17 Best Flight Search Engines 2020 (Order of Cheapest)


here are the Best Flight Search Engines 2020
I know, the results are shocking! 🙂

So what are the best flight search engines in 20/20? Which search engine offers the best pricing? Well, I decided to do a test. I decided to visit each website and search for 1 rather long domestic flight and one rather long international flight. All of the results are posted below.

Before we begin, it’s important to note a couple of things:

  • I used an incognito browser to help prevent cookies from being stored or read.
  • I searched for 2 example roundtrip Flights: Nov 1st (outbound) 31st (inbound), Chicago to Miami & also Chicago to Paris.
  •  I used a New York IP address using a VPN. Please be aware that the location in which you are searching from will in fact have an impact on your price. Be sure to learn more about how your location impacts flight pricing.
  • Often the cheapest results are with budget airlines, so be sure to check the price on adding baggage.
  • Results will be Price 1 + Price 2 = Total. Total price dictates order.

It took me about 10 hours to organize this post, hopefully you find it valuable.

List of Cheapest Meta Flight Search Engines

(Most expensive first)

17) Hopper

Unfortunately this site ranks the worst. After visiting their website I could not figure out how to even search for a flight. I literally spent about 2 minutes on their site searching for a way to search! This became quite frustrating. I eventually went to Google to search how to search flights on their website. As it turns out, they don’t even allow computer users to search for flights. It is only an app. Sorry, no score. Next! 

hooper was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Can’t function on a laptop? You are dead to me lol

16) Flight Network

$267.96 + $498.38 = $776.34

CONS: Extremely choppy website. Not many searching options. Not able to see cheaper days to fly in either direction.

flight network was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
flight network was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight

15) Booking.com

This just forward’s you directly to Priceline’s website. The prices were the same without any markup.

14) Priceline

$213.37 + $546.92 = $760.29

priceline was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
priceline was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight
priceline was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Priceline shows you a convenient chart indicating the best time of the month to purchase your ticket!

Note: Priceline owns Kayak, Booking.com, Agoda, & Momondo. It’s strange that the child-companies are significantly cheaper.

13) Vayama

$204.11 + $535.40 = $739.51

CONS: “Domestic tickets may carry a service fee of up to $25.00 USD per ticket. Certain International tickets may carry a fee ranging up to $50.00 USD per ticket.” Provided only a +/- 3 day window which would search for cheaper flights. Luckily, however, they found a flight that reduced my entire round trip to $86.55 (including the booking fee)! Not joking! Sweet deal! I have also found this sweet deal on many other sites, though I didn’t list it. I am searching for the best deal on a specific day.

Vayama was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
Vayama was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight
Vayama was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Vayama allows you to search for cheaper days to fly only +/- 3 days

12) Hotwire

$223 + $512 = $735

CONS: Couldn’t find any option/graph/chart to see the cheapest date to fly on.

hotwire was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
hotwire was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight

11) Orbitz

$215.13 + $511.88 = $727.01

orbitz was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
orbitz was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight
orbitz was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Orbitz shows you a convenient chart indicating the best time of the month to purchase your ticket!

10) Expedia

$216  $512 = $728

Note: Expedia owns Travelocity, Orbitz, & Hotwire. You can see some of the prices are identical.

expedia was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
expedia was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight
expedia was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Expedia shows you a convenient chart indicating the best time of the month to purchase your ticket!

9) Travelocity

$216 + $512 = $728

CONS: There is an option to see +/- 3 days in each direction to find a cheaper price, but the price does appear unless you click ‘search’ under each individual date – which then opens up in a new tab. Completely pointless.

travelocity was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
travelocity was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight
travelocity was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Travelocity allows you to search for cheaper days to fly only +/- 3 days, but, you must click on each individually…which then opens up to a new page. Seems counterproductive.

8) Tripadvisor

$223 + $502 = $725

CONS: Couldn’t find any option/graph/chart to see the cheapest date to fly on.

tripadvisor was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
tripadvisor was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight

7) Google Flights

$210 + $507 = $717

google flights was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
google flights was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight
google flights was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Google Flights shows you a convenient chart indicating the best time of the month to purchase your ticket!

6) Skiplagged

$173 + $543 = $716

skiplagged was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
skiplagged was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight
skiplagged was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Skiplagged shows you a convenient chart indicating the best time of the month to purchase your ticket!

