The blog of AU interactive features their recommendation on how to get cheapest flight every time. The key take-home point is that you have to check multiple websites (aggregators, booking engines, and individual airline websites) to get the lowest airfare, as the price fluctuates frequently with variables:
There are basically three types of airfare websites: 1. Aggregators (ex: Kayak) that check airfares for many different airlines. They do not charge a fee but instead rely on affiliate hotel deals and on-site advertising like Adsense to make their money. These are historically the best bets. 2. Traditional booking engines (ex: Orbitz) that check multiple websites and take a small fee ~$6 in addition to the price of the flight. They process the sale on behalf of the airline and keep the fee. 3. Airline’s own websites (ex: JetBlue). If you find a flight on booking engines, check the airline’s own site so see if you can get it for the same price minus the booking fee. The important subset of this are airlines who do not play nice and do not offer their fares up to aggregators (ex: Southwest). You have to check their sites individually.
In my experience there is no ONE website that you can use to get the lowest airfare every single time. It fluctuates quite a bit because there a LOT of variables involved. Don’t ask me why – it’s just how it is.
The post has over 20 links for US readers. Great pointers.
How to Get the Cheapest Flight Every Single Time – [Au Interactive]