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Top 6 Best Airfare Sites | Ranking | Best Airline Booking and Ticket Websites
Introduction: The Six Best Airfare Sites and Air Travel Websites
When it comes time to book your next big trip, you could drop by your local travel agent — if you can still find one, that is.
With the rise of air travel sites and airline booking sites, the travel agent profession is quickly becoming extinct. The ease of searching the web for the best site for airline tickets allows you to quickly find the best option for your travel plans, all from the comfort of your own home.
With the best airline sites, not only can you find and compare the best prices and itineraries, you can also book a hotel room and rent a car all at once.
The best sites for airline tickets have effectively made travel something that anyone can plan and manage. But with so many different air travel sites out there, how do you know what is the best website for airline tickets?
Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Airfare Sites
In this brief article, AdvisoryHQ will review the top six best airfare sites and best airline ticket websites.
Before jumping into the reviews, we will look at how air travel sites rose to eventually overcome traditional travel agents.
We will then go on to look at why it is preferable to use the best airline ticket sites over other travel planning options as well as the benefits that come with researching the best websites to buy airline tickets. We will then go on to offer a complete review of the top six airline booking sites found on the web.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Airfare Sites and Best Airline Ticket Websites
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that firm/product):
When Did the Best Sites to Buy Airline Tickets Overtake Traditional Travel Agents?
In the past, if you needed to go on a business trip or plan a vacation with the family, you would call up your local travel agent, and he or she would get together your travel information and call you back once your flight arrangements were confirmed.
Starting about fifteen years ago, however, air travel websites slowly began to take over the travel industry from travel agencies.
Automated booking systems, the precursor to the best airline sites, have actually been around for a while. According to Wikipedia:
“In 1946 American Airlines were the very first to come out with an automated booking system. This was called the Electromechanical Reservisor which comprised a temporary storage of magnetic drums. The airline’s operators had to do the actual lookups as travel agents could not directly query this system.”
The rise of air travel sites coincided with the rise of the internet. It was not until 1996 that Microsoft (the internet leader) launched its own best site for airline tickets called Expedia.
Shortly after that, some of the best known air travel websites such as Priceline and Travelocity were also born, and the age of internet booking engines took off. A complete infographic on the history of the best airfare sites can be found here.
In today’s world, there are literally hundreds of best airline sites that all consider themselves to be the best site to buy airline tickets. These air travel sites have become the preferred option for booking airline travel.
Why It Is Preferable to Use the Best Airline Ticket Site Over Other Travel Planning Options
The best airfare sites allow you as a customer to quickly and efficiently compare thousands of airline prices, itineraries, and other more detailed travel options.
Whereas booking your flight with a travel agent requires you to trust that your agent will find you the most competitive price, the best website for airline tickets allows you to take matters into your own hands.
No one knows your specific travel preferences or your budget like you do. While a travel agent might be able to offer you a few options, the best sites for airline tickets allow you to structure your search based on a number of criteria, including price, number of layovers, flight time, etc.
If finding the cheapest ticket is the most important aspect of your travel plans and you don’t mind spending 8 to 12 hours sitting in some random airport, some of the best sites for airline tickets can help you find the overall cheapest flight.
The best airline ticket websites can even offer you the lowest fares from combining flights from several different airlines. If you want to get from Chicago to Los Angeles, you may fly American Airlines to Dallas, then switch to Delta Airlines for the last leg of your flight.
Another reason to opt for the best airfare sites is because they generally charge much lower fees than traditional travel agents.
“According to the ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), travel agents’ total fees for a package may range from $20 to $100. The Travel Insider website says online booking fees were as little as $5 in 2009. To receive the best deals through online booking, however, you may have to check daily with multiple outlets to find the price that suits your budget.”
Since the best websites to buy airline ticket receive thousands of searches and purchases every day, the sheer amount of business they generate allows them to charge lower fees.
The Importance of Researching the Best Website to Buy Airline Tickets
Unfortunately, not all air travel sites are made equal. With hundreds of airline booking sites out there, many travelers end up purchasing an airline ticket for several hundred dollars more because the supposed best site to buy airline tickets didn’t include a quality, low-cost airline in their online search.
When shopping for the best flight prices, it is important to find the best website for airline tickets that includes almost all airlines in their search. Besides the big name airlines such as American, Delta, United, etc., there are hundreds of small carriers and economy, low-priced airlines that are sometimes left out of searches offered by some air travel websites.
Furthermore, the best site for airline tickets should also include international airlines in their searches, even if you are searching for a domestic flight. Since many international carriers travel through major hubs such as Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York, if you are traveling between these cities, an international airline may be your cheapest option.
The best airline ticket site will include these options in your search. If you prefer the trusted name of the big name airlines, however, the best airfare sites should allow you the option of refining your search to only include certain airlines.
Furthermore, it is important to research the best air travel sites out there because sometimes some of these air travel sites enter into disputes with major airlines and exclude them from their search options due to conflicts and litigations.
In 2011, two of the best airline ticket websites, Expedia and Orbitz, stopped listing American Airline flights in their search criteria because of a dispute over fees that the airline had to pay to these best airfare sites.
“A traveler searching two of the four largest online travel agencies, Orbitz and Expedia, is not going to find any listings for American Airlines flights — at least for the moment. That is because American is in a standoff over the fees it must pay to list its flights with the agencies.”
Although these top two best sites for airline tickets have since patched things up with American Airlines, during the dispute, travelers that used these best airfare sites might not have received the best offer because those fares were not included in the search.
What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?
Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated firms, products, and services.
List of Top Airfare Sites:
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