows you to not only find the prices of available flights, but also lets you book other holiday essentials such as hotels and cars. It’s also a great app for travel inspiration and let’s you sort by categories such as solo travel or kid free. It’s also ideal for the flexible traveller, and lets you see the prices of flights over an entire month.
Airlines hate Skiplagged, and it’s for that exact reason that consumers love them. Taking advantage of an airline booking loophole, Skiplagged finds the cheapest airfares by exploiting what’s called “hidden city ticketing.” It essentially means finding a flight where your desired destination is a stop along the way instead of the final location. Once you stop in your destination to switch flights, simply walk out of the airport instead of catching the connecting flight on your ticket. Because this is a travel hack, you may have to sacrifice certain amenities such as checked in luggage so that it doesn’t end up at your final destination. Usually you would be able to claim compensation for lost or delayed luggage, but since using Skiplagged is somewhat of a grey area, you won’t see a cent from any airline should your bags get lost in their transit system.
The granddaddy of cheap flights, Google Flights is a relative newcomer to the airfare game. New or not, they’re shaking things up and changing the way that people search for and book flights. The app lets you find cheap flights, explore destinations on a global map, set up flight alerts and help you predict when the best prices for flights will occur. Since it’s synched with all of Google’s other products, you can also find comprehensive information about your destinations as you’re booking them.