Travel Myth Busted: Lowest Airfare is Always Found {Here}

Many years ago, I was getting ready to speak at the Baltimore Travel Expo, when a woman approached me and said she did not need to attend because she always finds the lowest airfare on XYZ.

XYZ could be Travelocity or Kayak or any booking engine. XYZ could also be a certain travel agent, airline, or other source. People continually tell me that their source always gives them the lowest airfare.

For that particular person at that travel show, I spent less than a minute proving I could have found a lower airfare. She paid $800 for her previous flight and I quickly showed her I could have bought it for $400.

She stayed for the presentation.

Sunset From an Airplane
Travel Myth Busted: Cheap Airfares

Travel Myth Busted: Lowest Airfare is Always Found {Here}

There is no secret.

There is no one source that always has the lowest airfare—or best car rental rate, hotel price, etc.

Just as one particular store does not always have the lowest filet mignon prices, no single source always has the lowest airfares.

Do you use only one source to find airfares?

What other travel myth would you like to see busted?

Please see these related articles:

(recycled from my Travel Skills blog, © 2008)

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23 thoughts on “Travel Myth Busted: Lowest Airfare is Always Found {Here}”

  1. Oh how I wish you were wrong and there were one magic site for the cheapest airfare. That would save me so much internet scouring time!

    Reply
  2. Haha, I like the filet mignon comparison! Just like Heather, I quite often use the easiest option and go for Skyscanner. But lately I found out that by spreading out long distance flights and take in some stops for a few days can turn out massively cheaper!

    Reply
  3. It would be too easy if there was only one source to find the lowest travel fare! 😉

    I often work with 3 or 4 windows opened for different sources and different combination to try to get the best fare possible. I say the “best” and not the “lowest” as sometimes the lowest isn’t the best: we also need to be careful about hidden costs, extra services/deals available or timing (if the fare is cheap but includes 2 more nights in a hotel… is it really the cheapest option?!).

    Reply
  4. Absolutely spot on. Good analogy too :). There are so many variables that it is impossible to recommend THE best source for all occasions. There couple decent aggregators in Asia that sometimes provide acceptable results, there is no single website that includes all low-cost to regional airlines in Europe, in North America (especially, in the US) quite often airlines offer special deals without sharing with search aggregators. Go figure. Thank you for pointing attention to this issue.

    Reply
  5. Yep, that’s probably the most common question we get asked too, and people always expect a one word/one website answer, which as you say simply isn’t possible. We all have our favourites, and I love using skyscanner as a starting point, but then when I know what I’m looking for I trawl through all the others. Takes hours but worth the pennies!

    Reply

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