With so many flight booking apps for iPhone and services to choose from — all promising they can save you big bucks — it's easy to get overwhelmed when planning your next trip. So we've collected the best travel apps to take the headache out of booking flights.
It's easy to waste precious time filling in booking info only to realize that your chosen website has inaccurate pricing or hidden fees.
As a passionate world traveler on a budget, I've tried all the apps and services over the years. The below apps stand out for their upfront costs, reliable and communicative customer service, and noteworthy features that help you choose the fastest, cheapest days to fly.
If you have wanderlust but don't have a specific destination in mind, many apps include interactive maps that allow the user to explore travel options across the globe.
Because of the finicky and volatile nature of booking prices, however, you shouldn't set up shop with only one of these apps or services. To truly find the best flight deals, you've got to dig and compare.
Here are the best travel apps to download to take the headache out of booking flights and save money.
Skyscanner began as a small Scottish startup and bloomed into a global service. It is now owned by the international online travel agency Trip.com and is highly regarded by thousands of app users.
It has expert functionality, like an interactive price chart. This shows the booker the precise day and time to book for the lowest price possible. You can find the cheapest trip available if your travel dates are flexible.
This comes in handy when you know you need to fly to a certain state, perhaps to visit friends and family, but don't mind picking an airport in a city close by to save some cash.
If you know you want to get away and are not picky about where you're going, the app includes an explore everywhere feature that shows you cheap flights to popular destinations.
If your work schedule is flexible and you're unsure which day is the best to depart, use the feature whole month to check ticket prices for each day that month.
Skyscanner's other perk strives to reflect the final price you will pay by credit card — no hidden fees.
Additionally, Skyscanner allows you to book your hotel room and rental car.
Skyscanner does not require a subscription and is user friendly. It offers both an app and web browser version. The app is compatible with iOS 14 or later and is a free 229.8 MB download from the app store.
TravelPerk was developed in Barcelona and focuses primarily on traveling for business. The array of features offered is what sets TravelPerk apart from other apps.
Flight search engines and google flights often box you into booking with the same airline or partner airline throughout each leg of your trip.
With TravelPerk, you can package all your tickets under the same trip, consolidating all your travel plans in one place.
Another perk is that Travelperk includes rail travel. This will come in handy if you're traveling a public transportation-friendly continent like Europe.
While traveling in Switzerland, using TravelPerk to channel the SBB train app worked like a dream.
TravelPerk is also very customer-support-friendly. The average wait time to speak to a live representative is fifteen seconds — 24 hours a day.
Instead of paying monthly for a subscription you might only use here and there, TravelPerk makes it so that the user only pays to use their software in the months they book a trip, with no hidden fees.
TravelPerk is compatible with iOS 15 or later, has starter (free), premium, and pro versions to suit your needs, and is a 135.9 MB download from the app store. TravelPerk is also available as a subscription service online. To view current subscription pricing, check out TravelPerk.com.
If you've ever missed a connection due to delays or cancellations and have found yourself stranded in a strange city for the night, Kiwi takes the hassle out of negotiating with the airline for a refund.
Kiwi stands out among other apps because it searches for each segment of your trip separately. For example, suppose your international trip plans require a stop anyway, and you don't mind using two separate airlines to reach your destination. In that case, Kiwi will direct you to the airlines with the lowest fares for separate bookings.
Kiwi has a clean, interactive interface that makes it easy to plan your trip.
Kiwi will send you your boarding passes 24 hours before your flight and will note any luggage specifications beforehand, such as luggage weight limits.
Because you might not be traveling with the same airline to your destination, if a flight delay, cancellation, or schedule change should compromise your connecting flight, Kiwi guarantees an alternative flight or refunds the price for the unused ticket.
However, you must inform Kiwi as soon as you know of any of the above situations. Then, email them a receipt for the new flight within 14 days of rebooking.
Momondo has an easy-to-navigate user interface with a streamlined flight and hotel search function.
One of this app's many perks is fetching the most cost-effective and fastest flights and displaying them in convenient tabs at the top. Normally, their reasoning behind the "best" flight combines a cheap flight paired with the most expedient flight times.
Like Skyscanner, if you know you'd like to get away but aren't sure where, the app has an interactive map that displays flight prices from your home airport to various places around the globe. Additionally, it has a 'budget' feature that shows applicable plane tickets for every set budget.
You've likely heard of Kayak before.
It is an all-encompassing app for travel that finds the best deals for hotels, rental cars, and flights. It also includes the cheapest flight and hotel combo deals from travel agencies, although I've found it's often cheaper to book these separately than to bundle.
Kayak also has a cool price monitoring feature. It will ping your phone when your tracked flight has changed in price.
Another notable feature is that after you input your number of bags and whether you'd prefer a nonstop or layover flight, it accurately represents the final cost, even if you are flying with two different airlines.
Finally, Kayak includes an interactive app that shows current flight prices across the globe, making it one of the best travel apps around.
It is highly rated in the app store, with hundreds of thousands of reviews and a great standing of 4.8.
Other services: Google flights
Google flights doesn't have an app, but it deserves an honorable mention here.
After you plug in your desired trip duration, Google flights features a noteworthy calendar and bar graph option that displays your cheapest options to depart and return.
All you need to do is tap your departure and return dates to find the cheapest flying options.
Recap: steps to find the cheapest flights with the best travel apps
- Plug in your departure date and destination using Skyscanner or Google flights. Set up email alerts and wait a few days to see if flight costs are decreasing or increasing
- When you're ready and think you've got a good price, double-check the fares using one of the above apps
- Do one last price check utilizing the airline's app or website
- Voila — by now, you've gleaned enough comprehensive data to book the cheapest route thanks to the best travel apps!