These Websites Offer Cheap Airline Tickets and Last Minute Flights

Cheap Flights Take Off

Edited by Benet Wilson

No one wants to pay full price for an airline ticket. And thanks to the internet, you no longer have to. Dozens of websites offering ways to buy discount tickets and last-minute travel have sprung up as a resource. Below are some resources you may want to use when booking your next flight.

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    Get discount rates on flights,hotelstoursgroups and more for students and youth. The company gets special low rates negotiated through contracts with dozens of partners and more than 70 airlines. It also has an iPhone app that offers a full inventory of student and youth airfares available on the website. Users can use flexible date search options, seeing when cheaper options are available; filtering options by time, price, airline or by student and youth deals; and trip details in-application, including for previously booked itineraries. 

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    This hybrid travel agency allows travelers to book flights online, on mobile apps by phone or via live chat. The website lists sample fare deals from cities selected by customers. It also offers hotel and car rental deals, discounted vacation packages, last-minute flight bargains, great prices on one-way flight deals and low fares for student travel.

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    This website -- also accessible via its Facebook page -- for amazing airfare bargains. It focuses on "mistake" airfares that can yield roundtrip fares like Boston-Copenhagen for 332, Salt Lake City-London for $442 and Los Angeles-Barcelona for $307. Travlers can visit the website, get notifications via Facebook or have fare alerts emailed directly. But be ready to pounce because the fares don't last long.

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    Hipmunk

    This website and mobile app allows travelers to compare top travel sites using a unique visual display that makes it easy to compare results and choose the best fares. 

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    Travelers can compare hundreds of travel sites with a single search via its website and mobile app. It also has the Explore feature, which allows users to check airfares from their home airport to anywhere in the world. 

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    This website has a simple design with an endless list of search possibilities. It may not be the fanciest looking page, but this site is easy to use, and pretty fast for finding good airfares. It offers upcoming cheap weekend fares, along with a list of cheap flights out of your chosen city.

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    The real strength of Cheapflights is that it has individual sites for a huge host of different countries. It lists deals, and gives you an idea of what kind of good airfares are out there. They are also pretty good at alerting you to airfare specials. Cheapflights hand-picks airfare specials - and lots of them, and they detail the rules of those specials. 

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    This popular online booking site for discounted airfares also includes a good Last Minute Trips section. It has lots of advertised airfare specials listed on the home page. You can also book things like concert and event tickets, so it's a good site for a one-stop-shopping experience.

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    Airfare Watchdog

    This site has really come into its own, using real people to find hidden airfare gems.  It also lets travelers receive fare alerts by email when there are price changes based on city-to-city, departure city and arrival city fares. It also offers a list of top cheap fares out of your chosen city.

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    Skyscanner-jpg.jpg
    Image courtesy of Skyscanner

    This website and app allows travelers to look at fares by day, by week, by month or by year. The results are published by a chart or by calendar. After choosing a flight, you can book it or sign up for fare alerts in case the price drops.

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    Around the world fares are the specialty of this site. Economy and Business fares are both offered, and you can build your own itinerary. They've created sample trips to give you an idea of what an around the world fare could look like. You do need to request more information so you won't have an exact price in an instant, but that's part of booking several different places to stop during your travels. This site fits a niche that many don't - looking at around-the-world airfares - so stopover options in several cities for the traveler that doesn't just want to book a simple roundtrip.

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    Airfare Dig scours the internet for some of the best current airfare sales. Many of these specials are "hidden airfares," or unadvertised specials, so they are harder to find and come and go very quickly. You don't book with them, but they list the rules and link you to where you can complete a booking. Their blog is not updated that often, but their home page is. Its deal page also allows you to see if any of the deals they mention apply to the airport you may be traveling from.

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    Although you can't book flights directly on this search engine, it does offer a robust search. After entering the cities want to and from, along with travel dates, the results will come back sorted by best travel times and prices.  It will also provide a travel tip that offers results showing different travel date options and how much you can save. Once you choose a fight, Google will give you a choice of websites to book it. If you're not sure where you want to go, Google Flight can give you options by choosing a departure airport, travel dates, click on the pricing link and adjust the slider to the highest fare you want to pay. It will display city options based on your criteria. Finally, you can save flights and be notified if the fare drops.

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    This is one of the big players in online booking services and a pretty good place for finding cheap airfares. They have deals listed on their home page and just a lot of different resources to peruse. 

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    For passengers beginning travel in the United States, there are some truly great flight deals to be had for travel within the US, to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and points beyond. But you have to act quickly  because deals don't last long.