The Great Airfare Aggregator Shoot Out – Where to Find Airfare Deals

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So you want to book a trip online. There are many sites to go to, how do you know which one is the best? That was the question that I had when I got an email from Cfares.com PR agency telling me how much better Cfares.com was than the traditional travel sites: Orbitz.com, Expedia.com and Travelocity.com. Cfares is one of a collection of new sites that searches across a number of travel sites at once to try and get the best deal. I decided to see which of the aggregator sites worked the best against a set of routes that I chose somewhat at random. I checked all of the sites at the same time in case fares might be changing.

The Big Three

First we can look at the results for these 7 destinations from Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity. All three sites did about the same although Expedia did the best of the three.

From To Orbitz Expedia Travelocity
New York City – NYC London – LON 450 446 450
Las Vegas – LAS New York City – NYC 262 262 262
Chicago – CHI Frankfort – FRA 498 494 498
San Francisco – SFO Honolulu – HNL 347 347 347
Boston – BOS Orlando – MCO 200 200 200
Atlanta – ATL Las Vegas – LAS 315 308 315
Dallas – FWD Vancouver – YVR 367 367 367

Airfare Aggregators

Then we can look at the 5 aggregator sites Kayak, Cfares, Farechase, Mobissimo and Momondo. Since the aggregator sites often search Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia you will see that at least one of the aggregator sites beat the fares of the big three. Not also that even the aggregators don’t search some low cost carriers like Southwest.

  1. Some of the searches on these sites produced no results and are marked with “not found”. No doubt if I had kept trying I would have gotten a result but Cfares and Momondo seem to have some scaling problems in this test.
  2. Cfares has a premium offering which costs $50 a year and one of the fares given has two results, for premium users and normal users.
From To Kayak Cfares Farechase Mobissimo Momondo
New York City – NYC London – LON 440 403/468 450 410 410
Las Vegas – LAS New York City – NYC 255 not found 255 255 not found
Chicago – CHI Frankfort – FRA 487 not found 487 487 not found
San Francisco – SFO Honolulu – HNL 347 392 340 347 340
Boston – BOS Orlando – MCO 209 209 200 193 193
Atlanta – ATL Las Vegas – LAS 316 295 308 308 308
Dallas – FWD Vancouver – YVR 360 349 359 362 360

Conclusion

Kayak has usually been the aggregator site that I turn to for my travel booking, but Mobissimo stands out for me in this very unscientific test as a search engine I should try more often.

One thing to keep in mind is that this search was for airfare alone. If you are traveling to a major city you can sometimes get a better deal by booking your hotel and flight together. That may be a better use for Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia.

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

2 Responses to “The Great Airfare Aggregator Shoot Out – Where to Find Airfare Deals”

Wormy

Says:

Hey Chris

Actually Momondo.com does search Southwest (and Ryan air in Europe) and that make it pretty much supreme when it comes to finding the cheapest fares.. all though the site can be a little unstable..

It sometimes takes a couple of tries, but in my experience it pays of to be a little persistent..

Cheers

Sonny

Says:

Momomdo is good, but nowadays I prefer EasyMundo (www.easymundo.com), Skyscanner (www.skyscanner.com) and Kayak (www.kayak.com).

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