Best Booking Websites for Cheap Flights in 2023

Best Flight Booking Websites for Cheap Flights

There are so many flight booking websites out there, so which should you choose to get the best price? I recommend searching from Flight Aggregators or Flight Search Engines rather than Online Travel Agencies (OTA). Would you only want prices from one airline or multiple? Therefore, it is important to understand the difference between Flight Search Engine Websites such as Skyscanner and Online Travel Agencies Websites like Expedia.

Online Travel Agencies (OTA)

What is an OTA?

Online travel agencies are similar to physical travel agencies. They will book flights on your behalf under their company name. Meaning that you will be following their terms and conditions rather than the airline’s terms and conditions, although, they will usually make it the same as the airline’s.

If you have an issue with your booking, you will contact the OTA rather than the airline directly.

How to Identify an OTA?

When searching for a flight, you will not be redirected to another website to make your purchase. You will also not be able to choose other websites that you prefer to make your purchase. The purchase will be completed on the website you are searching your flights from. OTA are websites like Expedia.

Should You Use Online Travel Agencies to Book Flights?

You might want to check their price out if you are planning to book round-trip flights, accommodations, car rentals, etc all together through one website, there might be discounts in this instance.

However, the accommodation options might be limited, as they only show accommodations that are listed on their website.

Expedia Discounts for Hotel and Flights
Expedia provides discounts if booked together with hotels.

Even if discounts are given you need to compare with other websites for the final price after adding flight and hotel prices. You don’t just believe the first pricing that is given to you without comparison.

Let’s move on to the flight search engines.

Flight Search Engines

What are Flight Search Engines?

They are websites that help collate flight prices from different websites on the internet. They will aggregate prices from airlines and even collate prices from OTA, meaning you will get the best prices at your fingertips.

How to Identify a Flight Search Engine?

The first part of the search is usually quite similar to OTA. However, when you have decided on the flight you want. You will be able to choose which provider your want to purchase from and they will redirect you to the provider. You will be making the flight purchase on the website that the website redirects you to.

Skyscanner Provider Selection Page
Choose from different providers to make your booking.

You can decide not to choose the cheapest provider as you might prefer the other.

For any booking issue, you will need to look for the provider that you have purchased from to handle the issue. You can find the provider from the flight confirmation email after booking.

Using A Flight Search Engine to Book Your Flights

I will not be listing a bunch of websites to you like other websites out there. Rather, I will go straight to the best ones to use. These are the ones that I personally use after trying all the different ones out there.

Best Flight Search Engine to Use

1. Skyscanner

Skyscanner is one of the most widely used flight search engines. The user interface is very straightforward and user-friendly.

Skyscanner Homepage
Skyscanner Search Bar

You can even choose the Multi-destination option if you’re looking to travel to different countries and they will search for the best prices with different choices of timing automatically for you.

Skyscanner user interface
Filters are available in the left-hand column.

Filters can also be applied, such as only direct flights or non-direct flights. You can also state the time range you prefer for the flights.

You can check out the best flight prices by searching below. You can compare it to other sites or even the airline website. In most cases, it will be cheaper here.

2. Google Flights

Google Flights Homepage

Google Flights is created by Google so you can be sure of its quality. Similar to Skyscanner, it is also a flight aggregator or search engine. It works similarly to Skyscanner by scanning all the prices throughout the web. Therefore, I would recommend using these two websites in tandem to compare prices.

Finding The Cheapest Flight Example

Just an example of a search that I made, details are Singapore to Istanbul Round trip for the period of 10th – 17th January. In this example, we will find out the FINAL CHEAPEST Price with these two websites.

Expedia Flights Example Pricing

Searching from the main page, the pricing shown is $1,089 SGD.

Expedia Flights Main Search Page

and after clicking through to the final pricing, it shows $1,088.70 SGD.

Expedia Flights final price

Let’s compare the pricing with Google Flights and Skyscanner.

Google Flights Example Pricing

Just from the initial search, you can see that Google shows the price of $1,076 SGD.

Google Flights Main Search Page

I chose the same flight timing and click on the selection. I then noticed that there is an option with Mytrip for $1,055 SGD.

Google flights Provider Selection Page

It is cheaper but you have to take into account that the currency is euros. Meaning you need to transact in Euro. If you do not have a multi-currency account you might incur unfavourable bank costs or exchange rates.

Google Flights Provider Final Price

However, if you do have euros to spare then the final price would be around $1,055 SGD after conversion.

Skyscanner Example Pricing

While Skyscanner’s initial search shows the price of $1,068 SGD.

Skyscanner Main Search Page

I selected the same timing as Google Flight’s flight as we need to compare apple with apple. They directed me to book on Trip.com.

Skyscanner Provider Selection Page

Following through, the final price is $1,067.20 SGD.

Skyscanner Provider Final Price

You will be transacting with SGD so the price that you see is the final price without any exchange rate fees or bank charges.

Results from Examples

Skyscanner Final PriceGoogle Flights Final PriceExpedia Final Price
$1,067.20 SGD$1,055 SGD*$1,088.70 SGD
*only if you can transact in euros.

In this search, Google Flight’s recommendation is cheaper if you can make the payment in euros ‪736€ (~$1,055 SGD). Otherwise, I would use Skyscanner’s recommendation and book my trip from Trip.com for $1,067.20 SGD to prevent any unfavourable exchange rates or bank charges.

Different searches will yield different results so try both Skyscanner and Google Flights every time you are searching for flight prices!

Final Thoughts

When searching for flights, it is best for you to search from two flight search engines to get the best pricing. When doing so, also remember to click through to the end to get the final pricing, then choose the cheaper pricing and make your booking. You can also compare with Online Travel Agencies but usually, the price will be higher. Try searching for your trip below now!

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