Book Flights

The best services to help you book a great flight ✈️💯.

6 categories, updated 2 months ago

Flight Deal Alerts

If you plan ahead, setting up alerts for flight deals can save you a lot of moolah. Money you could use on unicorn fraps instead 🌈. Yeah, services like Kayak and Skyscanner do alerts too but these deal specific services go one step further for more savings.

Tips
  • Google Flights' tracking feature is an easy way to monitor prices yourself: it graphs out the price's history so it's easy to see any patterns and emails you when prices change
  • If you find a good deal like ones from curated services, decide fast because they're usually fleeting
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Airfarewatchdog

Best for destination specific airfare alerts

Airfarewatchdog lets you set flight alerts from city-to-city, from a departure city, or to a destination city. However, you can't set specific dates so it's the best for people who are flexible and just want to be in the know on destination specific deals. Deals are less 🤖 and more 👫: they're verified by actual analysts instead of being based purely on data since flight prices are ultimately still an inexact science.

Hopper

For knowing the best time to buy

Know where and when you want to go but aren't sure when's the best time to buy? Hopper will tell you. They use a data centric approach that analyses billions of flight prices daily to predict the best time. Hopper is also smartphone only, no email alerts. They think mobile push notifications help people act faster to lock down deals, which makes sense. It's a more modern approach to airfare deals and the apps themselves are a joy to use.

The Flight Deal

Great curated deals from the US

Although The Flight Deal's website seems spammy (to the point where you might question it's authenticity 🤔), the deals they find are among the best with detailed breakdowns on how to book. They're mainly for flights from bigger cities in the US and are short lived so it's important to jump on them fast.

Scott's Cheap Flights

Great curated deals from a variety of locations with a premium twist

Set the city you want to depart from and this service will email you great international flight deals. The catch is there's two levels: free and premium ($5/month). Premium provides more deals and earlier notice, which can be crucial. As long as you're patient and flexible, there's money to be saved regardless of the tier.

Flight Hacks

To say airlines are complex is an understatement, but where there's complexity there's opportunity. Mining this complexity for loopholes and tricks can be fun for some people, but most people are definitely more in the "nobody got time for dat" camp. Thankfully, these services were created to take advantage of specific loopholes to get you better deals. Everybody got time for dat.

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Skiplagged

For hidden city ticketing

A hidden-city flight is where you get off at a layover instead of the final destination. This can save you a lot of money because they're often cheaper than direct routes.

However, it's not without its risks and ethical dilemmas:

  • You can't check luggage since it'll end up at the final destination
  • If your flight is cancelled, delayed, or rerouted it'll be a painful adventure figuring out how you may get to your intended layover destination
  • Airlines hate it (to the point they sued Skiplagged) and will penalize customers who do it often so you may have to book with one you don't want to fly with again
  • It can wreak havoc on flight prices and schedules if too many people do it since systems will see so many seats are empty or they think someone is late to their connecting flight, inconveniencing others

If price is that high of a priority for you though, it's worth a try.

AirWander

Find free or cheap stopovers

A stopover is when you stay longer than 24 hours in a given international city vs. a layover which is only 30 minutes to 23 hours. AirWander is a beautiful tool for finding stopover destinations that you can add onto your trip for free or cheap. For example: if you're flying to London you could spend a few extra days in Barcelona for not much more money.

You can do this with other flight searches but it's a lot more work. There's also no real risk unlike hidden city ticketing. Always worth a look.

TransferTravel

Get great deals on unwanted trips

Shit happens and sometimes that means you end up not being able to take your planned trip. That sucks, but what sucks even more is having to eat the entire cost. TransferTravel saw an opportunity here and created a marketplace where people can sell their unwanted travel plans with others who wanted great last minute deals. If you're flexible/spontaneous, it can be a really affordable way to travel.

