Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

How Cheap is that Cheap Ticket? Comparison Study

A deeper look into online ticket vendors shows broad differences in pricing when it comes to seeking the best deal

by Business Traveler

July 31, 2019

Millions of people use a meta search engines or flight comparison sites every day in their quest to get the best air fares possible. They often click onward to an airline website or travel agent to book their ticket. However,, the world’s first “meta-meta” flight search engine, has discovered that a person’s favorite flight aggregator may not be providing them with the cheapest possible option.

Cheap Flights Finder selected 10 of the top flight search engines and examined their round trip flight results for popular long-haul summer destinations that involved flying from major US and UK airports.

The company analyzed Skyscanner, KAYAK, Momondo, Cheapflights, Google flights, Dohop, Jetcost, Jetradar, Hipmunk and on the same round trip routes, on the same dates, at exactly the same time and compared the results.

The results revealed huge price differences between the various search engines for last-minute long-haul summer flight routes. The biggest price difference noted was a whopping 38% between Google Flights and Dohop for a return flight in August from San Francisco to Rome. Dohop’s cheapest price was $620 while Google Flights’ cheapest price was $1000.

Other savings scrutinized included 30% off a flight in August from London to New York, booked through ($425) instead of Google Flights ($612) and a savings of nearly 20% off a direct flight to New York from London searched through Jetradar ($584) instead of Skyscanner — which came in the most expensive at $720.

Momondo was most expensive for a return flight from New York to Paris coming in at $486, while Jetcost beat that mark by almost 26%, coming in at $361 and resulting in a saving of $125. Hipmunk proved to be the most expensive for a direct flight to Rome from Chicago in August, costing $1,230, almost 30% more than the cheapest direct flight found on Skyscanner for $874.

KAYAK also produced the most expensive result for a direct round trip flight from New York to Tokyo, coming in at $1,900, a full 24% more than a similar direct flight via Skyscanner at $1,443.

There was no standout winner or loser, said CheapFlightsFinder CEO Shahab Siddiqui: “One particular search engine may find the cheapest indirect route but not fare so well for direct flights. Or one search engine may be cheapest on one route one day only for it to be the most expensive the next day. The best advice remains to search as many different flight comparison engines as you can to be sure of the best flight at an optimal price that suits you. You can potentially save up to 30% by adopting this one simple strategy.”

The full list of results and graphs are here.  A search for strongly discounted international business class fares can be found here.