Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Skyscanner: Cheapest and Best Flight Deals on the Web

I am sure a lot of people out there know about Skycanner. If you do not, I would recommend that you look it up. I have been using Skyscanner for my travel planning and have found amazing results. In my opinion, it offers some of the best tools and coverage to provide the cheapest flight options. I have broken down their functionality and strengths to help you get a better perspective of Skyscanner’s true power.

Unbelievable Coverage
Skyscanner covers most of the cities and countries on this planet. If there is a flight between two destinations, in all probability, it is on Skyscanner. It covers low cost airlines and full service airlines, making it a wholesome travel portal. Thus, wherever you wish to travel to, you should be able to find the best deal via Skyscanner.

Find the cheapest flights to any destination 
Skyscanne tool for flight search
For a traveler like me who travels without any prior plan, this feature comes in very handy. This allows you to find the cheapest destination. To give you an example, I am in Bangalore and don’t know where I want to go next. But, have a budget constraint and hence would only go to certain destinations depending on the flight deals. This is precisely where Skyscanner comes in handy. It throw a result of all countries/cities that flights from Bangalore fly into and not just that, but it gives their fares too. Now, isn't that a cool feature to have for us budget travelers? 

Find the cheapest flight to any destination
From this list, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates piqued my interest as they were on my travel list and Sri Lanka more so because it was cheaper. Now, I can select Sri Lanka, pick the city, select the date and go ahead with my flight booking. As simple as that.

Flexible dates can result in serious cost savings
imageThere are always certain days of the week when flights in different parts of the world are expensive. Some domestic travelers might know this trend, but us international travelers and people lacking time to research would hardly know anything about it. But, Skyscanner does understand this behavior and it aims to provide us the cheapest options provided we keep our dates flexible.

Let’s say that I want to travel from Bangalore to Colombo. I can fly today, tomorrow, this week, this month or anytime this year as long as the flight costs are reasonable. Skyscanner offers such options that allow me to search for that cheapest flight. 

Finding cheapest flights by timeline
I can then see the option either in a calendar view that allows me to pick closest dates or a price view that allows me to pick on price. A very helpful feature for most traveler types.

Ability to book directly with flight operator or travel agent
Ability to directly book with flight operators and travel agents
Most of the flight search tools allow booking only through their portal as they make their profits from cost that they add onto each ticket. Skyscanner doesn’t function in that fashion. It allows the user to book directly with the flight operators or travel agent in that travel zone. This gives additional flexibility to us travelers.

Lots of filtering options while choosing flights 
Skyscanner Filtering Options
Some people hate hop over flights. Some travelers have a preference for an airline to accrue on more air miles. I take red eye flights to save on cost, but not all travelers are like me. Some like to take flights from the airport close to them. Skyscanner handles the whims and fancies of all travelers by allowing them to filter flights by number of stops, take off/landing time, airline, price, airport, etc. 

Zero Fees
Skyscanner is freeThe best part about the Skyscanner experience is that they don’t charge anything from us customers. They make their money directly from the operators. So, we can rest assured of any hidden charges.

Book Hotel Rooms and Hire Cars
Book Hotels and Hire CarsNot only can we find the cheapest flight deals through Skyscanner, we can also book hotel rooms and hire cars. Now after booking my cheap flight to Colombo from Bangalore, I can find a hotel room that suits my class/budget/need and book it right on Skyscanner. Similarly, I can hire a car that fits my spacing needs/budget/comfort, etc. and book it again on Skyscanner. This feature is an extension of the overall Skyscanner concept and hence the usability and  comfort factor remains the same.

Localized Content
Skyscanner caters to a global customer base. And hence they make their flight search tool available in over 29 languages and over 70 currencies.

Skyscanner – Free Apps for Mobile Devices

Skyscanner App for AndroidIn today’s world, most of our online time is spent through our mobile devices (tablets and phones) and Skyscanner has taken care of this behavior by having a simple app for iPhone and iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry and Windows 8. 

This app is an extension of the web version and provides all the features in a different form factor. These apps are totally free too!

I hope this review of Skyscanner has piqued your interest and I am sure you will use it for your current and future travel booking needs. You can follow them via their Facebook page and twitter updates to know about the latest offers and deals.

Welcome to BE ON THE ROAD Travel Blog! I am Sankara, its founder, a 30 something male from Bangalore who is living his dream of exploring the world and simultaneously trying to inspire others to live their dream.
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