Jul222014

Finding low airfare routes with Skyscanner

Reader comments about finding low airfare routes with Skyscanner website were posted on my piece about using Google Flights. Skyscanner has some good attributes I like better than Google Flights for finding low cost routes. I am still figuring out Skyscanner capabilities. One of the best features are the search results for flights out of an airport show the low cost routes sorted in a list by country.

In my Google Flights post I showed how I located flights for under $100 from Oslo, Norway airports to 13 other countries. This was a manual hunt for low fares by shifting Google Flights map around Europe looking for low cost routes.

Skyscanner.com returns the same search results for a low-cost flight out of Oslo, Norway on Thursday, September 4 already sorted by country. This can be a big timesaver for trip planning compared to Google flights.

 

Skyscanner OSL-3

Skyscanner OSL-2

Skyscanner quickly showed 18 different countries where I can fly out of an Oslo, Norway airport to another country in Europe for under $100 one way on Thursday, September 4, 2014.

Another feature I like about Skyscanner is the list shows the airlines for the low fares. Click on a country and the price for different airports in the country appear.

Skyscanner-OSL-Germany

Skyscanner orders airline routes Oslo to Germany by price for different airports on Thursday, September 4 and shows the airline for the route.

Skyscanner OSL-CGN

Skyscanner shows different airlines and routing and price for a specific route.

One of the advantages of Skyscanner for me is the ease in constructing multiple destination routes for Europe. Finding other destinations using Skyscanner from Oslo or Stockholm or Copenhagen helps strengthen the desire for me to fly Norwegian Airlines out of Oakland on 787s with lower cost routes from the USA to Europe than the major carriers. Skyscanner allows the user to quickly locate other cities for cheap flights within Europe to add on to a low cost USA to Scandinavia ticket on Norwegian Airlines.

Skyscanner OAK

Skyscanner shows flights out of Oakland for a two week trip Sep 9-Sep 23 are as low as $765 to Sweden.

Skyscanner OAK-ARN-2

Click on Sweden and I see two destinations with Gothenburg or Stockholm for under $800.

Skyscanner OAK-ARN-766

Norwegian Airlines flight times for nonstop OAK-ARN are good times with 2:30pm arrival perfect for getting from the airport to a hotel for check-in time and the departure time for the flight back to the USA is also convenient for a noon hotel checkout and flight home from Stockholm. Or with a 4:30 pm departure, one could risk flying into Stockholm on the day of departure from another European city and pray for no flight delays.

London as the desired destination instead of Stockholm

Another quick Skyscanner search shows me destinations I can fly to in Europe the day after arrival in Stockholm, allowing for one night in a hotel to rest from jet lag.

Skyscanner ARN roundtrip

Skyscanner roundtrip flight results from Stockholm, Sweden Sep 11- Sep 22.

Assume I am flying the Oakland-Stockholm, Sweden Norwegian Airlines Sep 9-23 flight itinerary on the $766 ticket. Assume I want my primary destination to be somewhere else in Europe besides Stockholm, Sweden. I can follow up with Skyscanner searches for low cost flights out of Stockholm. Take a day or two to relax in Stockholm before flying off to another location. With arrival in Stockholm on September 10, a safe routing is flying out of Stockholm on September 11 and returning to Stockholm September 22 the day before the flight back to Oakland, California.

United Kingdom roundtrip flight is as low as $158 from Stockholm ARN airport.

Skyscanner ARN-LGW

Stockholm, Sweden ARN – London Gatwick LGW $158 roundtrip.

Skyscanner ARN-LGW 163

ARN-LGW prices at $163 roundtrip.

Total ticket price Oakland-London is $766 + $163 = $929 + additional airport transportation costs.

This itinerary allows the traveler to visit Stockholm and go to London for less than the direct flight from San Francisco Bay Area to London. This is not a great example for finding a significant savings in airfare from San Francisco area to London. This is just one example of using Skyscanner to find flights quickly to other destinations in Europe. Tickets from the USA to London on these dates are $100 to $200 more to fly SFO-London on OneWorld carriers like British Airways and American Airlines. Other places like Italy, Czech Republic or Greece might be hundreds of dollars less using this strategy of two tickets from OAK-Scandinavia and then a low cost flight from Scandinavia to another country in Europe.

Skyscanner SFO-LON

Iberia ticket for American Airlines and British Airways flights SFO-LHR are $150 more for the same dates as flying Norwegian Airlines to Stockholm and buying a second Norwegian Airlines ticket for Stockholm-London. Flying Norwegian would only be a real deal if you want to spend some time in Stockholm on a London trip.

Google Flights SFO-LON

Google Flights shows nonstop SFO-LHR on United Sep 9-23 for $1,125.

There are some advantages to Skyscanner compared to Google Flights, yet there are aspects of Google Flights I like better, like a bar graph calendar of airfare for several weeks on a specific route.

Google Flights OSL-4

Google Flights shows bar graph to quickly find low airfare dates as show in this example for one-way flight from Oslo, Norway to Krakow, Poland.

I will be writing more posts this week on finding low airfare routes with Skyscanner.com as I explore low cost flight options and build my two-week September trip itinerary for flights from Oslo, Norway to other locations in Norway and possibly flights to another country in Europe.

My initial impression is Skyscanner is a great airfare search site for Europe. I have not yet explored the site for searches to other regions. Using Google Flights and Skyscanner together allows a user to quickly locate low cost routes and airline carriers better than relying on either website by itself.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

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About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. Glad you like it, I find it a great site. If you just pick a month rather than a date then they should show your a bar chart too, that was one of the earliest features they had, years before Google Flights even existed!)(over here at least).

    PS on mobile I’m still having issues with data entry on mobile on this website – the search box keeps overlying the text!

  2. @Alan – Thanks for the tip on finding the bar chart. I saw the bar chart on Skyscanner during one of my first searches, then it never came up again.

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