Cheap Flights with Skyscanner – The Ultimate Guide!

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide

CHEAP FLIGHTS WITH SKYSCANNER
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

Cheap flights – everyone searching for flights wants them. Holidays and vacations, visiting friends and family, business and work opportunities, backpacking and exploring; the list goes on. You could be going long-haul to New York or having a European break in Barcelona or Paris. There are countless reasons why people want to fly around the world but one thing is always the same… Everyone wants the cheapest flights possible. Flynous has been dedicated to finding cheap flights for years but now, in this guide, we share how you can do it too using Skyscanner tips and tricks.

What is Skyscanner?

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Skyscanner Homepage

The Skyscanner homepage

At its simplest, Skyscanner is a comparison website for flight prices. An airline sells plane tickets just the same as a luggage company sells their bags in stores. Each store has a different price for the same bag, even the luggage company’s own store. To get the bag you want, at the best price, you need to shop around.

Flights are no different and many stores sell the same ticket at different prices. Except with flights the stores are travel agencies that specialise in selling airline tickets. Skyscanner and their Flight Search is the quickest way to compare prices from many agencies and airlines. Skyscanner allows you to find cheap flights on the route you want.

 

Cheap Flights to Everywhere, Any Time

Don’t mind when or where you fly? Skyscanner is a great site to get inspiration for cheap flights if you don’t have a specific location or dates in mind. There are two ways you can do this:

 

1. The Country List of Cheap Flights

The first way is to choose your departure airport using the From field. Then instead of choosing a destination, select the “Can’t decide where” option that shows.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Everywhere

Next, select the Depart box and select the “Whole month” button at the top right in the calendar pop-up that appears.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Whole Month Option

Finally, choose the “Cheapest month” option at the top of the list of months. This automatically puts the Return date to “Cheapest month” too, so you can just choose the number of passengers in the final box. Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide

Check that your screen looks like the below. To should be “Everywhere”, Depart and Return should be “Cheapest month”. If everything looks correct press the green “Search flights” button.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Cheapest Months to Anywhere

The next page will present the cheapest countries that Skyscanner has recently found flights to from your selected airport. The list is ordered by price so the cheapest destinations show at the top.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Cheapest Countries

If a country interests you, simply select that country. The cities you can fly to will drop down beneath it with the estimated flight prices.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Cheapest Cities

Choose the city you’d like to fly to by clicking on the price.

NOTE – the prices displayed here aren’t always going to be correct. Skyscanner keeps flight data for up to 2 weeks. As such, it’s possible the price you see listed was previously available but has now expired. You can only find out if cheap flights at the listed price are live by performing the search on Skyscanner.

You will see a colourful calendar with dates and prices showing. The month(s) shown will be the cheapest months Skyscanner has found in the searches it has performed. Any prices in yellow or red are higher-priced tickets. Ignore these and just focus on the green prices.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Calendar View

Focus on prices shown in green. Red and yellow prices aren’t cheap flights.

The left-hand side of the calendar lets you select your outbound date. Make sure to choose this first as the prices for the return ticket can change depending on your chosen departure date. When you have chosen a cheap departure and return date, press the green “Show flights” button at the bottom right. Skyscanner will perform a new search for these dates.

 

2. The World Map of Cheap Flights

The second way to get inspiration for low-cost flights is by using Skyscanner’s Map feature. This is a visual way to choose a cheap location.

On the Skyscanner homepage, there is a “Map” link at the top right.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Map Button

It’s not the most intuitive of buttons, but the Map link here is what you are looking for

You only need to choose your departure airport and leave everything else as it is before you press the Map link.

When the Map loads it will show every possible destination with a green or red dot. You want to check for green dots as these destinations had cheaper than average prices when Skyscanner last checked. Make sure you drag the map around to see prices across the world! You can also zoom out to see green dots showing cheap flights for the whole planet at once.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Map View

Green dots indicate cheap flights.

NOTE – the prices displayed here aren’t always going to be correct. Skyscanner keeps flight data for up to 2 weeks. As such, it’s possible the price you see listed was previously available but has now expired. You can only find out if cheap flights at the listed price are live by performing the search on Skyscanner.

