I do take flights! Cheap flights if possible! It just happens that this site currently has a focus on my overland travels. However as this website has expanded I've looked into and taken many flights. Along the way I've kept a list of the best search engines for budget flights from around the world. There are many out there, but here's my review on the ones I found to be the better options.
Yes my number one cheap flight search engine is right here! Honestly speaking I got a little tired of other flight booking/search systems throwing up half hearted results so researched into providing readers here with something better.
Longest Way Flight Search groups all the main flight carriers and no frill airlines together to give you the best results. Give it a go and see for yourself!
|Try my custom flight search for the lowest priced flights!
My number two for finding cheap world flights. Skyscanner makes searching for flights simple and fast. Here's an example: I don't know the name of all the airports in Thailand. So I just type the country where I am now and the country I want to go(Thailand). Skyscanner does the rest. You can do cities, or airports too. Best of all it gives you a look at monthly airfares.
They have also just added a neat map which helps with looking for the cheapest and nearest country/airport to your chosen country or airport - a great time saving feature!
Cons: I have found it leaves out some cheap airlines at times. So my advice is to double check with another search engine as well.
A simple site, that saves time in looking for budget airlines only. Auto fill destinations help and it will update on the spot with no pop ups. It tells you if there is any budget airline between two destinations. Good to use with Skyscanner who miss out on a few.
Air Ninja website
I usually find Kayak good if I know the name of the city or airport I am flying into. It seems to have a wider search pattern for world flights than Skyscanner or a lot of the other online engines. It's easy to use, and comes up trumps most of the time for cheap flights. I use it with Skyscanner once I know the name of the city I am flying into.
Not the best by a long shot. But they have a nice fast system up that makes searching easy. Unfortunately they are missing quite a few city links and countries. They also seem to have issues with South American airlines. Nonetheless if they keep going and improve it will be a better one. At the moment it's fine for Euro flights.
You know those the guys from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Well they fly too. And they are building the ultimate in flight search engines. Along the way they were taken over by Google. It's not pretty, but it does cover just about everywhere.
ITA Software website
Small, but smart site that will find you the cheapest flights from one point to another. I've tested it out and have to say it did find some of the cheapest routes out there. Not always practical, but they do find cheap routes! It's been updated in 2013 to be a lot more user friendly.
DoHop takes flight search to new levels with an excellent search engine for flights. DoHop - Away allows you to search for the cheapest flights out of a country to many places in a few clicks. With a great map and easy to use system DoHop searches through a vast network of carriers to find the best prices.
DoHop flight search
(links in the name take you to the respective site)
Ryanair - The euro cheapy that makes you pay to use the airplanes toilet. Be careful about what airport they say that they are flying you to as well. The infamous Barcelona flight that actually arrives in Girona is an example. Think of them as a slightly dodgy street hawker, you can get a good deal, but if you're not paying attention you might end up paying more.
EasyJet - I like them bar the plastic seats. They are very laid back, and generally efficient.
GermanWings - Efficient airline offering flights bound for Germany and select parts of Europe. Worth checking for their offers.
Do be aware of many "tour" companies posing as airlines. And also be aware of some local budget airlines that don't operate a website in your language. In many cases it might be worth paying a small fee and have a travel agent book flights for you in China if you are not comfortable with booking a flight yourself in China.
DragonAir website - A Chinese national and international airline. Flights with dragon air are normally reported to be running on time and bookings hassle free. The booking site itself can be a little overwhelming and not all that user friendly. Prices are shown without taxes.
JuneyaoAir website - This website is in Chinese. Booking here may prove very difficult even if you can read Chinese as many errors pop up. Proceed with caution!
Nepal Airlines website - Although you cannot book online with Nepal Airline you can reserve a flight via email and then pay in cash at one of their regional offices. I found their service to be very good and personable. In flight meals are of a good standard and the service was fine. There have long been safety concerns with Nepal Airlines but the truth is it's not had an incident in a long time.
Iindigo website - A fast an efficient online booking experience Indian airlines offers reasonable fares both internationally and nationally. Taxes are shown on the second page before you fill out your details.
Air India Express - Offering both international and domestic flights Air India Express is let down by a poor online booking experience. It simply takes too long to find a cheap flight with them. There's not record of your previous searches and if no flight is found on a given date, you have to fill out all the required information again.
Many of the airlines mentioned below also serve regional flights across South East Asia. If they do I'll mention it as some great bargains can be found here.
Cebu Pacific-Philippines and SEA cheap flights. Online payments and fast cash payment at their ticket offices.
They have a reputation of delays especially when leaving from Manila on domestic flights.
They have regular cheap flight promotions offered mid-week, check their website then for promotions.
Note: International fliers beware as they will prevent you from boarding if you do not have an onward ticket leaving the Philippines if you fly into the country with them. Also recent 2013 reports are coming in that Cebu Pacific staff / domestic airport security are harassing people with erroneous check in woes. i.e. claiming a person cannot bring a hairdryer in carry on luggage (you can) - then charging them per kilo (1 kilo = 450 pesos + 50 pesos admin fee) to have items checked in. Do stand your ground with these people, ask to see the manager and the policy if you are told you cannot bring a reasonably item on board. Their tactic with locals has been to delay them until they miss a flight then have them pay for another. I've contacted Cebu Pacific several times about this with no reply. Their customer service help line is also notoriously jammed with calls often going unanswered.
Philippines Airlines -Philippines and SEA cheap to medium flights.
Online booking is not a good experience. Confusing phrases to class their flights.
They do not email confirmation which is off putting.
They offer more baggage online than Cebu Pacific. But at check in they have tried saying that an online booking was for a different type of aircraft; something not stated on their website. You must then pay excess baggage due to this..
Again they will prevent you from boarding if you do not have an onward ticket leaving the Philippines if you fly into the country with them.
AirAsia - Another SEA cheap airline. Great for booking $20 flights out of a country just to help with a visa getting in.
Watch out for where the airport is that they are flying to as sometimes its not a central airport. In Manila they fly you to Clark very cheaply from Sabah. But to get to the city will take you another 2 hours buses depending.
they will prevent you from boarding if you do not have an onward ticket.
Jetstar - Budget Airline offering flights from Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines and nearly all of South East Asia to Australia
Tiger Airways - Cheap airline flying to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney from many destinations in South East Asia.
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