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Updated February 2023
Skyscanner is a fab website that allows you to find cheap flights in just a few clicks. It compares days, times and prices for a huge amount of airlines – from the luxury long haul providers to the cheaper budget companies. It’s a great way to get a good price without doing hours of research – it doesn’t cost you anything and it’ll do the legwork for you!
Here’s how to get the most out of Skyscanner…
How to search for a flight on Skyscanner
Let’s say you’re trying to book a flight from London to Rome. First, select your dates and your location. To get wider results for more than one airport in that area, be sure to click ‘Any’ so that you can compare costs from different airports. Busier airports tend to have cheaper flights, as they have so many going in and out each day. If you want to do some city hopping, select the ‘Multi-city’ option.
Viewing the results
Your results are automatically sorted by the ‘Best’ options (a combination of speed and price), but you can also sort by cheapest and fastest – just change the ‘Sort by’ at the top of the page. As you can see from just these first two results that appear in my search, the flight prices can be hugely different.
At the left-hand side of the screen you’ll be able to refine your search to change flight times etc. Choosing a less popular flight time can be a good way to save some extra money. You’ll also need to uncheck the boxes for multiple stops if you’d like a direct flight, and if you need your outbound and return flights to be from the same airport, make sure you select this as well.
How to set flexible dates on Skyscanner
If you’re able to be flexible with your dates, you can use the ‘month-view’ tab to look across a range of dates – we always do this and book our accommodation around the cheapest dates to fly there and back. Just changing the day you fly by a day or two can save you hundreds of pounds.
There are two ways to do this: you can select the full month before you search, or you can see the full month view in your search results. To compare prices across the full month, just choose the ‘Whole month’ option in the drop-down menu when you’re selecting the dates.
You can select a specific month or choose the ‘Cheapest month’ option if you’re really flexible and don’t mind when you travel. The flight prices will appear like a calendar, allowing you to select the cheapest dates to fly.
How to compare different destinations
If you’re not bothered about where you fly to, and are open to a range of airports or destinations, you can get an even better deal. If all you’re after is some sunshine or a fun city break, search ‘Everywhere’ to compare flight prices to a wide range of destinations.
Once you search ‘Everywhere’ you’ll see a list of country options with the cheapest flight cost for each destination. Once you click on a country, you’ll see the prices for specific cities/airports within that country. The budget airlines, like Ryan Air and Easy Jet, are often the best bet for cheap short-haul flights.
Booking a flight
Once you’ve found the perfect destination and flights, you can simply click through to book with that airline or provider. Skyscanner will check that those prices are still available and redirect you to the company’s own website to complete the booking, and add extras such as luggage and seat reservations.
Alternatively, go through a cashback website to save even more money once you’ve found flights that will work for you on Skyscanner. Clicking through to the company that you’re booking with directly might make those budget flights even more of a bargain!
Setting price alerts
If you don’t plan on booking immediately, you can set up an alert by clicking ‘Get Price Alerts’ above your search results. You’ll be asked to log in so that you can receive email alerts for any fluctuations in price. If your planned trip is still a while away then this can be really useful and will help you to compare prices for your chosen route.
Planning well in advance, so that you have the option to base annual leave around the cheapest prices rather than being tied to specific dates, could save you a lot of money.
To save even more, read my post on 12 ways to travel on a budget.