More than 2 million travelers fly across the country daily, and with the average one-way ticket price to get from New York to Los Angeles hovering around $500, airfare costs certainly add up.
Whether for business or pleasure, flying offers a more efficient path to get from point A to point B, so we’ve tracked down the best rates on flights. Use the navigation below to find the best flight deal for you.
Best Cheap Flight Deals
Sometimes you just want the cheapest tickets available to get you to your destination. While many would suggest simply buying from a “cheap” brand like Spirit Airlines, the markups for carry-ons and other such luxuries can end up costing you more than if you did a bit of research for the best bottom-line price.
We compared the aggregate sites — like Expedia and Priceline — alongside the smaller ticket resellers and brands themselves to find the cheapest flight deal.
We found that CheapTickets really goes the extra mile to find you the best price. Not only can you make adjustments to your search query right on the results page, including the dates and nearby airport options, but you can even browse pricing based on airline and arrival/departure times. From the results page, you can also run the same search on various travel sites from the big names to the little guys to ensure you get the best deal.
|Offer Category||#1 in Best Flight Deals|
|DealCrunch Rating||4.8 out of 5|
Best Last-Minute Flight Deals
When it comes to booking airline travel, getting your tickets earlier rather than later typically provides the most cost savings.
However, sometimes you just don’t have the time to plan your flight in advance, and that’s okay since there are plenty of last-minute flight deals to be had.
The CheapOair search provides some pretty robust features for finding the best possible deal at the last possible moment. When we searched for a next-day flight for across the country, CheapOair sorted the results by lowest bottom-line price — with taxes and fees added — and included results for nearby airports and flexible dates to offer you the best rates without a separate search.
|Offer Category||#2 in Best Flight Deals|
|DealCrunch Rating||4.6 out of 5|
Best International Flight Deals
For any flight out of the US, there are several things to account for: your passport, your cellphone plan, your accommodations, and, of course, your jet lag. As you plan for a longer trip across the pond, you’ll want to start by deciding on the ideal timeframe for your travel and check for plane tickets a few different times before buying them.
International flights can be pricier, so to ensure you get the best deal on tickets, you should definitely shop for your international tickets as early as possible.
As you look at dates for your international flight, OneTravel makes it easy to find the best time to fly. Once you select the cities for departure and arrival, you can browse dates on a calendar with pricing for the best deal each day — before ever hitting the “search” button. We looked at flying into London and found the pricing dropped significantly three to four months out, with the cheapest tickets available during weekdays.
|Offer Category||#3 in Best Flight Deals|
|DealCrunch Rating||4.5 out of 5|
Best Flight + Hotel Deals
You can often unlock deeper discounts when you bundle your travel purchases together than when you book separately. If you know you’ll need to book accommodations, it makes sense to see what deals are out there for hotels and flights at the same time.
All the big comparison sites offer bundled booking for flights, hotels, and rental cars, so they are our go-to for finding the best deals for combined bookings of hotels and flights.
With Travelocity, you’re shown the best deal first in terms of the hotel choices, then the site offers you upgrades to that base price. For example, as you select a hotel, you’ll see that requesting certain room features will add to your base price, which increases depending on the property. The best deal on the flight is shown as +$0, but if you want a better airline, fewer stops, or an upgraded seat, you’ll see added fees next to those options. All in all, we found Travelocity to boast some pretty great bundles with an easy booking process.
|Offer Category||#4 in Best Flight Deals|
|DealCrunch Rating||4.3 out of 5|
Best Flight + Rental Car Deals
Bundled travel deals are a great way to go, especially since so many websites allow you to just sit down and knock out all your reservations at once. Not only can you book your hotel and flight, but you can also book your rental car and flight — or any variation that you need to complete your travel plans.
Not only did Expedia offer a great deal on combined bookings, but the site was easy to use for buying plane tickets and reserving a rental car. First, you have to select all the options for your flight — cities of departure and arrival, ticket class, and connections. Once you have your flight selected, Expedia prompts you to reserve your car with equally variable options in terms of vehicle size and pricing. After your flight and rental car options are ordered, you checkout with a single purchase.
|Offer Category||#5 in Best Flight Deals|
|DealCrunch Rating||4.2 out of 5|
Best One-Way Flight Deals
Sometimes you can find really great deals on one-way tickets, which means booking two individual, unrelated flights — one to take you to your destination and one to bring you back home.
These deals are a little harder to come by, but, when available, you’ll be able to save more on two one-way tickets than you could with a single roundtrip booking.
SmartFares has some pretty competitive one-way flight pricing and suggests that you call the brand at 877-245-3755 for unpublished rates that might be even better than what’s on the site. We found that while the interface was not as clean as other comparison sites, SmartFares did offer some rock-bottom pricing for one-way tickets. For example, in our search for cross-country tickets, we found that it was only $144 one-way and closer to $300 roundtrip — a savings of at least $10.
|Offer Category||#6 in Best Flight Deals|
|DealCrunch Rating||4.1 out of 5|
Best Roundtrip Flight Deals
For roundtrip deals, cheapest isn’t always the best value. With a few tweaks, you can get more bang for your buck when booking a flight, even if it isn’t necessarily the cheapest possible plane ticket.
When booking, consider if changing the departure date would decrease your fare, which could then allow you to upgrade to better seats without an extra cost to you.
Priceline became well-known for its discounts in the hotel space, but the comparison travel site has relationships with airlines too, which translates to some pretty great rates on flights. The site is easy to use and offers searches via flexible dates to help you find the best deals on roundtrip plane tickets. Ticket prices listed on the site include all taxes and fees (other than checked baggage fees since you can avoid those by packing a carry-on) to show you the best, bottom-line pricing.
|Offer Category||#7 in Best Flight Deals|
|DealCrunch Rating||4.4 out of 5|
Get Discount Airfare with Ticket Deals & Travel Rewards
Flying is the most time-efficient way to get from one place to another, and with these travel deals, the tickets can be cost-effective too.
Remember to check and sign up for the rewards programs for both the airline you end up flying with and the site you book from (many of the aggregate sites, like Expedia, offer membership perks). You may find added benefits that can stack with the deals you find here.
Not only can you earn travel rewards through direct brand membership programs, but you can also earn travel rewards through one of the best airline credit cards on the market today. With an air miles card, you can rack up points with every purchase, which can then be redeemed for plane tickets.
You don’t need to spend a small fortune to travel — you just need to do a little research and stack the best deals for you!