FlyOnward

Rent an onward ticket if a country requires it

If you're a nomad or just extremely spontaneous, you might travel to a country without knowing where you're going next. Problem with that is many countries don't allow a tourist to enter without proof of onward travel. You could buy a ticket yourself and then cancel it within 24 hours or longer but it's a bit risky especially if there are fees not to mention dealing with airlines is never a smooth ride. FlyOnward solves this by helping you easily rent an onward ticket that's completely valid for just $9.99.

Expert Booking

Show your “good flight deal” to a travel hacker, a person that lives and breathes all the little tips and tricks for absurdly low flight prices, and they’ll probably laugh in your face Cersei Lannister style. You call that a good deal? Hahaha *kills everyone*

Instead of feeling ashamed or in fear of your life, hire them instead with these “human powered” flight booking services that can save you a lot of time and money. The best thing about them is they’re low risk: you only pay if they're able to beat the best price you’ve found.

Tips
  • More worthwhile for expensive ($400+) flights
  • Always use the "beat my price" option by doing some competent searching on your own first
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Flystein

Best consumer focused option

Flystein employs a team of travel experts that'll use their in depth knowledge of airline revenue management practices like fuel dumping and loopholes to help find you the lowest price possible. Always choose their "Beat my price now" option, otherwise you're likely leaving money on the table.

Flightfox

Great for personal but also business travel

While Flightfox is similar to Flystein, they also have a big focus on the more complex needs of business travelers. For personal travel, there's no need to select a special "beat my price" option as that's the standard way they take trip requests which is nice.

Seat Help

Not all seats are created equal. They go from having constant wafts of people's buttholes when next to the bathroom 💩💨 to ones coveted by frequent travelers that provide the best leg space and in flight amenities. Preeeetty sure most people want the latter, which these services help ensure.

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SeatGuru

Helpful seat maps and reviews

SeatGuru shows you a flight's seat map with reviews for specific seats and general indications of which ones are good or bad. It's a quick and easy way to help you find the best seat (or to at least avoid a bad one).

ExpertFlyer

Get the exact seat you want

ExpertFlyer is like SeatGuru but on steroids: it overlays SeatGuru's ratings on top of the real-time airline seat data so you can see whether the good seats for a specific flight are still available. You can even set alerts for on your phone for when these seats become available.

For basic alerts it's free, but for advanced features it does cost money. For frequent travelers, we can see it being worth it.

Carbon Offsets

Air travel constitutes 2% of global greenhouse gasses. It's not the biggest piece of the pie, but it's enough we should consider buying carbon offsets to minimize our impact. They aren't perfect: critics like to say offsets imply we're "neutralizing" our impact when in reality you can't actually "take it back." It's already happened #nobacksies. Instead, you end up just paying someone else to cut their emissions so you don't have to.

It's true to an extent. The "ideal" solution is to not fly, but that's ultimately impractical. We often have to fly, like for business. Most people also aren't going to instantly change their habits overnight. Making it easy to buy high quality offsets is a lot better than nothing, and the increased awareness will ultimately help nudge us all in the right direction.

Tip

Some major airlines, like United and Delta, let you purchase offsets when booking your flights as an add on which can be easier.

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ClimateCare Carbon Calculator

Step 1: Calculate your carbon emissions

This straightforward calculator will tell you how much carbon emissions your flight or drive created.

There are a lot of carbon calculators, so why'd we choose this one? First, we wanted the calculation to be reasonable. After trying out 6 different recommended ones, ClimateCare's was in the middle. Second, ClimateCare is frequently cited as one of the most reputable climate change organizations.

NativeEnergy

Step 2: Buy carbon offsets

Take the carbon amount ClimateCare's calculator gave you (in tonnes) and then stick it into NativeEnergy's "Buy Now" option on the top right. Check out and you're done!

Why did we choose NativeEnergy? It's frequently cited by high reputation organizations like the Sierra Club as one of the best carbon offset vendors: they have high impact projects and are transparent.

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