How to Compare Ticket Prices for Flights


When you get ready to travel, you may see a confusing number of offers and prices for airline tickets, each claiming to have the best and cheapest flights to your destination. By taking a few simple steps, you can compare ticket prices for flights and find the deal that's best for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Telephone
  • Pencil and paper
  • Use a piece of blank paper to organize your search. At the top, write the dates you want to travel and your preferred times for departure and arrival, for both the departing and returning trips.

  • Check your local Sunday newspaper for a listing of the cheapest flights from your town to other destinations. Many Sunday editions feature a list of the week's ticket bargains.

  • Check websites such as, and, which make it easy to compare airfares. You may or may not not find the cheapest prices on these sites, but typically you will find lower prices than you would receive from a travel agent. It is easy to book a flight, hotel and rental car at these websites.

  • Call the airlines directly. Often, the best way to find the cheapest price is to call the 800 number listed for each airline that goes to the destination where you wish to fly. Many times the agents know of "sales" on tickets which are not published elsewhere. You may have to ask for the lowest price available. The agent can book the flight for you when you're ready.

    Each time you call an airline, write down the name of the airline and the phone number where you reached an agent. Note the arrival and departure times, as well as any cities and times for layovers. For each airline, write the final price of the ticket.

  • Review your notes, comparing prices, travel time, layovers, and departure and arrival times, both from online sites and from your discussions with the airline ticket agents, and you will be able to come to a knowledgeable conclusion about which is the best ticket price for your flight

Tips & Warnings

  • Typically, you have 24 hours to call back and reserve your ticket if you tentatively book a flight. After you have purchased a ticket, most airlines will allow you to call within 24 hours and change the date or time of the ticket. Some airlines allow you to cancel a flight, but you must reuse your ticket within a certain amount of time.
  • When calling airlines, do not accept the first price that an agent gives you. Write down the price, then tell the ticket agent that you will call back if you decide to book the flight. Remember, prices usually will not last more than a day. If there is a great demand for tickets, the price may increase, or the flight might fill up, within the hour.

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  • Photo Credit Microsoft Clip Art
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