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How to Find Cheap Flights

Cheap flight operators often have a number of hidden charges

You have two main choices when looking for cheap flights. This is essentially whether you are looking to go on holiday using cheap flights and you don't care where you go or are you looking for cheap flights to a specific destination.

Looking for cheap flights to a specific destination

The best starting point is to look directly on the websites of airlines to get a rough price in your head.

  • British airways is a good place to start. See how much it costs on a quality airline with no hidden costs and a renowned good service.
  • Virgin Atlantic is also worth checking out. They are not famous for bargain flights but again their service is excellent and it's worth noting how much you would have to pay for them.
  • BMI are a good mid range airline and the last we will recommend checking out to gauge a rough price before looking at the budget airlines.

Low cost airlines

Before we start discussing the pitfalls of low cost airlines for a full world wide list of all the low cost airlines we could find, organised by country.

If you are going to use a low cost airline then their may be pitfalls.

Yes, low cost airlines can offer you bargain prices but sometimes what appears to be a bargain turns out to be less so after additional costs have been taken into account.

Hidden charges

  • Advertised prices are not what you will usually pay at the end. Many low cost airlines add on charges. Expect to find hidden charges in booking fees, debit card OR credit card fees (yes, you will be charged for paying), baggage fees.
  • Don't forget if you want to buy food or drink on these airline flights then most of them will charge you extortionate amounts.
  • Where does the low cost airline fly to and from? Many low cost airlines fly to smaller out of town airports so check to see how easily accessible those airports are. If the flight is £20 cheaper than a major airline but you have a £15 train journey at each end then it's not really cheaper over all.
  • Are you flying at a time not ideal? Every part of travelling can incur expenses. What if you end up going away a day earlier, coming back a day later, arriving at a time when public transport has ceased to operate? All of these things make the costs of the holiday increase. Remember you will have to pay for extra accommodation and food when you are away.

Taking into account so many variables can be very difficult but it is very important that when comparing the price of various flights you do take into account the transportation to and from the airports if you are comparing flights from different airports.

The last piece of advice is that if you're saving a very small amount by choosing a low cost airline over say a larger airline then consider if the saving is worth the reduction in comfort, it may not be.

Cheap flight search engines

Cheap flight search engines do exactly what they say on the tin.

Plug in your dates and destinations and scan through the available cheap flights. Below are a list of recommended search engines. You can find lots more but at some point you have to stop searching and choose.

The most popular cheap flight engines are:

  • Netflights.com
  • skyscanner.net
  • expedia
  • opodo
  • Kelkoo
  • airfasttickets.co.uk
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