How to Compare Airline Tickets Online

1.

Gather your travel details. You will want to have your flight route, dates of travel and number of passengers handy before you begin. Determine if you can be flexible with your travel dates, as some comparison sites will allow you to check route prices on the days surrounding your preferred travel dates, possibly finding you a better deal.

2.

Open your web browser and go to a site that specializes in airfare comparisons, such as Bookingbuddy.com, Farecompare.com or Tripmama.com.

3.

Enter your flight details in the flight finder table. Begin by clicking "one way" or "round trip," enter your desired departure and arrival airports, your travel dates and the number of passengers. If you are flexible on dates, select the "my dates are flexible" box, if offered.

4.

Select the sites you want the booking engine to send your travel details to. Depending upon how many sites you choose, several windows will pop up on your screen. Each window will display their flight results for your itinerary.

5.

Compare the cost of your flight using the results from your search. The lowest cost flight will be displayed first in each window. Read the price results carefully, because some sites display taxes and fees in their quoted prices while others show the base price only and add on the taxes and fees in small print under the base price or on the next page. You can also compare flight times, length of flights and layover information to find a flight that suits you.

6.

Book your flight through the online site that offers the best deal for your flight needs.

Tips and Warnings

  • Being flexible with your travel dates can lower the price of your ticket dramatically, especially if you can fly on less busy days, such as Tuesday, rather than more popular days, such as Monday.
  • Some sites allow you the option of checking airports near to the one you'd like to fly in or out of. This can result in lower airfares, although the hassle of getting to a smaller or further away airport might not be worth the savings.
  • Not all flight comparison sites search the smaller, low-cost carriers such as Southwest Airline, Ryanair or Easy Jet. You may need to visit those airline's websites directly to compare their flight costs for your route.
  • Comparing the cost of your airline travel is easier than ever with the many flight cost comparison tools available on the Internet. Sites such as Airfare Watchdog search out and display the best flight deals for your originating city, while other sites such as Booking Buddy, Fare Compare and Trip Mama send your flight details to several online travel engines so you can compare the prices of your flight side-by-side on pop-up windows for a number of travel websites.