6 Third-Party Flight Booking Sites That’ll Save You Money
Flying While on a Budget
While travel is meant to be an enriching experience, researching the best travel deals can be time-consuming and stressful. Plus- it feels like affordable airfare is impossible to find these days.
Luckily, several third-party flight booking sites make booking cheap airfare easier than ever. A third-party flight booking website, or online travel agency (OTA), serves as a middleman between airlines and travelers. Unlike travel search engines that solely find travel deals like Skyscanner or Kayak, you can book flights directly through third-party sites.
In this article, we’ll share the perks of using third-party flight booking sites and our six favorite OTAs that’ll help you find unbeatable flight deals!
Advantages of Using Third-Party Flight Booking Sites
Here are some of our favorite benefits of booking flights with third-party travel websites.
Since third-party flight providers book blocks of seats, they receive discounted rates. In turn, they’re able to resell tickets at cheaper prices than airlines offer. By booking with an OTA, you’ll often save money on flights.
Easily Bundle Travel Reservations
Managing travel reservations on multiple different websites can get confusing. Third-party sites simplify the planning process by serving as a one-stop shop for flights, hotels, car rentals and tours. Plus- they usually offer discounted rates if you book a travel bundle through them.
Earn Travel Rewards
Some booking platforms have their own reward systems that allow frequent users to accumulate points. These points can often be redeemed for other travel bookings or complimentary upgrades.
6 Third-Party Flight Booking Sites That’ll Fly You Around the World for Less
Researching travel deals is overwhelming enough, so we’ve compiled the best flight booking sites to make your planning experience a little easier!
Expedia is one of the most well-established, trustworthy OTAs. One of Expedia’s best features is its free membership program, One Key, which helps users save up to 30% when booking flights and hotels together. Members also earn points that can be redeemed on Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo.
Unlike some other third-party travel sites, flights booked on Expedia can still earn airline miles. Plus, their price drop protection option ensures that if your flight becomes cheaper, you’ll receive a refund for the difference that you paid.
Kiwi is an up-and-coming OTA, but it’s quickly become a fan favorite. Kiwi’s powerful travel hacking approach helps uncover cheap flights that other websites miss. By searching for self-transfer tickets, hidden city routes and throwaway ticketing, Kiwi discovers unique itineraries that help you get to your destination for less.
Additionally, Kiwi has a search feature called Nomad that helps travelers find multi-city flights with ease. Gone are the days of having 20 browsers open and calculating which route will be the cheapest!
If you have some flexibility with your travel plans, you have to check out Priceline! Their Express Deals provide travelers with major discounts of up to 50% off! These tickets are extremely discounted because some details, such as the flight carrier’s name, are hidden until after the booking is made. While this may not be ideal for everyone, these deals are worth checking out if you’re traveling on a budget!
Some more exciting features that Priceline offers are color-coded calendars to visualize the cheapest travel dates, a price match guarantee and a free VIP membership program.
Orbitz is another great option for booking travel because of Orbitz Rewards. If you book flights, hotels, cars or vacation packages as a member of their loyalty program, you’ll earn 1-2% of the purchase as Orbucks. These points can later be redeemed for hotel stays.
Additionally, Orbitz’s policies are straightforward. There is a 24-hour free cancellation and flight change period. You can also purchase a no-change fee ticket for more flexibility.
While Hopper is an app and not a website, it offers so many flight booking perks that we just had to mention it! First, their color-coded calendar clearly shows the best days to book a flight. This app also utilizes price prediction data and advises if it’s better to book a flight now or wait for the price to drop. You can also turn on price notifications to stay informed about any price changes!
Hopper has many unique add-ons too. Their price freeze feature allows you to hold a fare until you’re ready to book it for a small fee. You can also add delay and cancellation protections to any ticket.
With numerous discount vouchers and Carrot Cash reward dollars that can be applied to future bookings, it’s easy to save with Hopper.
With more than 20 years of experience, Hotwire is another tried-and-true booking site. This OTA is especially useful for travelers looking to bundle flights and hotels. Their user-friendly search engine allows you to easily book flights and hotels together while automatically receiving bundling discounts.
Hotwire’s last-minute flight deals are also a wonderful choice for anyone looking to book a spontaneous getaway. Hotwire finds the cheapest upcoming flights so you can spend more time enjoying adventures and less time planning them.
Final Tips for Using Third-Party Flight Booking Sites
Before booking your next flight with a third-party flight booking site, it’s important to read the fine print and consider what traveler protections are offered. How does the site handle canceled flights? What about delays? Are you able to change or cancel your flight if needed?
You should also be aware of extra fees. Some sites charge service fees that could make the flight more expensive than booking directly with the airline. Always check the final price carefully before clicking confirm.
Finally, if you’re using an OTA that’s not on our list, do a little research to make sure it’s a legitimate site and not a scam.
We hope these third-party websites help make booking travel stress-free for you! For more tips on how to find cheap flights, check out this article!