How to compare flights properly

We all know the importance of shopping around in order to find the best deal on holidays, but surprisingly few people know how to compare flights properly. This means that you could be losing out on the best deals. Here we look at some tips and advice to help when comparing flights.

1. Your search should be date specific

Your search for flights should always be date specific. This can be difficult if you don't have a specific date in mind, but you simply won't get an accurate comparison by checking the "prices from" information on an airline's website. And don't just pick a date at random - compare flights in and around the dates you want to travel. Prices can vary dramatically over the different seasons and months.

2. Make sure you are comparing like for like

Many air fare quotes, particularly from budget and low cost carriers, will not include taxes, checked baggage or credit card fees. When these are all added in, the fare may start to look at lot less competitive. Follow through the booking process and select your credit card type (but don't bother filling in the numbers just yet). The price that appears at this stage is the final price you will pay, so this is the number you should be comparing.

3. Don't just compare prices

You'll also want to consider things like flight duration, whether the flight in direct or indirect, which airline will you be travelling with, are free meals and drinks included, is the flight at a convenient time, does it depart from a convenient airport etc.

4. Flight comparison websites can take a lot of the leg work out

Flight comparison sites, like Skyscanner.net and Travelsupermarket.com, can help you to compare flights quickly and easily. Skyscanner usually shows the final price after tax (but do check to see if baggage is included before you book).

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