While you might now know on how to shop around for the cheapest flights, there are further resources on getting even better deals on flights. These flight alert sites specialize in finding cheap prices. Whether be it last minute tickets, special promotions or mistake fares, these websites will find them and notify its members/audience! In this post, I will go over my favourite flight alert sites and show you how to get the best deals on flights!
Before we start,
What are Mistake Fares?
Flight mistake fares, or known as error fares are when airlines or an online travel agency (OTA) sells a ticket for significantly less than they intended. Many factors can contribute to this mistake such as human error, incorrect currency conversion, or technology issues.
These pricing mistakes happen more than you think. Here’s some examples from the recent past:
- November 2019: Melbourne, Australia to Baku, Azerbaijan for only $354 AUD roundtrip
- March 2020: Toronto, Canada to the Azores for only $137 CAD roundtrip
- November 2020: Atlanta, USA to Santiago, Chile for only $62 USD roundtrip
How long do Mistake Fares last?
Because these prices are not planned, they typically don’t last long. When the company notices the incorrect fares, they will immediately change it. Pricing errors can last several days, but the really good ones disappear in just hours!
What to consider when booking a Mistake Fare?
If you find a Mistake Fare that you want to book, you should always try to book directly with the airline. Booking directly with an airline cuts out any middleman and reduces the amount of time required to issue your ticket, making it more likely for the Mistake Fare price to be honored.
Even if a Mistake Fare ends up getting cancelled, the money gets refunded. This is why its important not to book any non refundable plans such as accommodation or activities until a week or two. By this time, you should have an e-ticket number and/or a code for your reservation.
How to find Mistake Fares?
While there are multiple ways to find mistake fares, such as:
- Manually searching flights – This requires a lot of effort and its like looking for a needle in a haystack. The best tip is to search a broad set of destinations (and even origin) and timeline to spot an abnormally low price
- Sign up for price alerts – Using the price alert functions on the many booking sites, you’ll automatically be notified when a flight you’re watching changes in price. It’s not as likely to find an error fare this way, as you will need a lot of set up a lot of different route alerts.
However the best way is to sign up for flight alert sites to track them.
What are Flight Alert Sites?
Finding deals on flights is a time consuming process. You can spend hours searching different routes, timeline on various online flight search engines and still get nothing. Luckily, there are companies out there that have managed to streamline the process with a combination of complex algorithms and a team of flight experts. These websites will provide a list of low fares through posting online and/or delivering them through e-mails or app notifications to its members.
These flight alert sites are the best for people who are just looking for somewhere cheap to visit and are flexible in their destination and timeframe.
I want to clarify that these websites are not booking sites. So when you see a flight you want to book, you’ll be directed to an online travel agency (Expedia) or the airline to finalize your booking.
Here are some of my favourite flight alert sites:
Started in 2015, Scott’s Cheap Flights is the first of its kind. This website combines sophisticated software and human flight experts to discover flight deals and mistake fares.
Scott’s Cheap Flights monitors the best flight deals from your home airport and any other airport you choose. Here are some recent deals that they sent out!
Unfortunately Scott’s Cheap Flights has decided to focus their efforts a into serving only the US market in October 2019.
There are two tiers of membership— a free version and a premium version at a cost of $49 USD per year. Premium members will get access to up to 5x more deals, earlier access to email notifications and gets notified for mistake fares.
While Scott’s Cheap Flights only offers the US market, Secret Flying monitors flight and hotel deals worldwide.
When the team finds a great deal, they immediately post details about the fare on their website. If you like the deal, you can then directly book with their provided links. Here are some deals that they have on their website!
What is great is that Secret Flying is completely free of charge. There is no membership required to access any deals on their website, including mistake fares!
I highly suggest getting the Secret Flying app. When you join as a member, you are able to customize your departure cities and it will send out instant flight deal alerts straight to your phone.
This 1,000,000+ member club is all about providing the best flight deals. The people at Dollar Flight Club spend hours each day scouring the web for cheap flight deals. They will then notify its members in a convenient email, like this.
There are three tiers of memberships – Dollar Flight Club Free, Premium and Premium Plus versions
The Free Version allows members to receive deals from their departure region, rather than a specific airport. They will only receive a fraction of the emails that premium members do. Its meant to give users an idea of the service they can provide.
Their Premium Plan allows members to personalize the type of flight deals to receive, including departure airports, destinations and preferred airlines. Further benefits include the option to get alerts via text message and no advertisements in the e-mails that you receive. The cost for the Premium Plan is $69 USD annually.
Dollar Flight Club has recently launched a Premium Plus service that aims to provide members with access to Business and First Class flight deals. There is an additional perk of a 20% discount on a Mobile Passport Plus Plan which helps you get through airport security quicker. The annual cost for the Premium Plus Plan is $99 USD.
Right now, DFC are offering a free 14 day trial of the Premium Plan and the Premium Plus. You can cancel at anytime you are able to cancel anytime without incurring any costs. This way, you can see for yourself if there is value in paying for the Premium or Premium Plus plans.
Their advanced algorithms search every website and flight to find the best deals. What is great is that Tripli offers a free membership program, comparable to the paid version of Scott’s Cheap Flights and Dollar Flight Club. Check out some of the deals they found:
Since they are also the newest kid on the block, they still have lots to improve on. Coming soon are the addition of mistake fares and first class & business class deals!
For all you travellers in Canada, this a website to follow. Y Deals has helped quarter-million Canadians spot the truly amazing travel deals. They provide flight deals from many cities in Canada, from larger cities like Montreal (yuldeals.com) to smaller cities like Saskatoon (yxedeals.com). You can find the list of cities here.
The website looks quite outdated compared to the others on the list, but I like the simple layout. What is great is that there is no membership required to see any of the deals. You can subscribe for the email list to get notifications on the latest deals. On occasion, he even posts mistake fares. Here are some of the recent deals posted:
Using the Toronto version (yyzdeals.com), I was able to get a great deal on a return flight from Toronto to Cancun, Mexico for $268 CAD back in January 2018! This really helped save me on my trip to the Yucatan.
Timing is everything in getting flight deals. Certain deals only last for days and mistake fares are even more quick to disappear. This is why signing up for these flight deal alert sites is the best way to get the best deals on flights. Getting email, app and social media alerts means that you will get notified right away when a deal pops up.
I highly recommend to at least sign up for the free version of these flight alert sites. They only send out emails if they are really great deals, and will not spam your inbox. Judge for yourself with the deals I posted. And by following multiple sources, you lower the risk of missing out on great flight deal!