The map feature checks prices for an entire month, rather than all months like Country List does. You need to choose the month of departure using the Depart dropdown to see prices for each month. Choose different months or the best months for you to see the cheap flight options you have.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Map View Month

When you find a location and price that interests you, select that city from the Map.

A white box will appear at the left-hand side of the map. This allows you to choose a departure date and the number of days you wish to travel for. These prices may differ from the price you saw on the map, but the price you saw will be shown at the bottom of the box underneath “Looking for a cheap date?”. You can choose the dates shown here. Alternatively, you can use the departure date options together with the number of nights you’d like to stay.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Cheap Date

When you have chosen dates press the green button or use the “Looking for a cheap date?” link to perform a search for these dates.

 

Skyscanner Search Results

The results page will usually show dozens of options for flights. Of course, the cheapest option is going to be what you’re looking for here. But what you really need is to find the cheapest option that also works best for you. Skyscanner has filters to help with this. At the left-hand side, you can use the sliders and checkboxes to ensure that you only see results matching your requirements.

Filters and sorting

You can choose the number of stops, airlines, departure times, and trip duration. Trip duration is the maximum total time spent travelling in one direction, including all layovers and flights. When looking for the cheapest option, having no filters applied will show all possible flights for you. If speed is particularly important to you, then opting for fewer/no stops and short trip duration is clearly the way to go. If you need to leave or arrive at certain times then the departure time filters allow this – and you can opt to use them only for one direction of travel.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Filters

Once the filters are all set in place you will only see results that are of interest to you. Skyscanner will default the results list to showing what it considers are the best flights. The best is a combination of price, duration and stops. But this doesn’t mean they are cheap flights. If you made use of the filters earlier then all the flights here should be best for you! You can use the “Sort by” dropdown box or the three options just below it to choose “Cheapest”.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Sort By Cheapest

Make sure to choose “Cheapest” at the top of the results, or “Cheapest first” in the “Sort by” dropdown box

The Results List

Your results will be listed with the least expensive flight first. The results you see here give an overview of the flight options you can book. At the left is the airline or airlines you will be flying with. In the centre are the flight times. At the right is the starting price for deals for that flight.

You might see some pink squares on some flights in the overview. This highlights that the ticket utilises different airports. In the example below, the first result has the outbound flight arriving at JFK airport but flying out of Newark when returning. The third result shows the flight departing from Heathrow outbound but arriving at London City inbound. This isn’t necessarily negative, but it is something to be aware of when choosing your cheap flights.

Sometimes you will see a small “+1” or “+2” next to the flight time. You can see this on the second result in the example below. This is a notification that the flight is arriving 1 day or 2 days after the departure date (and is generally due to time zone differences). Again, this is not negative but is something to be aware of when choosing your cheap flights.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - The Results List

In some cases, you might see “Change Airport” shown. This is something which can be negative as you would need to make your own way between two airports. This is an additional cost to consider for transport between the two airports. If you are not familiar with the city, or the layover is fairly short, this could be an unnecessary stress on your journey.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Change of Airport

Be wary of flights that show “Change Airport”

If the flight overview looks suitable to you, you can choose the flight with the green “Select” button.

Choosing Your Cheap Flights

This screen now has all the prices listed for you. You will not book any flights with Skyscanner. You book with online travel agencies (OTAs) who partner with Skyscanner. The OTAs are checked by Skyscanner themselves and need to adhere to standards for them to have their prices shown.

In addition to Skyscanner’s own review process, the agencies are also reviewed by people like you who give them a thumbs up or down depending on their booking experience. You will see a star rating below each OTA which is based on user scores. You may wish to be wary of those with low star ratings.

Any prices shown with a green Select button will take you off to the travel agency website. The only exception is when there is a green box next to the agency name with “Airline” written inside it. This means that the deal is direct with the airline, not with any travel agencies and clicking Select will take you to the airline’s website. Any prices shown with a pink Book button are bookable with the partner agency within the Skyscanner site.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Online Travel Agents

The star rating is from users’ reviews. The pink Book button shows that the ticket is bookable within Skyscanner. The green Airline highlight indicates that the option is with the airline and not an OTA

Extra Fees and How to Avoid Them

When going through the booking process make sure to look out for additional costs and charges that may be added on. These can include insurance, baggage, seat selection, airport transfers, and so on. If you see the price you initially chose has changed at all, then check on the page what extras might’ve been added unnecessarily and remove them.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Avoid Fees

Unless you’ve added any optional extras, make sure the price shown on Skyscanner is the same as what you see on the booking site.

