Chart: How airfare alert sites compare

April 23, 2010
Fares from Washington DC:

    The best way to snag a low airfare is to sign up for free fare alerts. Many sites offer this service. Here are how some of the top sites compare. What's your fave airfare alert site? (And no, you don't have to say it's Airfarewatchdog.com). Leave a comment below!

    Website All routes? Limit on number of routes? Specific dates? Alternate airports?

    Nonstop flights option?

    Alerts include promo code fares? Allows subscriber to specify airlines?

    Airfarewatchdog

    How it works: You have three options: sign up for all low fares from airports of your choosing, including from nearby airports; all fares to a specific airport (e.g., all low fares from all US airports to Paris), or specific routes (LAX to NYC).

    No, but includes Southwest and Allegiant
    25 speciific routes, 5 "all fares from my airport" No (requires some travel date flexibility to get lowest fares)
    Automatically included No Yes No

    Bing.com/travel

    How it works: Search for fare on a particular route and date, then click on "Track Fares" link for the same route/dates; or register/sign in and click on "Your travel account" to add new alerts.

    Not quite all routes, and none on Southwest or Allegiant
    No Only specific dates or weekend trips supported Not automatically included No No No

    Farecompare.com

    How it works: Choose a route, class, airlines, minimum price change to trigger alert, flexible or specific dates

    Except those served by Southwest and Allegiant No Specific or flexible dates supported No Yes No Yes

    Kayak.com

    How it works: Register and add fare alerts individually; or search for a fare on a specific route and date, then click on "Get a fare alert"; choose exact dates or other dates by month; weekly or daily; sent 10-14 times before expiring. Some data may be 24-48 hours old. Or choose to see 25 best fares to cities in regions of your choice (Europe, Mexico, etc) under a price you specify.

    Except those served by Southwest and Allegiant No Specific or flexible dates supported
    No Yes No No

    Orbitz.com

    How it works: after registering, click on the above link and add alerts; choose specific dates or weekend trips only; you must set minimum target price (presumably you know what a "good" fare on the route is).

    Except those served by Southwest and Allegiant No Only specific dates or limited flexibility (+/- 1 to 3 days) supported Option to include airports within 80 miles Yes No Yes

    Travelocity.com

    How it works: Click on above link, add route, choose to be alerted if fare goes down by at least $25 or below a price you choose.

    Except those served by Southwest and Allegiant Up to 10 No (requires some travel date flexibility to get lowest fares) No No No No

    Tripadvisor.com/flights

    How it works: sign up under "Cheap airfare alerts" in left margin, or search for fare on any route, choose specific dates or flexible, and a pop up box offers to track prices for you.

    Except those served by Southwest and Allegiant Up to 10 Specific or flexible dates No No No No

    Yapta.com

    How it works: Choose route and specific dates, travel times and preferred airlines, find flights,  then click on "Track price drops" link. Under "Settings," choose $5, $10, $25 or $50 minimum price drop. After you buy, sign up to track any fare drops, but only on some airlines and routes.

    Except those served by Southwest and Allegiant No Only specific dates supported, down to specific departure times
    No Yes No Yes
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