If you have looked into the idea of traveling by plane at any time over the last, well, decade or so, you probably at least took a quick look at the prices online. If that’s not how you do things, you certainly should, as it’s the easiest way to find the best deal.
But with so many sites to choose from, and more popping up all the time, it can be tough to decide which one will find you the lowest price. Not all sites are created equal, and it’s difficult to know which you should turn to.
Which are the best? Well, it really depends on what exactly you need, but two of them really stand out among the rest.
Find me the best flight, for cheap
How many Google services would you say that you use in your life? The answer might surprise you. That’s because it’s come a long way since the early days of just being a search engine.
Now, there’s Google Maps, Gmail, photos and so much more. It even has its own virtual assistant and home speaker. One of its most popular services is Google Flights.
Google Flights aggregates flights from major airlines to help you find not only the best fit for your schedule, but also the best deals.
It does a great job, but is it your best option when looking for the cheapest flight? Maybe not.
There is another website out there offering a similar experience and you might be able to find cheaper flights. It’s called Kayak, and you may have heard of it.
Like Google Flights, Kayak will not only show you the lowest available price but it will also tell you if it’s a good time to buy based on historical data. Its search results are calculated by duration, price, the number of stops, and carrier type.
Kayak even offers more filters than you’ll find on Google Flights, giving you the ability to filter out things like regional airlines or just search for flights that offer Wi-Fi.
Both sites are fantastic options but it only takes a couple minutes to search for flights on each of them. The next time you’re looking to travel, take a moment to search each of them and book your flight on the one that offers the best deal.
That’s great, but which is better?
It really depends on what matters most to you. Both sites offer many filters that can be used to try and sort through things, with Kayak’s being there out in the open and Google’s being a bit more subtle.
As you can see from these screenshots, Google Flights offers a cleaner look, though it is not at all hard to find and toggle through filters on Kayak.
As you can see, as we searched for flights from Phoenix to Seattle on Dec. 7, the top choices from each site were the same. Same prices, same airline, same price.
However, as we scrolled down each we saw Kayak offered other cheaper options that Google Flights did not. Of course, that’s just one trip. Let’s check out another. We’ll stick with the same dates, only this time go from Los Angeles to New York.
Once again, as you can see, the prices and flights are pretty much the same. Of course, the sites themselves are not.
Both sites offer similar features, such as tracking specific flights over weeks or months as well as providing information on when the best time to buy might be. They also will list what they view as the better flights near the top of your search.
Google claims its results are based off of giving you the best trade off between price and convenience, whereas Kayak says theirs look into duration, price, number of stops and carrier type.
Where Google separates itself is in its graph — showing price changes over time, an ability to predict delays and even a note about whether a flight will have substantial legroom or not.
But Kayak is not without its own advantages, such as more filters and links to other things that might be helpful, such as car rentals.
Yet if your only goal is to find the cheapest flights possible, Kayak is probably the way to go.
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