A key thing to note with the results you see here is that each OTA will have their own extras and different prices for them. This may include luggage options. Sadly, it is not an uncommon practice for OTAs to add a surcharge for checked bags in comparison to the airline. Found a flight which has the airline only slightly more expensive than an OTA but you require luggage? It’s worth checking with both for checked luggage pricing before booking.

That’s it!

You’ve found your perfect cheap flights and you’ve got the best price thanks to comparisons on Skyscanner. You’ll have the booking information emailed to you and you’ll be on your trip soon!

Make sure to follow Flynous on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for our newsletters on the right-hand side of this page to be first to know about the best flight deals.

 

Skyscanner Hints & Tips for the cheapest flights

At Flynous we’ve been finding cheap flights for years and have picked up a few tricks along the way. Here are our top insider tips to help you get the cheapest flights with Skyscanner.

Change the Country Setting for Cheaper Prices

Skyscanner has partners from all over the world. The prices shown will be for online travel agencies in your regional location, but they may not necessarily be the cheapest. For example, someone booking through Skyscanner.ie will get different OTAs to someone booking through Skyscanner.de.

Choosing a different country from the Regional Settings may result in noticeably cheaper prices due to price differences between OTAs. But beware if you’re booking flights with a different currency to your home country. Make sure your bank or credit card doesn’t charge fees for foreign transactions or those savings you made could disappear quickly!

To change your country, choose the language/region setting at the top right of the page (it’s the area with a flag shown). In the following pop-up, change the Country and Currency. Usually, the cheapest price is for the country where the flight originates from, but this is not always the case.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Region Settings

See if prices are cheaper in for other countries and currencies. Choose the region setting and then select another country and currency.

Use Filters to Find Cheap Flights With Baggage

Sadly many routes now do not always include checked luggage, even on long-haul journeys. Skyscanner’s results show the cheapest possible fare, and with many airlines that doesn’t include luggage. Skyscanner does not currently have a luggage filter but you can make use of the Airline filter for this purpose.

For example, British Airways and Etihad may fly the same route with Etihad coming in £/€25 more expensive. It makes sense that you’d choose British Airways for the cheapest flight price. However, if you need checked luggage then this would be a chargeable extra with British Airways – possibly an extra £/€130 on a return ticket! In this example, Etihad would be a better option as baggage is included in the price you see.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Airline Baggage

Emirates and Etihad include luggage on their flights so choose to include them and exclude other airlines

So making use of the Airline filter to show airlines that always include free luggage can help you find the cheapest deal possible when you want to travel with checked baggage.

Other airlines that have baggage included in their fares (correct as of September 2019) are:

  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Asiana Airlines
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Egypt Air
  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Kenya Airways
  • Korean Air
  • Kuwait Airways
  • LOT
  • Oman Air
  • Qatar Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Saudia
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Xiamen Air

Two for One! Using Filters to Show “Free” Multi-city Flights

Skyscanner’s filters are usually used to help you find the cheapest or quickest route. But you can also use them to find journeys that have layovers long enough they would allow you to spend a day in the layover city. Typically, flights involving 1 or 2 layovers are cheaper as they are less popular. Customers don’t want to spend longer than they need to in transit.

However, if you are travelling for pleasure and time is not a major consideration, finding flights with a 24hr+ layover allow you to visit another location for “free” during your journey. Look for when the “Journey duration” filter has a time difference of 20+ hours displayed. Uncheck “Direct” from the filters so that only flights with a stop are shown.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Journey Duration

The difference in flight durations is 29 hours

You should be able to find flights with a long enough layover to visit a second location en route to/from your eventual destination. Skyscanner may flag this as a warning with “Long wait”, but that’s what you want!

