This article may contain references to some of our advertising partners. Should you click on these links, we may be compensated. For more about our advertising policies, read our full disclosure statement here.
Are you looking to find cheaper flights for your next trip? We review five top apps that can help you save money on your next trip. Enjoy!
Points and miles are great for booking travel, but sometimes you can find a better deal by paying cash to book a flight. It can be hard to find good deals and sweet spots on airline websites. Because of this, it pays to use apps for booking cheap flights on your mobile phone. Here are our top five.
The Skyscanner app has a user-friendly interface that is very functional. I like that it offers fun tools that forecast when to book to save money and discover flights you might not have thought about. As with most tools, you can choose dates, durations, stops, times, and airlines. Once you’ve found your ideal flight, you’ll click through to the airline’s website to complete your purchase.
The two features I like best are the Price Predictions tool and the Explore tool. With Price Predictions, you choose your departure and arrival cities and when you’d like to travel. The tool then predicts the optimal time to book your ticket to find the lowest price.
The Explore tool offers flight deals based on your departure city. You can either choose the country and month of travel or leave them blank to find great deals. If you’re flexible on your destination and when you fly, the Explore tool can be a really fun way to visit new cities around the world.
With the Momondo app, you can book flights, hotels, and rental cars. You can search departure and arrival city on specific dates, or you can use the “anywhere search” feature. This feature shows the price of flights on your specific dates to anywhere in the world. You can filter by budget, dates, distance, or themes to find the perfect vacation for you.
The “anywhere search” feature is perfect when you have a specific budget in mind without a specific destination or are looking for weekend getaway ideas and don’t want to fly too far. Theme searches are ideal when you’re looking for something specific. Options include beaches, family, gambling, golfing, and skiing.
When you find the flight you want, you can book on the airline’s website directly from the app. This gives users the peace of mind that their personal information won’t be in the hands of an app that they don’t know much about.
The app has some innovative features that set it apart from the others. You can track the status of your flight to see if it is on time. But what is really cool is the augmented reality feature that measures your bag size to ensure it is acceptable for your flight.
Skiplagged allows users to book flights and hotels through its app. This is one of the few I reviewed that also includes the price of Southwest flights in its search results. It also offers a rewards program that gives you travel credits for sharing links. You’ll earn up to $25 in credits toward a future reservation for booking a flight or hotel or when someone books using your referral link.
The unique feature of Skiplagged is that it offers hidden-city ticketed trips. This means that you’ll book a flight to someplace else but get off the plane in your desired city along the way.
For example, if you want to fly from San Francisco to Atlanta, you may book tickets with the ultimate destination of Orlando, but with a connection in Atlanta. When you land in Atlanta, you get off the plane and let the seat on your connecting flight go empty.
Just remember not to check your bags or your suitcase will end up in the wrong city! If your bag is gate-checked, which can happen, that means that your bag will continue on to the plane’s final destination. These risks are real, so make sure the price discount is worth it. Or you can pack everything you need for your trip in a bag that fits under your seat, just to be safe.
Airlines look down upon this practice, so it’s not advisable to include your frequent flier number on your reservation. Skiplagged proudly shares on their website that United Airlines sued them and Skiplagged won. However, airlines have been cracking down on travelers who use this strategy. Lufthansa even sued a passenger who used hidden-city ticketing. It lost the case but is planning to appeal the verdict.
Hopper tracks flight and hotel prices daily to predict the right time to book your reservation. When you activate push notifications, the app will notify you when your preferred destinations, hotels, and flights change their price. This feature can save you money when prices fall or when they start to rise. Hopper continues to monitor prices after you’ve booked through the app and offers a free price drop guarantee on your reservations. If the price drops, you’ll be credited with the difference.
Once you’ve chosen your departure and arrival airports, Hopper color-codes dates to highlight prices. You can easily see when flights are the cheapest and which dates to avoid to save money on your trip. After you’ve selected your travel dates, Hopper offers guidance on whether you should book your trip now or wait for a lower price. If you’re not ready to book now, you can lock in a price freeze to secure that rate by putting down a deposit. Flights not booked within five days will automatically be refunded to your credit card.
Jetradar books flights, hotels, and rental cars from its app. Results can be filtered by the usual variables of duration, departure or arrival time, and price. You can also search for amenities like Wi-Fi, USB, and in-flight entertainment.
When searching for flights, the cheapest and most convenient options are pushed to the top of the results. The app also allows mixed-carrier flights, so you can book flights on different airlines to get the best itinerary for your trip. The app does not sell directly. Instead, when you click to buy, it directs you to the appropriate website to lock in your deal.
The Bottom Line For Booking Cheap Flights With An App
All of these apps handle the basic search function of finding flights. However, each one of these top apps for booking cheap flights offers unique features to help you save money on your next adventure. Since they are free, I recommend downloading each app and playing around with the basic search and advanced tools to see which ones you like best.
Before you book your ticket, explore your options to pay for the flight with travel rewards instead of cash. With cheap flight options, it usually doesn’t make sense to use miles to book your flight. However, many airlines offer web specials or other promotions with severely discounted flights. For example, American Airlines offers “web special” flights for as low as 7,500 miles each way. And the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal is a great way to book flights with points earned from the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Business Preferred. Or you can pay for your flights through these apps using the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card and “erase” travel purchases with your miles.
No matter which method you choose, there are plenty of methods for securing cheap flights for your global travel plans.
Have you booked flights using any of these apps? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments below!