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You’ve chosen your next holiday destination, worked out a budget, started a savings plan and begun putting together your itinerary. The next step in the travel planning process is booking your flights. And how to find cheap flights can be one of the toughest parts of the process.
Searching for a flight can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many factors: dates, times, price, fare class, airline, and more. Even when you know exactly when and where you want to fly, where should you look for the absolute best price?
Unfortunately, no website consistently has the lowest prices. Most of the popular OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) are usually in the same ballpark for the price, but not all offer the same benefits or search functionality.
More often than not, booking directly through the airline’s website will give you the best price, or will at least be the same as the OTAs.
Some airlines, like Southwest, won’t even show up on sites like Expedia or Orbitz, so you have to book direct. It can also be the most simple way to book. If a problem arises, you don’t have to deal with a 3rd party to get it resolved.
Another reason to book directly through an airline’s website is to use frequent flyer miles — hooray for award flights!
Of course, to book through the airline’s website, you first need to know which airline has the best prices. There are lots of travel search engines and OTAs that can help you find the best deals, so you know which airline’s website to visit. Some OTAs even offer perks that might make it worth booking someplace other than the airline’s site.