Grace and I are always looking to save money on flights. Wow Air has impressed us as a budget option for Europe, but the U.S. still lacks the domestic budget options available in other countries. While it doesn’t solve that issue, Skiplagged attempts to minimize the price of travel through “hidden city” ticketing (though “normal” flight results come up as well). Unlike other search engines, Skiplagged considers flights for which your destination is a layover. It sounds strange, but it can often be cheaper to flight this way than the traditional method of booking flights. They’ve also been in the news lately because airlines were suing the websites methods, claiming this method of booking flights was illegal. Last month, Skiplagged won the lawsuit, and can now operate without fear of retribution.
My friend Staci called me last week to help her price out a trip to Austin. The best deals she’d found using google flights and other search engines were above $400. Using Skiplagged, I was able to find round trip flights for as low as $272 with a single short layover each way. Even flying direct both ways was $379, significantly cheaper than found on other sites.
As I get more adept at finding flights, different search engines seem better equipped to handle different requests. Google flights is hands down the best site when you’re incredibly flexible. The map and calendar features allow you to compare pricing across dates and cities, which can save you a ton of money (especially when flying internationally). If your plans are pretty restricted, Skiplagged seems to find deals that others don’t, especially on domestic flights (though I haven’t tried it for international flights yet). Airline websites often have more options available in terms of departure times and types of seating, especially those like Southwest that don’t come up in the aggregate sites.
I also always check a generic site like Kayak to make sure I’m not missing something crucial.
The last year has seen some really cool changes in the travel industry. Wow Air is making European travel more affordable than ever for Americans, and Skiplagged offers an additional way to search for cheap flights. As options like these become more popular and available, hopefully it will force the industry to be more competitive in its price structure and offerings. I’ll be sure to check out Skiplagged the next time I go abroad, and update this post!