Skyscanner

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Better Call Saul
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Skyscanner

Post by Better Call Saul » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:02 pm

I’m looking for some advice on booking flights using Skyscanner.
My only experience of booking flights on the internet so far is with Jet2 to Portugal and that couldn’t be easier.
I’m at the very early stage of planning a holiday in New Zealand with a stop-over in Singapore on the way out and the way home. I haven’t set the exact dates for the trip yet but it’s likely be Nov/Dec 2020. That means means I need to book four flights from Manchester to Singapore then Singapore to Auckland and the reverse coming home.
Is Skyscanner as easy to use as it looks on the face of it or are there any pit-fall to look out for?
Is there an optimum time to book your flights or is it cheaper the earlier you book?
Slightly nervous about using it because I’ll be parting with some serious money as there are two of us travelling.
I’ve just put a date in to get a feel of the price and it’s come up with a strange anomaly.
Changi Airport Singapore to Auckland N.Z. flying Singapore Airlines operated by Air New Zealand costs £605 per person
On exactly the same departure time & arrive time on the same date flying with Air New Zealand costs £478 per person
It surely must be the same flight. What that all about?

Quickenthetempo
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by Quickenthetempo » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:10 pm

Always check the airlines own website for prices as well as the likes of skyscanner.

Always put your internet search incognito as flights go up the more traffic looks at them flights and the more your IP address looks the more likely you are to buy.

jrgbfc
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by jrgbfc » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:13 pm

For long haul flights with connections I wouldn't bother with Skyscanner. If you want the peace of mind I'd go to a specialist travel agents like trailfinders or flightcentre. They'll sit down with you and discuss the best options and you'll know exactly what you're booking.
That's what I did when I went to NZ. For long haul flights its cheapest to book about 11 months in advance, as soon as the flights come out.
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tarkys_ears
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by tarkys_ears » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:28 pm

https://www.google.com/flights?hl=en#fl ... 1;sd:1;t:f

Check here on Google flights. The calendar only works 10 months in advance. Most airlines work this way. Some airlines take bookings a year or more in advance but that's only on their own website. Also if you sign in to your google account you can setup alerts to tell you when the prices have gone down/up. It'll also tell you a "typical fare" and if what you're looking at is high or low.

Put in a few departure airports and if you want, arrival airports (take them off if you don't want them). Pull up the calendar and select a date or how long you want to go for and it will list the cheapest options first.

Once you've found the cheapest date, put that information into on skyscanner, momondo and kayak, they'll search Online travel agents which will be cheaper. They may be sold by alternative airlines (as part of an alliance) but still be operated by the same people, so just check the flight number/times (usually it will say "SWISS FLIGHT 7838 - operated by Singapore Airlines" or whatever)

Check the Singapore airlines website directly if you want to connect/stop in Singapore as they'll usually give you upto a few days/week for free or offer a hotel deal for a stopover and it will probably be cheaper than buying two different tickets. RING THEM UP if it's getting confusing doing it online, you might need to anyway, I don't know.

If you come up with some definite dates I can help you look. Ask any quesitons if I've confused you.
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AndrewJB
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by AndrewJB » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:35 pm

Quickenthetempo wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:10 pm
Always check the airlines own website for prices as well as the likes of skyscanner.

Always put your internet search incognito as flights go up the more traffic looks at them flights and the more your IP address looks the more likely you are to buy.
My partner works for a specialist travel agent and says use skyscanner only for getting initial prices (write them down so you don’t forget), and then when you’ve decided, buy direct from the airline. Join the airlines frequent flyer program and you might get better service. And pay with a credit card so you’re fully protected.

Vegas Claret
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by Vegas Claret » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:37 pm

you are all welcome :)

https://www.secretflying.com/

pureclaret
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by pureclaret » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:58 pm

Juts make sure you pay by credit card and you have travel insurance in place before you book anything and ensure you have read small print on any notifiable illnesses you or any one in the family have.

AndrewJB
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by AndrewJB » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:09 pm

jrgbfc wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:13 pm
For long haul flights with connections I wouldn't bother with Skyscanner. If you want the peace of mind I'd go to a specialist travel agents like trailfinders or flightcentre. They'll sit down with you and discuss the best options and you'll know exactly what you're booking.
That's what I did when I went to NZ. For long haul flights its cheapest to book about 11 months in advance, as soon as the flights come out.
Those companies do some massive bookings. Thirty, forty, fifty thousand pound holidays aren’t unusual. Even booking through those companies won’t alleviate all the risks involved though. I think if you have the time - a retired person for example - you’re better off taking more time and then with fewer tight transfers there are fewer chances of everything going pear shaped.

AndrewJB
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by AndrewJB » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:12 pm

Vegas Claret wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:37 pm
you are all welcome :)

https://www.secretflying.com/
Not sure if they still have them, but back in the 90s there were bucket deals at big airports, New York to London for $50. You’d have to be ready to leave at a moments notice. :)

Vegas Claret
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by Vegas Claret » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:18 pm

AndrewJB wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:12 pm
Not sure if they still have them, but back in the 90s there were bucket deals at big airports, New York to London for $50. You’d have to be ready to leave at a moments notice. :)
not any more - but the secret flying site comes up with some incredible deals, well worth following them on twitter too

RammyClaret61
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by RammyClaret61 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:46 pm

AndrewJB wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:35 pm
My partner works for a specialist travel agent and says use skyscanner only for getting initial prices (write them down so you don’t forget), and then when you’ve decided, buy direct from the airline. Join the airlines frequent flyer program and you might get better service. And pay with a credit card so you’re fully protected.
This is about right. I used Skyscanner when I flew over to uk last year. Big mistake, won’t be dining it again. The initial price was ok. But then because I’d booked with an agent I had to pay to choose a seat, and to check in online. In the end it became a very expensive flight.

Rileybobs
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by Rileybobs » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:56 pm

Not sure what the issue is, Skyscanner directs you to the airlines website so you book direct with the airline. Obviously the base price doesn’t include baggage and seat reservations etc. as different airlines offer different options.
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thatdberight
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by thatdberight » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:05 pm

Skyscanner is great and is just the shop window. There are agents on there I wouldn't book through and I'm not going to try and save £3 going with a bucket shop who will then ring you back 24 hours later mysteriously claiming that those tix were gone and can we have an extra £100...

But for comparing dates when you have flexibility and ending up at the airline's site- brilliant tool.

RammyClaret61
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by RammyClaret61 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:08 pm

Rileybobs wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:56 pm
Not sure what the issue is, Skyscanner directs you to the airlines website so you book direct with the airline. Obviously the base price doesn’t include baggage and seat reservations etc. as different airlines offer different options.
No, when you click on a flight, it then gives you a choice of providers, agents. I booked a Cathay Pacific flight but with a company called Jetabout. You can choose the airline, but I think it’s still best to use Skyscanner for reference only. Like said above, the prices go up the more you keep checking on there.

Rileybobs
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by Rileybobs » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:18 pm

RammyClaret61 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:08 pm
No, when you click on a flight, it then gives you a choice of providers, agents. I booked a Cathay Pacific flight but with a company called Jetabout. You can choose the airline, but I think it’s still best to use Skyscanner for reference only. Like said above, the prices go up the more you keep checking on there.
Wasn’t responding to you in particular. I know there are other options but what I meant was that there is a direct link to the airline’s website. So it’s a useful resource to compare flight times and prices with different airlines and a simple click takes you directly to the flight booking page with the number of passengers already selected.

Obviously if you go through an agent then there may be pitfalls but that can hardly be used as a criticism of skyscanner.

tarkys_ears
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by tarkys_ears » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:39 pm

Ah, the great old internet myth of the "don't search for flights with cookies enabled/go incognito"

It matters **** all.

As does most of the information posted on this thread.

If people don't know what they're actually talking about can they stop posting?

claret wizard
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by claret wizard » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:44 pm

Never really rated Skyscanner. Opodo gets pretty good fares, however, App from the app store called “cheap flights”, black and orange icon with Very Cheap on it always gets me the cheaper flight options, weird routes, strange airlines but always the cheapest.

But

I did the same trip last year, checked flights for a long time, cheapest tgey got was about 3 weeks before departure and I booked direct with Emirates, about £40 more than a travel agent.

tarkys_ears
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by tarkys_ears » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:47 pm

Forgot to add, if you're booking separate flights, search flight + hotel on expedia, you'll often save a bit/get free night(s).

Don't be afraid of checking premium economy/business either. I don't know your budget but for example you can get business to Singapore for about £1200 atm or Hong Kong for £1000 ish.

Premium economy to either can be as low as in the 600-700s and on a flight that long, a few hundred quid will be worth it.

Granny WeatherWax
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by Granny WeatherWax » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:49 pm

Fly long haul 2 or 3 times a year. Always use skyscanner. Sometime they have flights cheaper than the same ones on the actual airlines website. Always with checking though, try Expedia too.

