There are a lot of flight search engines out there. Skyscanner and Google Flights might be the most used these days and I use them many times as well. Nonetheless, I found some features missing when I am completely flexible with my dates and even destinations. To find the best option, you have to research a lot.
I demonstrate it to you with the example of my recent trip. I wanted to visit my friend Anne in Asia in July or August. I wanted to book the cheapest option but I also didn’t want to be flying for ages.
I live in Cancun, Mexico, so a stone’s throw away from the US where flights to Asia are cheaper than from Cancun itself. So I had a lot of different options as starting locations for my flight. It could have been New York, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles etc. Same was true for my arrival. I knew that flights within Asia are cheap and it also didn’t really matter which country we are traveling through for me and my friend. So there were a ton of options available, among other Bangkok, Ho-Chi-Minh, I could have traveled to Singapore, to Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or whatever.
The goal was to find an affordable flight with convenient flight times. I wanted to stay about a month but it didn’t matter when I started and when I got back. All this flexibility gave me too many options to research with Skyscanner or Google Flights.
So I gave another flight engine a try. A flight engine I found a couple of months ago but until that day I had never really used it. But after this experience, it will always be my go-to booking engine because of its many advantages in comparison to others. Here are the features why the best flight search engine is Kiwi.com:
Other booking engines usually try to let you fly on one airline or airlines with codeshares for your entire itinerary. Kiwi, on the contrary, looks for the cheapest option for you even though the airlines do not belong to each other.
So, in the end, they might book two separate flights for you and you have to get your bags and check in again. During the booking process Kiwi tells you if you have to get your bags or not, so if you have to get them, make sure you have enough time to do so.
If you book separate flights, Kiwi offers you to purchase a guarantee for those unprotected flights in case of changed schedules, delays or even cancellations.
Multiple Airports of origin and destination
Right from the start, you can enter various airports and not only one plus surroundings. So I could enter Cancun, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and LA all in one search. The same is, of course, possible for the arrival airports.
On Kiwi.com, you are also more flexible with the dates. Yes, Skyscanner has the option to look at a whole month but it is not possible to choose two months or choose 15th July to 15th August for example.
Apart from this you can obviously choose a specific date or simply choose the option anytime.
The return date option is perfectly developed as well. You have the following options
- Specific date: if you know exactly when you want to go back
- Date range: when you just want to enter a certain range and it doesn’t matter how many days you stay in your destination
- Time of stay: depending on the best outward flight you can choose your time of stay for example 10-14 nights and they look for the best return flight available within that range. The maximum for that search is currently 31 nights.
I prefer to use the time of stay as it gave me the best options as I knew how long I wanted to stay. The only downside is that you cannot choose a longer time of stay.
Offers divided in recommended, cheapest and shortest
The results are now shown in different tabs called recommended (considering travel time, price and stopovers), cheapest and shortest. So you have the most convenient results for your purpose.
Kiwi.com also offers a lot of different filters:
- Stops: you can filter for direct flights, 1 stopover, 2 stopovers etc.
- Duration: max. duration of travel time
- Dates and times for take-off or/and landing (for departure and return): Skyscanner only does that for take-off
- Airlines: You can filter for certain airlines you want to travel with which is especially convenient if you collect miles
- Airports: You can also check off airports you don’t want to stop in, for example, if you do not want to travel through a certain country. This filter is very helpful if visa situations in certain countries are more difficult for your nationality.
- Include ground transfers: if you want to have the option or don’t want to change airports within a city (for example land in London Gatwick and continue in London Heathrow).
- Allow return from different airport
- Allow return to different airport
You will love this feature if you are a visual person. If you enter a departure airport and the dates to the engine, you have an interactive map on the right. You see the option all around the world including its best prices. So if you are completely flexible and just want to get away, you can get inspired where you are able to go according to your budget.
You can add checked bags after choosing the flight, so you are not obliged to book the amount of luggage dictated by the booking site. You can easily book a flight with hand luggage only or add more bags without the hassle of calling the airline or the booking site as it is sometimes the case with other operators.
Kiwi offers a 24/7 customer support. I cannot tell you anything about the quality of their customer support as I haven’t used it but I know that a lot of other third-party flight booking portals don’t offer 24/7.
Payment options are Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and American Express.
You cannot add your mile numbers during the booking process but you receive a 6-digit booking code and can enter the “your flight” section through the respective airlines with that and add you mileage number afterward. Other booking engines sometimes don’t give you that code. They have another number with which you can neither add your mileage number nor check in online. All this is usually possible when booking through Kiwi.
If you are still not convinced or want to find the absolute cheapest price available, you can still use Kiwi to find your flight. Use the features available including multiple departures and destinations. When you then find a flight convenient for you, you at least have an idea and can compare prices of this particular flight with other booking engines.
In my case, the flights I found on Kiwi were also cheaper on Kiwi.com than on other platforms.
Which booking engine do you use and why do you prefer this one?
I was not paid by Kiwi to publish this post. It is my honest opinion that it is currently the best flight search engine available. Please note that I registered with the affiliate program of Kiwi after booking my flight with them as I am very convinced of their offer. This means that I earn a little commission from your booking through this link at no extra cost for you. Thank you very much for keeping this site running.
If you liked the post, please share on Pinterest, simply by clicking the Pinterest logo when hovering the image. Thanks for sharing.