In the last couple of days I’ve read about some new entries into the travel search engine field.
One is cFares. cFares is a bit different from most other search engines in that if you buy a Platinum membership for US $50, you can get a discount on some airfares. I ran several searches and found the fare difference between their two rates to be as little as $0 and as much as $45. If you buy several tickets through their site, then the membership will pay for itself. But it’s still worth checking out other sites as well since some had lower fares then cFares did.
The other is Fly.com. This site was launched by TravelZoo and it made headlines because the company paid over $1 million for the URL. For the price, it isn’t much to look at. This site is very similar to Kayak, right down to the layout. The nice added feature of the site is that they include price comparisions for business and first-class fares as well. The downside is that it doesn’t include hotel or car searches.
When it comes to fare searches, the key is to check several sites. I like starting with Kayak and using its “search other sites” feature to do multiple searches at once. When I do find a fare, I normally book it directly through the airline to avoid additional booking fees and because some airlines offer additional frequent flyer miles for going through their site. The exception to this is if I’m going for a package deal that includes airfare and hotel- I’m not always able to get a better rate by booking the two separately.