Wednesday, April 18th, 2007...11:42 pm

Book Travel Online With Kayak & Friends

Jump to Comments

I’ve recently booked a bunch of flights for both business and leisure. I usually procrastinate on buying airline tickets and then have to search furiously to find fares at a reasonable price. The one benefit of this is that I’ve become good at finding deals online. Here are some of the websites that I use.

Kayak is the best way to search for general airline tickets. After you enter your travel dates and destinations it searches over 100+ travel sites including almost every major airline (notable exception being Southwest Airlines). It is easy to refine a search by stops, airlines and has a great toggle switch to pick ranges for flight times, price and duration. This makes it easy to quickly search through a bunch of different options. Kayak also has a “Best Fare Trend” that shows you price patterns and helps you figure out if you are paying at the high or low end. Tickets aren’t actually purchased on kayak, instead the site links to the website that has the deal you want (will either be directly to the airline or a travel site).

Farecast is a new website that utilizes over a billion airfares on a daily basis to bring you airfare predictions, and uses that data to uncover cheap airline tickets every day. This is a great way to help figure out if the fare is going up or down. Airfare fluctuations is one of the biggest mysteries in life (along with black holes in space and the gyroball) so that farecast has somehow uncovered the algorithm boggles my mind.

Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz
Of the big three Travelocity is my favorite. I don’t use it as much as I used to but still will check it out for hotels and car rentals. I hate Orbitz because they actually issue the ticket and then it is impossible to switch. They also mail tickets instead of doing it electronically.

I’ve never used Priceline. It seems too shady. I also don’t subscribe to any e-savers or last minute specials. I would love to get deals as an RSS feed. Does anybody know of a site that aggregates the last minute deals? If so, let me know.

A few other tips

  • I usually check out one way fares and then piece together a trip on two different airlines. Airlines like JetBlue, Southwest and even Delta sell one way tickets at regular prices.
  • Check out the price of other flights on the same day. If you have some flexibility with your travel you can usually book a cheaper flight later in the day and then try and change the flight on the day of travel or fly standby.
  • Use frequent flyer miles. It’s great to get free flight and you can usually figure out other ways to amass miles.
  • Book your seat online. Go for emergency row or bulkhead seats.

    I would love to hear some of your secretes. Post as comments.

    • Lisa

      Check out this site
      Its a way for single people to meet on the airplane. You put in your flight and see if anybody else is going to be on your flight thats single and registered on the site. I’m hoping to meet my future husband this way – something tells me I should try other things also!

    • Litty

      I’m not sure why everybody write back directly to me instead of posting comments.

      This is from my buddy Rob:

      You probably saw this, but I figured I’d bring it to your attention anyway. From last Sunday’s Times re: online travel deals: