Both Skyscanner and Hopper offer nice, clean visualizations of flight options along with powerful sorting and filtering. They differ in how they approach this task, however.
For example, Skyscanner’s calendar displays flights by day with daily prices color coded for easy reference. It also offers a search option for “everywhere,” which is great for those with general wanderlust but no specific destination in mind.
Flight prices can fluctuate on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis, and it can be hard to keep track of all the deals out there. Flight scanners that offer price alerts can help you stay on top of the latest flight sales and take the guesswork out of booking your next trip.
Skyscanner’s price alerts are easy to set up and can be customised based on your travel dates, desired airports or even specific airlines. They also have a great interactive tool that allows you to view your search results in both calendar and chart formats, making it super easy to see which day is the cheapest to fly over a month or longer period.
Kayak’s price alerts are similarly customizable, with the option to choose specific dates and destinations and even set up alerts for specific airlines. It’s free to use but you need a Gmail account to receive email notifications. For frequent travelers, a premium plan is available for $49 per year that includes flight deals to popular destinations and mistake fares from your chosen airports.
Flight prices fluctuate widely and are influenced by many factors, such as demand for the destination, seasonality, weather, and the time of year. In addition, the prices are based on supply and demand. For this reason, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to price prediction models.
Using public datasets is one popular way to build such models. However, the datasets are limited and may not contain all features required for your machine learning project.
One of the best-performing services in our tests was Skyscanner, which not only alerted us to price drops, but also gave us confidence that it would find the cheapest fare on each day of our trip. In fact, it was the only service that found a last-minute direct flight from JFK to LAX, while every other service wanted to force us to make a stopover. The Skyscanner fare forecast used an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), a time-filtering algorithm first developed in the 1930s.
Flight search aggregators and OTAs often offer the ability to track prices on specific dates or routes. For example, on Google Flights you can create an alert for NYC to London flights between July 23-31. You’ll receive an email when the price changes. You can also create an alert for all the airports in a city, for example New York or London, and you’ll be sent an email when prices are low from those airports.
Skyscanner is another site that offers time-based alerts. You can set them up when you search for flights, and you’ll get an email if the price is lower than what you’ve been tracking. You’ll need to sign in with your account or create one before you can set up an alert.
Fare alerts work best when you have a specific trip in mind. You’ll get a lot of emails that aren’t particularly helpful, though, so you might need to set up a few other alerts on sites like Momondo or Kayak to help filter out the noise.
Skyscanner is one of the first flight search engines out there and offers a wide range of tools to help you find cheap flights. They search a huge number of airlines and travel agents in seconds and they show you prices that are actual tickets available from the sites where you can book them (not Skyscanner’s own sales). They also have some great features like the cheapest days to fly tool and a fare calendar that shows you the lowest prices for specific dates.
Users really like the fact that Skyscanner searches so many airlines and OTAs and that they don’t try to sell you any particular tickets. When you choose a flight, you are redirected to the site where you can actually purchase it from which means that there’s no extra charge for using their service. This makes it a popular choice for people who are looking to save time when booking their flights.