Travel Planning: Airfare Competition

Finding a flight at a fair price is no easy task. It's arduous, if done properly. However, it's so worth it if you can find a flight at 30 or 40% of the typical price. That's the problem, though, nobody has time for that! So, we rely on these search portals to scan competing websites in hopes of gleaning the very best in flights and pricing.

Therefore, I'm doing an experiment. My boyfriend has never been to Boston. I'm a born and bred Bostonian and I think it would be a nice gift to fly him there for his birthday, which falls on a Saturday- Aug 4th, to be exact. Let's see who has the best findings, shall we?

Factors to consider:
1) weekend flights are expensive- best to leave on a Thursday night, fly back Sunday
2) airports in proximity for both departure and arrival
3) budget
4) his family plans
5) budget

I'd have to check and see what his family is up to for that weekend, only if I want them to like me, of course. [sigh] Anyway, hopefully they wouldn't have a big shindig planned, so we'll consider number 4 done. Next, budget! I suppose I don't want to spend more than 80-90$ for each way, which is 160-180$ round trip, each. The reason I broke it down like that is because sometimes, it's cheaper to buy two one-way tickets instead of a roundtrip flight. Weird, I know. Typically, I would search for those one-way fares, but today we'll leave it up to the search portals. So the budget is set. Airports are easy, you can elect for the search portals to include neighboring airports quite easily- done. Ok, let's go!

Requested flight: depart Thursday 8/2 and return Monday 8/6, <$200 each Here are the best found prices, for each site: $237 on JetBlue, total cost $467.60 total cost $465.40 on USAirways and Airtran $234 on JetBlue, total cost $467.60 $239 on AirTran, total cost $498.40 unknown, see Notes below. $242 on USAirways and Delta, total cost $485.40 $240.20 on USAirways and Airtran, total cost $480.40


Kayak opened the JetBlue site in another window, and my original window gave me a nice list of options:
We took you to to book this flight. Flight not found?
Go Back to your flight results
Sign up for Boston fare alerts
Find the best Boston hotel for these dates
Return to homepage
Additionally, a Boston fare alert popped up, leading me to a list of flights for under $200 each, but they gave me specific days- still a VERY good deal.

Orbitz presented a list of very competitive prices, but everytime I clicked on one, I got this message: Sorry, but your search results are no longer available. Please redo your search. (Message 1010). :(

Farecast told me to hold off purchasing, that the flight price was dropping- awesome! I can also choose to place a watch on this flight so that when it hits below a certain price, I can buy it. Neato.

Results, SkyAuction is the gold medal winner, with Kayak and SideStep right behind. To me, though, Kayak wins for providing other options quite easily.
1 Response
  1. I've never heard of Do they usually have some great deals?