Finding cheap flights when traveling is always an adventure. I have found a couple techniques work well for me. I recently booked tickets from Calgary to Moscow and I will show you the comparison of prices using the techniques there.
I personally use Expedia, Travelocity, EasyJet (Europe), the individual airline websites, and travel agents when trying to find the cheapest arrangements. You might know of other resources to try as well.
Local Tour Agents
I usually get together a rough itinerary for a travel agent and then email a number of the tour shops around my city. They should get back to you with quotes. If they do not get back to you soon, they don’t want your business.
Next it is time for online research. This is where I almost always find the cheapest flights. Go to one of the sites I listed above or another one you have heard of.
Type in Your Start and End Destination
This is the worst thing you can do, but it is the easiest and will show you the worst price you are looking at. For Calgary (YYC) to Moscow (SVO) on July 10 2007, the cheapest quote on Expedia was $1,837. It was for Air Canada and Aeroflot-Russian Airlines.
Why is this so expensive? Expedia is going to book you all on one ticket. I am not certain, but I think this can only be done through associated airlines. There are a couple positives to this.
- If there are cancellations or other problems, they will make sure you get to your end point regardless. They airline you are on and the airline you will be connecting on will know your flight status and can sometimes even make arrangements for you before you land.
- You do not have to pick up your checked luggage and re-check it in.
If you even want a bigger scare, do a round trip or multiple destination trip with your "going there flight" and your "coming home flight". My wife and I were going Calgary, Canada to Moscow, Russia and then Beijing, China to Calgary, Calgary. The tickets are over $3,200 now and were over $5,000 when we first looked a month ago.
Note: I am showing one way trips because of the nature of my trip. Try round trips on the online sites if that suits your needs. Then try each way of your round trip separately. Why? If there is more than 8 hours between your stopover or you will already be retrieving your checked luggage, there is no advantage to being on the same ticket. So booking a return ticket with the same company makes absolutely no sense unless it is cheaper. Find the cheapest round trip and then find the cheapest one way in each direction.
Break up the Flights Using Connection Cities
There are a million possibilities here, but you can start guessing based on your own knowledge of geography or by the stopovers you see in the …