The Best Airfare Trackers

Cheap airfare? There's an app (and a notification) for that.

Airplane Landing

Vladimir Zakharov via Getty Images

If you've been booking airfare online for at least the past 10 years or so, you've heard a million tips about finding it cheap. "It's cheapest on Tuesday," insists one apparent truth, while others claim that a Saturday night stay will lighten the squeeze on your wallet; some people swear by buying at least 21 days in advance. Want to get the best flight prices without following outdated and largely inaccurate advice? Use one of the best airfare trackers on web, like the seven you can read more about below.

01 of 07

Google Flights

If you're looking for an airfare tracker that is lightweight, intuitive and accessible using credentials you already have, track airfare on Google Flights. After you sign into your Google account and complete a search, simply toggle the switch next to "Track Prices" above your search results to track prices for your dates and cities on all airlines. You can also use the Google Flights airfare tracker on specific flights. Simply select a departing flight (and, optionally a return one) and toggle the "Track Prices" switch. In either case, you will receive an email from Google Flights whenever the price fluctuates—for better or for worse. At that point, you can choose one of the booking channels Google Flights recommends (booking directly with the airline is usually the best option) and get your travel ticketed and confirmed.

02 of 07


Although not quite as lightweight or intuitive as Google, Skyscanner has nonetheless become one of the most popular second-generation online travel agencies, thanks to its proliferation in dozens of languages and an easy-to-use mobile app. Likewise, along airfare trackers, Skyscanner's "Price Alerts" feature is near the top of the list. After completing a search, click the "Get Price Alerts" button near the top of the results screen. If you're using the desktop site, you'll be asked to sign in, and then you can choose how you want to receive your price alert. Within the mobile app, you will be able to receive notifications pushed right to your device.

03 of 07


Kayak has long since established itself as one of the premier online travel search engines, not only for flights, but for hotels, rental cars and packages. What many travelers don't know is that you can set an airfare alert using Kayak. And unlike most every other option on this list, you don't need to create an account beforehand! Simply run a search using your dates and details, then wait for a popup that says "Create a Price Alert, Free." Upon entering your email address and clicking "Save Price Alert" you'll also be signed up for a free Kayak account. You can use your new account to sign into the Kayak mobile app, which offers push notifications about flight price alerts, much like Skyscanner's. Another factor that differentiates Kayak from other online travel agencies that offer airfare alerts? Certain Kayak deals are bookable directly through the site (or its partner Priceline), which means you don't necessarily have to complete your booking via a third party.

04 of 07


As a travel agency in general, Momondo is less popular than some of its rivals, so it makes sense that many travelers don't realize it offers one of the best airfare trackers—for certain travelers, anyway. Namely, Momondo is known to offer great fares on long-haul business- and first- class flights between the US and Europe or Asia. To use Momondos' airfare tracker, login to the site, which you can optionally do using your Google account. Complete a flight search and toggle the "Flight Alert" switch at the top, left corner of the search results. Momondo will send you an email when the price goes up or down. Part of the reason Momondo finds such great prices is that it often routes you to other online travel agencies, many of which have their only policies (and in some cases, fees). Be aware of this as you're using it.

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05 of 07


Like Kayak, Airfarewatchdog incorporates its airfare alert functionality directly into its search—it's literally on the front page. After you input the cities between which you want to travel and your desired travel dates, tick the box next to the text "Send me great deals on this route" and enter your email address prior to clicking "Find Fares." As is the case with Kayak, doing so will sign you up for a free Airfarewatchdog account. Airfarewatchdog actually started as an airfare deals blog, and still includes a lot of interesting and valuable content about all aspects of travel, so take a long around after you've set your price alert. You might leave the site with more than just a cheap flight!

06 of 07

FlyerTalk Forums

Do you want to stay up to date on the latest flight deals, but don't have a specific route or travel date in mind? One way to get notified of amazing airfares, with origins and departure points around the world and in all classes of service, is to join the popular FlyerTalk Forum, and subscribe to updates in popular forums. One of the most popular options is the "Premium Fare" forum, which includes dozens of daily postings about amazing deals on first- and business-class flights, including "error fare" tickets that are sometimes nearly as cheap as flights in economy.

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ExpertFlyer is not for everyone. Rather, it's for people who want to track the availability of award tickets on major airlines. Because this technology is not very common (and to be sure, the number of travelers savvy enough to want to hack award travel is not very large), you will need to pay a nominal membership fee each month. On the flip side, the return on investment can be priceless, since award seats on in-demand airlines and popular flight routes can literally change by the minute. Once you've joined ExpertFlyer and accessed the dashboard, search the airline(s) you want for the fare class in which you want to travel, then tick the box to indicate you want to subscribe to this search. ExpertFlyer will email you when award space becomes available, at which point you'll need to book your flight independently.

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