The best travel apps: Flight Search

Updated over 1 year ago

Until VR brings us to our Matrix-like destiny of never needing to leave our couch to transport ourselves elsewhere, you still gotta fly. Thankfully these apps help you search hundreds of airlines at once so you don't have to.

General guidelines for cheaper flights

These are great for starting your search, but keep in mind flight prices are far from an exact science and are hugely dependent on other factors like where you're going and time of year.

Other tips
  • Check airlines directly after finding a price you like as it can be cheaper there
  • By law in the US you have 24 hours to cancel a flight, although some airlines will keep a fee
  • Many budget airlines like AirAsia and Southwest won't list on aggregators, so search them directly
  • Airlines are increasingly using cheap "base" prices that remove typical amenities like seat selection and carry on baggage only to charge you later for them (Hopper now notifies you of that)
  • Make sure your layovers are long enough, especially if you have to re-check bags or go back through immigration
  • Although less common now, some sites vary prices based on your location and booking history so double check by using an incognito window and setting your location to another country with a VPN
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Google Flights

Best overall flight search

Although not as full featured as others, Google Flights will get you the most quickly from "that looks like a 🔥 place to take ig pics" to actually seeing flight prices. How? By being extremely fast and easy to use, so typical Google. Intuitive price visualizations and price tracking alerts help further ensure you're getting a good price. At the very least, it's the best place to start your search.


Great for further price shopping

Among aggregators, Momondo consistently scours the most sources and finds the lowest prices, including for multi-city itineraries. Their Flight Insight tool is also a really nifty and unique way to understand how factors like seasonality, airport, day of the week, and others affect price. Our favorite for further comparing.

A good comparison of 25 flight searches showing how well Momondo does.


Plentiful filters and a useful price forecast

Have really specific flight needs? Kayak's abundant filters and flexible date inputs help you get really granular to find the right flight. Its price forecast feature based on its massive amounts of data is also really helpful on deciding when to book.


Best when flexible on date and location

Skyscanner generally finds low prices but where it really shines is when you're flexible on when and where you're going. For dates, it lets you search entire months vs. specific days. For destination, you can put 'Everywhere' and it'll rank places by price. Between these two it's impossible to not find the right flight to satisfy that travel bug 🐞.

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