I Never use travel agents as they can never get anywhere close to the price I get for booking things on my own.

lesxdp
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by lesxdp » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:53 pm

Personally I would always use an old fashioned travel agent. By all means look on the internet so you know what prices may be available and then let an agent source it all for you. Also if possible let them book all the way with one airline (the airline may use local airlines for some of the journey), that will make sure you don't have to collect your checked in baggage at each change, a process which may compromise your time.

tim_noone
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by tim_noone » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:08 pm

Can you just turn up at the Airport and get a cheap cancellation? Cash.... :?

RammyClaret61
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by RammyClaret61 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:41 pm

tim_noone wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:08 pm
Can you just turn up at the Airport and get a cheap cancellation? Cash.... :?
You mean pay at the gate?!? :lol:

No sorry, it’s all ticket!

tim_noone
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by tim_noone » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:48 pm

RammyClaret61 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:41 pm
You mean pay at the gate?!? :lol:

No sorry, it’s all ticket!
Thought so...

thatdberight
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by thatdberight » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:17 pm

tarkys_ears wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:39 pm
Ah, the great old internet myth of the "don't search for flights with cookies enabled/go incognito"

It matters **** all.

As does most of the information posted on this thread.

If people don't know what they're actually talking about can they stop posting?
Best you keep the knowledge to yourself or we'd all be as clever as you...
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Better Call Saul
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by Better Call Saul » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:32 pm

Thanks guys for all your comments, it’s been really helpful and much appreciated.
The messages from tarkys_ears offering to help me find some flights when I get a firm dates for the trip. Well I might just take you up on that offer but it may be a couple of months before I can confirm the dates.

Dyched
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by Dyched » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:47 pm

I search quite abit randomly on there and everything has always been fine.

Eg/ Manchester to anywhere always throws up some bargains.

Manchester to New York cheapest month then click through the out and in dates. Got some bargains over the years.

tarkys_ears
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by tarkys_ears » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:06 pm

thatdberight wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:17 pm
Best you keep the knowledge to yourself or we'd all be as clever as you...
Sorry I meant "keep on chatting **** and giving wrong information"

aggi
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by aggi » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:11 pm

lesxdp wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:53 pm
Personally I would always use an old fashioned travel agent. By all means look on the internet so you know what prices may be available and then let an agent source it all for you. Also if possible let them book all the way with one airline (the airline may use local airlines for some of the journey), that will make sure you don't have to collect your checked in baggage at each change, a process which may compromise your time.
This will also depend on where you're flying. If you're flying into the US for instance then you must collect your bag, go through customs and check it back in (although there's normally a transfer desk to drop it off at) at the first point you land in the US regardless of whether your onward flight (whether internal in the US or on to another country) is with the same airline.

aggi
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by aggi » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:23 pm

RammyClaret61 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:46 pm
This is about right. I used Skyscanner when I flew over to uk last year. Big mistake, won’t be dining it again. The initial price was ok. But then because I’d booked with an agent I had to pay to choose a seat, and to check in online. In the end it became a very expensive flight.
This can happen because Skyscanner, Kayak (which I tend to use), etc search both the airlines and various online travel agencies (e.g. Crystal Travel, CheapticketsDeal, WorldAirfares, etc).

Obviously booking with the airlines is fine but the online travel agencies can be a bit more dubious. Very often they don't have the seats they're advertising, the price is actually higher or, after you've made the booking, they'll try and get the seats so you may have a day or two of not knowing if the booking will go through. Some, such as CrystalTravel, I've used a number of times and are fine. Others I've had cancelled bookings and vastly inflated prices or had to spend time on the phone with the airline sorting out things like online check-in.

As such it's always best, unless there's a significant price differential, to book direct with the airline.
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Down_Rover
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Re: Skyscanner

Post by Down_Rover » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:52 pm

My wife is a Kiwi and booking flights there is a regular occurrence in our household.

1. Only use Skyscanner to get a feel for the prices. Skyscanner works fine for flights to Europe but not long haul for many of the reasons stated above

2. Booking direct with the airline is good advice. In our experience different airlines have massively varied prices on long haul and it is not predictable. One year it will be Singapore Airlines who are cheapest and another year it will be someone else. The flights setting off at the same time you quoted will be two separate flights and illustrate the point that prices will vary a great deal from airline to airline

3. Make swift decisions. Once you have searched a flight on an airline website they know you are interested and will track you. One way around this is to search prices from one IP address and book via another. But if you search from the same location more than twice they are on to you and will start playing games. It is not dissimilar to how prices soared when we started to search for Europa Cup destinations.

4. Don't be too rigid. You can fly via Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpar and Hongkong to name but a few and all are worth stopovers. I even flew via Taiwan one year

4. If all this is too tricky for you going to Trailfinders is a great suggestion. They will allocate an experienced adviser who has been there. If you have time it is well worth booking an appointment and going to see them. They are good over the phone too
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