One of the most significant expenses when planning a trip is the cost of flights. Thankfully, Skyscanner is a powerful tool that can help you find the best deals on airfare, making it easier to save money on your travels. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to use Skyscanner effectively and share tips and tricks to ensure you’re always getting the best possible prices on flights.
What is Skyscanner?
Skyscanner is a popular travel search engine that allows users to find and compare prices for flights, hotels, and car rentals. With a user-friendly interface and access to data from numerous airlines and travel agencies, Skyscanner helps travelers find the best deals on their desired travel dates and destinations.
Creating a Skyscanner Account
While it’s possible to use Skyscanner without an account, signing up for a free account offers several benefits. By creating an account, you can save your searches, set up price alerts, and access personalized recommendations.
Basic Search Functionality
Skyscanner’s primary feature is its search functionality, which allows you to find the best deals on flights. To perform a basic search, follow these steps:
a. Enter your departure and destination airports: Type in the airports or cities you’re flying from and to.
b. Select your travel dates: Choose your desired departure and return dates. To find the best prices, be as flexible as possible with your travel dates.
c. Choose the number of passengers and cabin class: Specify the number of travelers and whether you prefer economy, premium economy, business, or first class.
d. Click “Search flights”: Skyscanner will then display a list of available flights based on your search criteria.
Advanced Search Features
Skyscanner offers several advanced search features that can help you find even better deals on flights:
a. Flexible travel dates: If you have flexibility with your travel dates, use the “Whole Month” or “Cheapest Month” options when selecting your travel dates. Skyscanner will then display a calendar or chart showing the cheapest flights for each day.
b. Nearby airports: Skyscanner allows you to search for flights from and to nearby airports. By considering alternative airports, you may find more affordable flights.
c. Multi-city search: If you’re planning a trip with multiple stops, use the multi-city search feature to find the best deals on flights for your entire itinerary.
d. Direct flights only: If you prefer nonstop flights, use the “Direct flights only” filter to narrow down your search results.
Sorting and Filtering Search Results
Once you’ve entered your search criteria, Skyscanner will display a list of available flights. You can sort and filter these results to find the best options for your needs:
a. Sort by: Use the “Sort by” dropdown menu to arrange the search results by the best (recommended), cheapest, fastest, or departure time.
b. Filter by: Use the filters on the left side of the page to narrow down your search results based on specific criteria, such as the number of stops, layover duration, airline, and more.
Setting up Price Alerts
One of Skyscanner’s most valuable features is its price alerts. By setting up a price alert, you’ll receive notifications when the price of a flight you’re interested in changes. This allows you to monitor flight prices and book when the cost is lowest.
To set up a price alert, perform a flight search and click the “Get Price Alerts” button. You’ll receive email notifications when the price of the selected flight changes.
7. Using Skyscanner’s Mobile App
Skyscanner also offers a free mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The app provides all the functionality of the website, with additional features optimized for mobile use:
a. “Explore” feature: Discover new destinations and find inspiration for your next trip by browsing Skyscanner’s curated selection of popular and off-the-beaten-path locations.
b. “Top Deals” section: Check out the best flight deals available from your nearest airport or selected destination.
c. Offline access: Save your flight searches and access them offline, making it easier to reference your flights while traveling or when you don’t have internet access.
Booking Your Flight
Once you’ve found the perfect flight at the best price, it’s time to book your ticket. Skyscanner redirects you to the airline’s website or a third-party booking site to complete your purchase. Be sure to double-check all your flight details and personal information before finalizing your booking.
Tips and Tricks for Saving Money with Skyscanner
To maximize your savings on flights, consider these additional tips and tricks when using Skyscanner:
a. Start searching early: The earlier you begin searching for flights, the more likely you are to find a great deal. Begin your search a few months before your desired travel dates.
b. Be flexible with your travel dates and times: If possible, consider traveling on weekdays rather than weekends, as flights tend to be cheaper on weekdays. Also, consider flying during off-peak hours, such as early mornings or late evenings.
c. Consider traveling during off-peak seasons: Flight prices tend to be lower during the low season. Research your destination’s high and low seasons and plan your trip accordingly.
d. Mix and match airlines: Skyscanner allows you to book one-way flights, which can sometimes result in cheaper overall fares. Try combining different airlines for your outbound and return flights.
e. Clear your browser cookies: Some websites track your search history and may increase prices based on your previous searches. Clearing your browser cookies or using private browsing mode can help prevent this.
Skyscanner is an invaluable tool for saving money on flights, making it easier to plan and enjoy your dream vacation. By utilizing its advanced search features, setting up price alerts, and following the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, you can ensure that you always get the best possible deals on your flights. Happy travels!