Advantages Searches hundreds of routes for best deals
Disadvantages Can be misleading, only flights
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In today's world where low-cost flights are the norm and more and more of us are managing to travel overseas, hundreds of search engines have popped up. One of the best for this role in my opinion is the skyscanner.net.On arrival at the site, you may seem to believe that it is basic and not worth a second look. Alongside a handful of links, there is just a set of drop down menus. These are however your gateway to the cheapest flights on the net. When looking for your flights you need to specify the country that you are flying from. This will then lead to the second drop down being populated by airports in that country. You can specify the airport that you wish to fly from but if you are more flexible then select the any airport option to search for the best deals around. You can then go through the same process for your destination but it is at this point that the site comes into it's own by allowing you to look for any destination. The best prices can usually be found for Ireland, UK and Germany but you may find some bargains to other destinations as well. In addition to the freedom in choosing departure and arrival airports/countries, there is also flexibility within the dates of travel. You can search by specific date or for better prices choose any day in a month or even the any month option.
Once you have selected all of your options, click on 'Search' and you will be given a list of all the cheapest price possible to the destinations that you have selected. Please be warned that this can be misleading as often the cheapest flights are on an individual route, on a certain date, at a certain time.By choosing a destination, you are then forwarded to a list of all of the departure airports, again sorted by price. If you have pre-selected dates then having selected a destination and arrival airport, you will be presented with all the flight options on the days that have you selected as well as those on the day surrounding it. If instead you haven't selected a date, you will instead be presented with a bar chart, which shows graphically the cheapest flights and dates.
So finally, after selecting dates, destinations and where you want to fly from you get to the booking page. Skyscanner regularly checks the prices of flights but often their quotes may be up to a couple of days old. Anyone who has delayed on booking a low-cost flight will know that delays usually lead to price increases so the page that you are on gives you the option to update the prices which it will do in a couple of seconds to give you the latest price on that route.This may have sounded like a longwinded way to find the flights but is a lot quicker than trawling individual websites to find their best prices. Skyscanner then gives you the option to book the flight by redirecting you to the relevant airlines website and the rest should be very easy. The site searches many airlines but even for those that it doesn't, if another airline operates that route, the website will tell you too.
I have used Skyscanner to search for cheap flights for a while now and have always been impressed with the gems that it has thrown up. I would wholly recommend using this site when you are next looking for a cheap flight.The airlines searched (from the UK) are:
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