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Travelers often invest significant time and money into finding the best deals on flights. Flight prices fluctuate, so it can be difficult to determine when to purchase upcoming flights. Is now the right time, or could the price go down tomorrow?
Quite a few websites have flight price trackers, and the list we've collected below is not fully comprehensive. Instead, we've focused on some of the most popular and easy-to-use options. There are many similarities between the websites, though some offer unique features. Let's look at each of them.
Setting the benchmark for ease of use and functionality, Google Flights has become many travelers' go-to flight search tool. Tracking across multiple dates, destinations, and cabins, Google Flight Tracker lets you track individual airlines or alliances, choose the number of stops, select layover airports, flight duration, and more.
To track prices for your flight, fill out the information for your departing and arriving airports, dates, and number of people in your party. Use the drop-down menus to select any other details that we mentioned above. Then, toggle the “track prices” button. You will receive emails any time your flight price changes.
KAYAK is very similar to Google Flight Tracker in the features it offers. First, set up an account. Then, enter your flight information, and select any of the specifications you're looking for — from included baggage to layovers and cabin preferences. After this, select “track prices,” and you will receive an email when the price changes.
One great thing about KAYAK is that it uses an analysis of current and past flight prices to recommend when you should or should not book a flight. As you can see in the above screenshot, it's recommending I book this example flight now because prices are not likely to improve soon.
Skyscanner is one of the biggest travel search engines in the world. It scans hundreds of websites to find the best prices on airfare and hotels. Similar to other flight price trackers, you will first set up an account. Then, enter your search dates and airports. Instead of a “track prices” toggle, you will select the “Get Price Alerts” button on the left side of the page. You'll get an email when the flight price changes.
Working in a different way than other flight price trackers, Airfare Watchdog allows you to set flight alerts from city-to-city or deals from a departure city. However, you cannot set dates for your flight alerts. Rather than relying solely on computers to do the heavy lifting, the team at Airfare Watchdog has airfare analysts that research fares and send them to users tracking those cities. One benefit is that they can pick up unpublished sales and fares from airlines like Southwest, which does not routinely show up in the Google Flight Tracker.
To do almost anything on Airfarewatchdog, you need to set up an account with your email address. After this, go to Flights, then Set Up Fare Price Alerts.
From here, enter departure cities and/or specific routes that you are interested in keeping an eye on.
Admittedly, Airfarewatchdog is not as sophisticated or user-friendly as some of the other options. However, it's great for people who have flexible schedules and just want to find a good deal from A to B.
Hopper is the most downloaded travel app in North America. The company uses a multi-billion-point algorithm to help predict the best time to book a flight. When looking for flights, Hopper will tell you if it's a good time to buy or if you should wait for the price to drop. Additionally, you can track certain trip itineraries.
First, enter your cities and dates. Next, you will see if it's a good time to buy or if you should wait. If Hopper recommends waiting, select “Watch This Trip” to be notified of price drops.
Going (Formerly Scott's Cheap Flights)
Going is a unique flight price tracker that monitors flights from your home airport. Furthermore, it recommends other nearby airports or hubs that you may be interested in including in your search. Instead of choosing destinations and then receiving emails for those, you will get notified of all deals from any of your selected airports.
Going offers both free and paid memberships. Premium membership costs $49 and includes being the first to know about economy seats from your selected airports. Elite membership costs $199 and allows more customization with the types of deals you receive, plus it includes business- and first-class tickets.
Changing Your Flight
Tracking ticket prices is more important now than ever since many airlines no longer charge change fees. During the pandemic, airlines dropped their change fees as travel ground to a halt. Since then, most airlines have kept their fee-free policy. When you book a flight, it's important to keep an eye on prices for your flight. If prices change, you may be able to rebook your same flight and get a refund or travel credit for the price difference. Alternatively, you may be able to cancel, get a full refund, and then book the new (cheaper) flight.
Pay With the Right Credit Card
Once you've found the flight you want to book, it's important to have the right card to pay with. There are many great travel cards out there. Here are some of our favorite cards for earning lots of points on flights booked through these or other websites:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- American Express® Green Card: Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.
- Citi Premier® Card: 3X points per $1 spent on airfare and hotels and at gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets.
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and 2x on all other travel purchases.
As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to flight price trackers. Google Flight Tracker remains the most popular and most widely used, but there are many others that offer great services. Because most of them are free, it doesn't hurt to sign up for a few to make sure you never miss a deal.
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