Find Crazy-Good Flight Deals
Updated: Apr 9, 2019
Dozens of online travel sites help us compare flights to find affordable tickets. One step beyond that, some sites will personalize the software to send the hottest deals directly to your in-box -- flights that are airline ‘mistakes,’ short-term, last-minute deals, and general promotions.
When a great deal shows up you can immediately verify specific availability and book the flight directly with the airline. If you move quickly, you're in the money. Many of these websites (not all) specialize in international flights and serve travelers worldwide. And, with the expense of long haul flights, dramatic savings make a world of difference.
ScottsCheapFlights This major service claims to have 1,600,000 members worldwide looking for the most affordable international flights. Scotts bases results on your selected departure airport, saving you from going through the slush pile with the Premium $39 paid service. They also offer a Free service with fewer benefits which I'm trying out.
Premium subscribers are sent flight alerts at least 30 minutes before Free subscribers so they get a head-start for really hot deals that may get sold quickly. Free subscribers only get one out of every three deals. And, Premium subscribers get the personalization service; they can choose specific departure airports by region. As a Free subscriber, I’ve been sent flight deals including round-trips of $500 to Japan, $350 to Dublin, a $370 to Rome, and I “just missed a $459 to Prague.”
Next Vacay. Along the same line as Scotts, a married couple have introduced a relatively new service based on an automatic search engine created by the software developer hubby. Like Scotts, it also provides personalized deals direct to your email. They also let you choose your favorite airports. To get up and running in the competition, Next Vacay is offering $25 a year service with unlimited deals. To build the business, they are offering one month free right now to try it. As with Scotts, you book flights directly with the airline.
Other services don’t provide the direct-to-email notices, but their free websites are well-worth checking out:
The Flight Deal. The site shows deals on internal flights as well as international ones. In a quick perusal at the time I am writing this, I noted an Alaska Air flight from Portland to Palm Springs (or vice versa) for $126; a JetBlue $180 non-stop New York to Denver (and vice versa); and a flight from Miami to Sydney, Australia in February for $724. All were round-trip and included taxes.
Secret Flying. Truly international. You can search from your area but be aware that you may see prices shown in dollars, euros, or pounds so pay attention and use your currency converter if need be to gauge the price! Deals I just saw as writing this included an “error fare” London to Costa Rica or Mexico for £245 ($315); non-stop San Francisco to Tahiti for $549 round-trip; and a hot deal of Philadelphia to Sydney, Australia for $603 round-trip.
I’ll post more after planning another trip. Meanwhile, if any of you have experience on these services, would love to hear your feedback.