This post does not contain any affiliate links. It is my genuine view on how to save money when finding cheap flights online.
I STOPPED buying flights directly from cheap airlines sites or flight scanner sites a while ago and today I will share with you why.
Let’s analyse a random flight to Germany from the end of this month.
Typically I go on flight scanning sites such as Skyscanner to check where it is the cheapest to fly:
Ok, we established it is Baden-Baden – a small city close to the French border and close to Karlsruhe. I feel flying there may be fun- just kidding but it is one of the cheapest airports in Baden-Württemberg and certainly, an option when flying to Heidelberg as its only 91 km away from Heidelberg, so closer than Stuttgart (124km away from Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof).
Ok no, why won’t we buy this flight from Skyscanner/Ryanair directly? Its price there is quite good in the randomly checked dates but you can find cheaper tickets in another way:
The above price is innacurate and the price from other sites is right… £64.75 is the price for this flight not £67 – I am unsure why Skyscanner shows that higher price as even on Ryanair’s page the price is £64.75…
But when you got on Topcashback you can see there are quite a few companies offering a cashback on cheap tickets.
I checked a few of them:
- Expedia– currently 1% of cashback
- Ebookers (looks like it is a sister site of Expedia as their design is almost identical)- currently 1.2% of cashback
- Opodo– currently 1.36% of cashback on the cheap tickets
to understand their price for the above-shown flight altogether with the cashback value they offer on purchase of the very same flight through their site. Here we are:
Total price after cashback is 64.75%*1%=£64.11, so £0.64 cheaper – I know a silly amount…
Total price after cashback is 64.75%*1.2%=£63.98, so £0.77 cheaper – still not great…
Here the flight price is higher than on Expedia orEbookerss and equals £68.99 after 1.36% cashback we get £68.99-0.93=£68.06 which is the most expensive here and exceeds even Ryanair’s price for their particular flight.
Time to leave TSB and find…
…Flight Mistakes or Site Glitches
Check Holiday Pirates and AirFare Watchdog as these are also great resources to check for finding mistakes and sale pricing as they accumulate slashed ticket rates all in one spot. Another great approach is to search for flights for an entire month using the ‘whole month price/the cheapest month’ if you are flexible and don’t have any specific flight dates.
Now when using AirFare Watchdog to find the very same flight its cost is £62 so really the cheapest:
that second flight for £62 comes from MyHolidays:
now myholidays are not on Topcashback so we won’t gain any cashback if we decide to buy the flight tickets from them. But this is defo the cheapest at the moment. Myholidays saves us £3.28 vs the original price of this flight from Ryanair (£64.75).
I am actually going to book my flight throughTopcashback and Ebookers as this weekend TBC offers a promo – you get £3extra cashback when you spend at least £5 through some of their merchants. That way I will save £0.77 when using Ebookers and then I will get the extra £3 which means I will save £3.77 in total. If there was no TCB promo I’d have stuck to myholidays as they offer the biggest savings otherwise. Airport coffee is for free then 🙂
- Find the closest airport to your destination – sometimes you may found an airport you didn’t even know exists and book cheaper flights to it. I usually fly to Stuttgart when going to Heidelberg but Baden-Baden seems an interesting alternative here.
- Be flexible re flights dates if you can. Use the ‘whole month price/the cheapest month’ feature when checking flights using flight scanning websites (Skyscanner does have that feature hence I like to use it).
- Go to AirFare Watchdog to find the cheapest flights…
- Go to TopCashback site to see if they run any promos*** and check a few brands offering cashback on flights
- Check a few sites offering flights cashback -for the flight price on its own and with the cashback
- Book through the site offering the best price (from AirFare Watchdog)or price&cashback (TCB&Ebookers) to save a few £££
- Enjoy that saving when treating yourself to coffee at the airport 🙂
***Timely tip: TCB run a promo now: If you spend £5 by end of this weekend you will get £3 cashback so I am going to double optimise my spend and book my flights via TCB from Ebookers to get an extra £3 cashback and the cashback from my future flight yay:-)