The Best Apps To Buy Cheap Flights On Your Phone (Updated for 2020!)

best apps find cheap flights swiss airplane

This is a shortlist of the best apps to find flights on your phone, iOS or Android.

Not many years ago, you would need an appointment with your travel agent to book a flight.

Today, you can book flights yourself in the comfort of your own home. Heck, you can even use your phone!

The thing is: just because it’s more accessible it does not mean is necessary simpler, specially if you are very price-sensitive. Finding a cheap flight online is a very useful skill to have nowadays and part of my favorite travel tips ever.

best apps find cheap flights night landing
The whole online flight booking paradigm is changing.

The best mobile apps to find cheap flights

I tend to feel lost in the sea of numerous mobile apps out there. There’s just so many travel resources that promise you to save time and money! Finding the most reliable, with accurate pricing and that don’t charge ridiculous hidden fees translate into many hours wasted.

So, and while Google Flights doesn’t have a mobile app, I came up with this selection of the best travel apps to find cheap flights on your iOS or Android device.

1Skyscanner

best app find cheap flights skyscanner

Alongside with the good speed and usability of their app, I find 2 of the features of Skyscanner particularly interesting.

One is the price chart: you can see your search results per day in a intuitive  and interactive monthly bar chart. This is great in so many ways and it means it can help you decide immediately which is the cheapest date to book the flight within a time period.

Number 2 is that you don’t even need to know where you want to go. Based solely on your fixed dates or a broad time period, the Explore option shows you where is cheapest to fly, which is a perfect tool for the early stages of your trips. I use it this feature a lot when planning a trip itinerary or choosing which hub city should I adopt in a multi-city trip.

SkyScanner’s iPhone app has a smooth interface and I even prefer it to the web version. Since it’s free I would say this is an amazing life-saver app and a must-have for any traveller looking for cheap flights.

The only drawback I see is that not all airlines show up on their searches (e.g. Ryanair in Europe).

2Kiwi.com

kiwi best apps find flights

This Czech startup has gained popularity due to its seamless usability and powerful search engine. They have got a bunch of unique features going on for them.

Flight search engines usually look to book the entire route on either the same airline or airlines with codeshares. One of the coolest features about Kiwi is that unlike it will look at ALL the cheapest possibilities, even if it means putting you on flights from different airlines. Great for anyone on a budget.

But there’s more – the NOMAD mode helps you find the cheapest and more efficient itinerary in a longer trip. Great if you’re touring Europe for instance.

But for me the best thing about Kiwi is the guarantee covering cases of flight delays, cancellations, and schedule changes. Fortunately, I’ve never had to use it but this is a real game changer and adds extra peace of mind when you’re booking flights with short layovers.

I’m kind of obsessed with Kiwi and predict they will be huge over the next few years.

 


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Want to learn more flight hacks?

Make sure you check out this article on how to find a cheap flight ANYWHERE in the world!

3Momondo

best app find cheap flights momondo

One thing is for sure: Momondo wins the award for the the most colorful app out there.

The start screen presents the departure and arrival airports are visually identified through its IATA code, although it is also possible to choose a city. The visual identity is strengthened in the loading screen, where you can find an image of your destination city.

Within Momondo’s flight results, there are tabs across the top of the screen that let you move between the cheapest, quickest, and best value flight. The results are extremely easy to read and feature all the information you need at a quick glance, including the airline logo and total transit time. When you click on one of the them, you are quickly forwarded to the airline’s website.

Overall, it is a very unique and neat looking app delivering solid results.

4Kayak

the best Apps to find Cheap Flights - Kayak

I was a heavy user of Kayak a few years ago. The simplicity of its design, the excellent filter and sorting interface and the speed at which you can get a booking done was amazing.

The app also contains a flight tracker, airport gate information and price alerts for any changes. It is even possible to actually finish the booking process within Kayak, without the need to forward for external websites.

5Skiplagged

skiplagged
Source: Skiplagged

Now for something more unconventional. Skiplagged brags about finding exclusive travel deals that you can’t find elsewhere. They even claim to have such good deals that United has sued them!

Apart from the features of a traditional flight search engine, they are able to look for loopholes in airfare pricing that can save hundreds of dollars. An example: journeys with two flights that end up being cheaper than direct flights (you can ignore the second leg of the trip).

With their app, you can set alerts for deals and customize it with your interests to show relevant flights and destinations.

6Hopper

hopper best flight apps

Some might not consider Hopper a flight search engine per se, but it can be extremely useful in finding the best timing to buy a flight.

You track flight prices to a given destination and watch the price until you find a good deal. You can also generate a color calendar to find the best dates to fly: from green, the cheapest, to red, the most expensive. If you happen to have flexibility on your trip dates, Hopper is a great tool.

Other flight booking apps

Don’t get me wrong, there are much more ways to book flights out there. Google Flights is quick, effective and simple to use but is not yet an app (what are you waiting Google?).

I could also mention apps like Expedia or Rumbo, but from my experience, I don’t think these have particularly groundbreaking features and they tend to inflate prices.

Tips to find cheap flights

Seek your own process of booking a flight, finding out what works and what doesn’t for your most common trips. Read my guide about when to book flights online to get you started and my ultimate cheap flight guide.

Also note the price of the airfare fluctuates considerably depending on the airline, airport, time of the day, day of the week and time of the year, amongst many other factors.

In the end it all comes down to a process of finding the travel app(s) that not only best suit your needs, but also the ones that feel better to use. These are the ones that in the end, will most likely improve your travel experience!

ℹ My process to buy flights online

If it helps, the order of the apps are presented in this article is exactly my personal order or preference. I also add Google Flights to the mix when I’m on my computer. For me, booking a flight nowadays looks like this:

  1. Start off exploring when and where want to go using Skyscanner. Potentially use email alerts to track the price of some destination/date combinations.
  2. Double check the fares using Kiwi.
  3. Choose final date and destination.
  4. Final price check using the airline’s app or website.
  5. Book the flight through the most affordable channel.
  6. Fly!

 


find cheap flights anywhere in the world

Want to learn more flight hacks?

Make sure you check out this article on how to find a cheap flight ANYWHERE in the world!

Apps to find cheap flights: Other useful reads

Which apps do you use to find cheap flights?
And which ones you don’t recommend?

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