We've researched the best airline ticket websites and found each one has different strengths. No single airfare website offers all the lowest fares, so to find the cheapest flights, your best bet is to try at least a couple websites.
Some airfare websites search all the top airlines. Others offer last minute airfares, name-your-own-fare or exclusive, negotiated, unpublished fares. And while you're at it, most also search hotels and cars rentals so you can save if you book them together. You'll get the best deal if you search the site that fits your style of travel.
Here are our reviews of the best cheap airfare websites:
Kayak is currently our favorite cheap airfare website (and it even does a good job searching hotels and rental cars). It is an airfare search engine that compares many airline sites at once, including a few that other aggregators miss. It is easy to use and results come quickly, considering they are searching tons of airline sites. They offer some incredibley usfull features like the Best Fare Graph that allows you to see which travel dates offer the best fares and see how ticket prices have varied by date of purchase. The interface is really high function and no-frills.
Orbitz is still one of our favorite sites though they do a little more crossmarketing than they used to. Still a great site, especially for someone who wants an easy booking experience. Our stats show that a very large percentage of people find what they are looking for and book through Orbitz compared to other sites.
Priceline is unique because they offer a few ways to buy tickets. They offer negotiated fares that are cheaper, not just the standard published fares. Or, if you are flexible, you can name your own price and vendors respond. They also offer the same old standard fares as well. This is a great way to find a deal if you are a little more adventurous.
Southwest has worked hard to keep their online booking separate from other online flight booking services, so you have to do a search directly with them to check their fares. They don't go everywhere but they do go to many popular destinations like Los Angeles, Florida, Hawaii, Las Vegas and many more. This site specializes not only in Southwest tickets but also offers some very nice packaged deals.
Expedia You can't leave off Expedia. They offer tons of info on published fares and packaged deals. They're a big company, and the site is pretty polished and easy to use, so booking through them is pretty painless. I always visit Expedia for their hotel search. It offers great resources like hotel photos, maps and user feedback. When I'm shopping around Expedia is always helpful to visit. Offers: Expedia Last-minute flight deals - Ongoing.
Another site with exclusive unpublished fares is Hotwire. They can offer super cheap airfares, because they negotiate prices on unsold inventory. If you are a last-minute, flexible traveler this can be a great way to get the cheapest fare.
Our favorite off-the-beaten-path airfare source is Cheap Tickets, travel giant Cendant Corp.'s outlet for exclusive unpublished fares. You can find some hidden deals here. We notice that a large percentage of people who check Cheap Tickets end up purchasing their flights through them, so they are certainly worth a look.
Disclosure: Quixo.com is an airline ticket website affiliate and when you book a flight (or hotels or car rentals) through these sites we get a small commission. That said, our reviews are based on which travel sites we like and the ones our visitors find the most helpful. We appreciate your comments and .