How to find cheap flights: Hacks to get the best deals

Airline ticket prices have shot up more than 30 percent in the last year – leaving many households wondering how they will afford a summer vacation. 

This is despite the fact that service standards are plummeting – revealed earlier this week that delays have reached a ten-year high.

But there is some good news: there are a host of simple online hacks that can help you slash costs. 

Last month travel blogger Sam Jarman went viral on TikTok after revealing customers should never buy flights directly from an airline but instead use price tracking service Google Flights.

It’s just one of scores of websites and apps designed to help travelers scout out the best deals – with some even offering a refund if your fare drops after you’ve paid. 

Here, rounds up the best online hacks to help you find the cheapest flights…

The cost of international travel has shot up more than 200 percent in the last year, according to data from the American Automobile Association

Google Flights   

Google Flights claims to search out the best fares and ranks them. 

It also offers customers insight into what kind of deal they’re getting. For example, it will tell a user if prices for the flight they’re searching are higher than usual. 

You can then ask Google to alert you when prices for your trip start to fall. 

A representative for the travel blog Going revealed on TikTok that she managed to slash $141 off the price of her trip by using this tool.

She told the blog’s followers that she was initially quoted $350 but eventually bagged it for $209 after being alerted to a cheaper deal by Google.

Earlier this month, Google Flights also announced its Price Guarantee program that monitors fares from purchase to take-off. It will then refund the difference between the price you paid and the lowest fare offered in that period.

Those who use the Price Guarantee must have a Google Pay account and user refunds are capped at $500 annually. 


Hopper is a travel booking app which offers a ‘price freeze’ feature meaning users can research an airfare fee and book later. 

The price then remains frozen for a set period of time – even if the fares have risen by the time the customer actually pays. 

It offers a similar feature on hotel and car reservations.

However, customers must pay a small freeze fee, which depends on the ticket price and length of the hold. 

For example, when searched for a flight from New York to Chicago in May, Hopper quoted a freeze fee of $41.

It will cover the difference of any increase up to a cap of $300 per ticket. 


Expedia offers a Price Drop Protection feature on its app. 

Like Google Flights’ program, Expedia will monitor the price of a journey after you have booked.

If the fare falls before you take off, Expedia will then refund the difference. 

But the travel agency charges a non-refundable fee to benefit from the service – which varies depending on the ticket cost.

There is no cap on refunds. 

Airline programs 

Major firms including American and United Airlines offer services which allow customers to freeze their fares for an agreed period of time. 

For example, United has a FareLock program which lets users hold the price of a flight for up to 14 days.

However, the firm charges a fee up to $20 for the service, which again varies depending on the price of the ticket and the length of the hold. 

Meanwhile, American Airlines will hold a price for 24 hours for free. However, freezes beyond this time period incur a charge.

A three-day hold costs $7.99 while seven days is $11.99. 

Websites that track price glitches 

Passengers can also use websites, like Secret Flying, which track fare errors and alert users

Passengers can also use websites, like Secret Flying, which track fare errors and alert users

This week dozens of customers snapped up $10,000 flights for just $300 after a currency exchange blunder on Japanese airline All Nippon Airways. 

Such price glitches are so common dozens of travel sites, blogs and forums are devoted to highlighting them.

It also helps to follow these sites on social media so bargain deals come up on your newsfeed.

Examples of useful websites include:,, and

Travelers also share deals they’ve found on a discussion forum called ‘Mileage Run Discussion’ on