In the example below, the flight from London to Dubai lets you have a day exploring Istanbul en route for a similar price.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Long Layover

With these longer layovers, be aware that you need to make your own hotel reservations and transport arrangements. If you are checking baggage, you need to ask at the departure airport whether you need to collect the baggage at your layover airport. Sometimes it will automatically be put on the connecting flight. Although this is great to not have to carry heavy luggage with you, make sure you pack your hand luggage accordingly!

Turn a Layover into a City Break

In some cases, you can stay in the stopover city an even longer time. Once you have found a flight with a long layover, make note of the dates on the layover, and use the “Multi-city” option on the Skyscanner homepage. Enter the dates and cities found from your original search but put the layover city in as a second destination instead.

For example, if you found London to Los Angeles with a long layover in Boston on the outbound flight, you would put in:

  1. London to Boston
  2. Boston to Los Angeles
  3. Los Angeles to London

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Multi-City

The dates for the first and last flights need to match with the cheap flights you originally found. But for the middle flight, try choosing dates in between the departure and return. Be sure to try multiple dates for this. You may find that the price is the same even when you stay for longer.

Price Alerts for Cheap Flights

Flight alerts are brilliant when you have set dates that know you want to travel on. Without much setup, you can automatically be notified of price changes for flights you know you’re interested in. It’s not a unique feature to Skyscanner, but making use of price alerts is key to finding the best deal. The benefit Skyscanner has is that the prices they will notify you about will be the lowest available!

The biggest advantage with alerts is that you’ll learn what price is normal, letting you spot a cheap flight easily. There are no limits to the number of alerts you can set up. So enter your dates, and choose multiple destinations that you have always wanted to go to. Just perform a normal search and choose “Get Price Alerts” at the top left. In no time you’ll receive updates for flight prices from your preferred airport to all across the world.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Price Alerts

When you book your cheap flight, or if your plans change, simply remove the alerts from your Account. You can do this by going to “Account” at the top right of the Skyscanner site, and select “Price alerts” in the menu. Remove any unwanted alerts you’ve set up.

Using Nearby (and not so nearby) Airports – with caution!

You may have spotted the “Nearby airports” checkbox on the homepage of the Skyscanner site. This does what you’d expect when searching. Skyscanner will search for cheap flights departing from and/or arriving at airports in the surrounding area from the city you choose. This greatly widens the flight options you have.

Cheap Flights with Skyscanner - The Ultimate Guide - Nearby Airports

You can choose “Add nearby airports” for both from and to cities

This can have the benefit of finding cheap flights from or to airports that aren’t your primary choice. For example, instead of London Heathrow to New York JFK, you may find a better deal from London Gatwick to New York LaGuardia.

This is great for cheap flight finding, but approach with caution. Some airports are for budget airlines only, so all the flight prices you see will exclude food, checked luggage, and with some airlines – hand luggage. Also, airports for budget airlines tend to be further away from the city they service. London Stansted is a 39-mile drive to the centre of London, for example.

You will see plenty of cheap flights on Flynous.com from all over Europe. If you see an amazingly good deal from a city that’s not nearby, you could look for flights to that city from your own.  So if you saw flights to Toronto from Barcelona for €165 in a flash sale but you live in Berlin, search for return flights from Berlin to Barcelona! You can often find cheap flights with budget airlines within Europe.

The total price of the journey, even with two bookings, can be cheaper than booking directly from your home city. The flight search engines don’t typically take these routes into account so searching yourself can save you money.

 

The Secret Tip for even more Cheap Flights

If you’ve read this far you’ll be an expert at using Skyscanner for cheap flights. But even with all the price alerts and region changing you’ve now mastered, there is another secret tip…

Flynous.com has been providing cheap flight deals for many years. The secret tip is to save yourself money and time by signing up for the Flynous mailing list and following us on Facebook and Twitter!

We are constantly looking for the best flight deals and we post every deal to social media so you don’t have to. The very best deals are emailed straight to your inbox and tailored to the regions you’d like to hear about.  Because we’re always hunting you can be sure you’ll be the first to hear about deals and sales, and get the cheapest flights booked before they sell out.

 

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