5) Skyscanner

$223 + $486 = $709

skyscanner was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
skyscanner was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight
skyscanner was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Skyscanner allows you to search for cheaper days to fly throughout the whole month. This is how it should be!

4) Kayak

$209 + $499 = $708

CONS: Couldn’t find any option/graph/chart to see the cheapest date to fly on.

kayak was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
kayak was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight

3) Momondo

$209 + $499 = $708

momondo was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
momondo was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight
momondo was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
momondo allows you to search for cheaper days to fly throughout the previous/next week.

2) Agoda:

$209 + $499 = $708

CONS: Couldn’t find any option/graph/chart to see the cheapest date to fly on.

agoda was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
agoda was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight

1) CheapOAir

$109.20 + $536.99 = $646.19

CONS: “Business and First Class Airfares Service fees are up to $150 per passenger. Multi-city trips Service fees are up to $100 per passenger. Fusion Fares Service fees are up to $100 per passenger.” Also, we can’t see cheaper options on other dates. We must search each date individually.

cheapoair was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
Domestic Flight
cheapoair was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
International Flight
cheapoair was part of the Best Flight Search Engines 2020 test
CheapOAir shows you a convenient chart indicating the best time of the month to purchase your ticket!

Graph Indicating The Cheapest Travel Search Engine Sites

POSITION BASED ON OVERALL PRICEFLIGHT SEARCH ENGINE NAMEDOMESTIC TICKETINTERNATIONAL TICKETTOTAL PRICE
1CheapOAir$109.20$536.99$646.19
2Agoda$209$499$708
3Momondo $209$499708
4Kayak$209$499$708
5Skyscanner$223$486$709
6Skiplagged$173$543 $716
7Google Flights$210$507$717
8Tripadvisor$223$502$725
9Travelocity$216$512$728
10Expedia$216$512$728
11Orbitz$215.13$511.88$727.01
12Hotwire$223$512$735
13Vayama$204.11$535.40$739.51
14Priceline$213.37$546.92$760.29
15Booking.com$213.37$546.92$760.29
16Flight Network$267.96$498.38$776.34
17HopperApp only. N/AApp only. N/AApp only. N/A
Here are the best flight search engines based on price

Final Thoughts on the “Best” (Cheapest) Flight Search Engines

Just because CheapOAir ranked as number one, does not necessarily mean that they are always going to be the best search engine for purchasing cheap flights. They were the best for this particular day/time/flight.

If I did a few more test flight searches, the order of the flight companies would change (probably slightly). But I do think the the companies which had rather large prices, will remain in that position without much change.

Keep in mind, every airline has contracts with each flight meta search engine. There are different prices that are offered along with different commissions that are offered – and also different algorithms for users in different locations. Behind the scenes, I can only assume that these things are changing quarterly – which would obviously have an impact on pricing.

I also believe that the large websites, such as Priceline or booking.com, have higher prices because they have large affiliate programs built in to their business model as well. In order to make sure that everybody gets paid a fair amount, their prices must be higher than their competition. They rely on people who have used them for many years to simply return again without checking the competition first. People are committed to their brand.

Recommendations When Purchasing a Plane Ticket (Cheap or Not)

There’s no doubt in my mind that prices fluctuate (due to many factors). On top of that, you can also see that it is sometimes cheaper to purchase domestic flights on one website and more expensive to purchase international flights on that same website. Each website know’s their own PROS & CONS, I’m sure.

However, it’s your best bet to search each of the top five websites listed on the chart. Simply don’t rely on one. Each website is specifically relying on you not leaving their website. In addition, they hope that you purchase one flight from them and then in the future, you simply use them again without searching around. Don’t be that person. Do your homework. Do multiple searches. Find the best deal!

Related:

2 Easy Ways To Find Cheap Flights On Budget Airlines

THIS is How I Get Cheap Flights By Using A VPN

Flight Mistake Fares: The Holy Grail of Cheap Airline Tickets

How To Use Multi City Flights To Save Money

How To Search Long Layovers for Cheap Flight Tickets

Brock

Hey - I'm Brock. I grew up in the USA, and I have been a full-time Solo Traveler since June of 2016. I am also a Travel Vlogger on YouTube where my primary focus is to simply hang out with local people around the world. My full story is here: About Me

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