How to find cheap flights
Finding cheap flights is a nice skill. Hitchhiking is a good way to get around but how can you get to other continents if you don't have oceans of time? Going by boat or ferry is often an interesting adventure by itself.
Environmental impact of aviation
Going by plane emits tons of carbondioxide, for example the typical comfortable canal jump London – Frankfurt – London emits 150 kg to 500 kg CO2 per person (see Carbon Offsetting & Air Travel. Part 1: CO2-Emissions Calculations), page 19). It is much worse than going by car on your own using a ferry. Please think twice before paying for the destruction of our climate. Even if fuel efficiency of modern aircraft is better by consuming less fuel per kilometre, the absolute amount of emissions rises by 4% per year because more people go by plane (see Are technology myths stalling aviation climate policy?).
If you still have to fly (instead of organizing in a better way), you can choose a more efficient airline, like Spirit (see Comparison of US airlines, page 8), or less consuming aeroplanes like a turboprop. However carbon offsetting is usually a scam as green labelled tropical organic farms usually grow in former rainforest areas.
- delete browser cookies and history or use incognito mode
- book in low season (november to january)
- if you see an error fare, book it (they appear in hours usually)
- be flexible with time and departure country
- Skyscanner is a great way for finding cheap flights. Choose "whole month" or even "whole year" for this to work properly.
- HackTheFlight.net is a real time aggregator and search engine that monitorizes all the deals published by sites like TravelPirates, SecretFlying, Fly4Free, Flynous, TheFlightDeal, etc... If subscribed it notifies the user each time that a deal is published (via browser notification) and it has a daily newsletter.
- HelloWings is a good tool for comparing across multiple low cost airlines at once and on a full year price chart. Has good coverage of LCC(Asia, Europe, Middle East, even America, showing full year prices of Southwest), great for a long term backpacking trip.
- AZair.com is a specialized low-cost search engine. It can combine diff. carriers (up to 3 changes), search by region (from: Scandinavia, to: Mediterranean), search in long time windows (June-October), has data form 45+ LCCs (mostly European and Middle-eastern), works fast
- Azuon is Windows program that has many low-cost airlines in its database such as Ryanair, Norwegian, Wizzair, AirAsia and many more.
- ITA's Matrix lets you search in advanced ways.
- Drungli is very simple search tool for flights in EU, but it covers some cheaper airlines (eg. Ryanair).
- Hopper Flight research tools.
- airixo nice presentation, allows for search to 'anywhere'. Limited to Europe.
- skypicker maps options, allows for search to 'anywhere'.
- GoAvio (former JetMap) shows routes for low cost airlines but doesn't have a search. Especially good for European connections; outside Europe it's not always up to date. See airliners list
- SkipLagged finds "Hidden City" connections, sometimes it's cheaper to book a flight to a third city, and you simply don't board the last plane.
JetcostCompare different search engine - they also list companies that scam their customers though
- Edreams, GO Voyages, Opodo and Travellink belong to one company, Odigeo, that keeps on scamming people
- MyWot Chrome Extension is a great tool to report scams and be informed about the safety of the website you are surfing.
Other useful resources
Promotions & error fares:
- spirit.com is a budget airline that connects the U.S. with Central America.
-  lists budget airlines by country.
- SleepingAirports.net might be useful sometimes