Travel Search Engine Smackdown Reveals Cheapest Airfares - My Family Travels

FTF tests out travel metasearch engines to find which site returns the most results and cheapest flights. And the winner is

When looking for cheap fares for airline tickets, there are a few websites that most people know to search, such as Expedia and Travelocity. However, in addition to these online travel agencies, there exists another breed of travel website called a metasearch engine.

These websites search a specific corner of the web—the travel corner, so to speak—and return with lists of fares from online travel agencies, airline websites, and hotel websites. Users of these search engines are then redirected to the actual website of the travel agency, airline, or hotel for the final purchase of the ticket.

Lots of these metasearch engines exist. They can help eliminate time spent searching for fares at multiple travel websites, because they allow you to compare lots of fares from different sites.

FTF does a Trial Airfare Search on Competing Sites

But how to know the best metasearch engine to use? FTF has chosen some of the biggest and well-known metasearch engines and tested them with a few different itineraries to see which site brings back the most returns with the cheapest prices.

Itinerary 1: Tel Aviv, Israel to Larnaca, Cyprus
July 27th – August 1st, 2010

ITA Software: returned 30 matches, lowest fare 334 USD
Kayak: returned 3 matches, lowest fare 335 USD
Mobissimo: returned 9 marches, lowest fare 642 USD
Momondo: returned 90 matches, lowest fare 333 USD
Sidestep: returned 7 matches, lowest fare 334 USD
Vayama: returned 5 marches, lowest fare 359 USD

Itinerary 2: New York, NY to Los Angeles, CA
July 30th – August 3rd, 2010

ITA Software: returned 500 matches, lowest fare 428 USD
Kayak: returned 870 matches, lowest fare 424 USD
Mobissimo: returned 83 matches, lowest fare 424 USD
Momondo: returned 1257 matches, lowest fare USD 399
Sidestep: returned 476 matches, lowest fare 429 USD
Vayama: returned 29 matches, lowest fare 518 USD

Itinerary 3: Boston, MA to Orlando, FL
August 23rd – August 28th, 2010

ITA Software: returned 500 matches, lowest fare 239 USD
Kayak: returned 385 matches, lowest fare 239 USD
Mobissimo: returned 120 matches, lowest fare 244 USD
Momondo: returned 503 matches, lowest fare 229 USD
Sidestep: returned 385 matches, lowest fare 239 USD
Vayama: returned 48 matches, lowest fare 278 USD is the Metasearch Winner for Results & Price

From what we found, Momondo lists the most results, while other sites such as Kayak list some specific returns on their website but then also have popups for Expedia and other travel agencies where you may have to re-input your flight information.

Momondo seems to be the most comprehensive and easy way to compile lots of results, but if you’re willing to spend more time clicking through pop-ups on other sites it may be possible to find better deals, especially if you try to book way ahead of time.

Momondo also sometimes includes airports that are near the airport you selected but not necessarily the airport you want (for example, it included results from Westchester County Airport when we entered Laguardia Airport in New York City). However, if you don’t feel like wading through tons of websites in search of the absolute lowest price, Momondo seems to be the easiest way to find a good price in a short amount of time.

Based in Denmark, Momondo’s mission is to give their users total price transparency without any catches. At a recent press event in New York City, Martin Lumbye, one of Momondo’s partners, explained that Momondo gets the most comprehensive results because it searches airline company websites and travel agencies, but also low-cost airlines. Momondo also offers a hotel search option and guides for major cities world-wide.

Metasearch Engines to Test Yourself

If you want to test out these websites for yourself, here is a list of the ones we used and more:

ITA Software

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5 Replies to “Travel Search Engine Smackdown Reveals Cheapest Airfares”

  • Anonymous

    It all depends in which season you are travelling. November and December is being a very high season for any year to Europe and Asia.and Jan to Mar is where you will get the cheapest airfares of the year. Check out this web site for cheap airline tickets.

  • Anonymous actually finds much cheaper flights & hotels prices than Momondo because Upiq compares much more travel sites than Momondo. You can check it out at

  • Another great travel search engine is it gives you a list of the cheapest flights and hotels. Try it and see what you think.

  • As the competition among airline companies is increasing day by day so the quality of packages is also getting better.

  • Badly needed study. One to take to the bank!
    May we suggest a review of our blog referring to (New Travel Search Engine Adds Big Value on ftf)where price info is enhanced by an evaluation of the trips quality (age of aircraft, on time record, leg room, etc) plus a statement of all hidden cossts including food, drink and baggage.
    The theory is that price is important but we need non-commodity ways of evaluation, like quality of the flight.
    Good stuff here. Thanks