At first glance, the amount of thought and care that goes into Airfarewatchdog.com may not be obvious, especially when comparing the site to the other sites that list, rather than merely search for, low airfares. Like Airfarewatchdog, these fare listing sites do the fare searching for you, and when they identify what they believe is a low fare or a fare that has gone down from the previous level, they post them.
Most of these sites list more fares than we do. However, we believe in quality over quantity. Here are twelve ways that Airfarewatchdog is different (and, we think, better) than other fare alert or fare list sites. If you think of more, please contact us:
- We check seat availability for the fares we list. Many newly lowered fares have little or no seat availability. We try booking seats just as you, the consumer, would and if seats are scarce we say so, or if they're virtually non-existent, we don't list that fare. Other sites don't do this.
- We list Southwest Airlines fares as well as those of smaller airlines like Allegiant and other little guys. No other fare listing site lists Southwest's or Allegiant's fares. We're the only site that lists and compares fares on all of these airlines.
- We list airline web site-only fares. Increasingly, airlines are reserving their very best fares only for their own Web sites, and these do not appear in computer-generated third-party fare databases. We hunt down these fares and list them. No one else does this.
- We list promo code fares. Increasingly, airlines sell their cheapest fares to those who know the promo code. So we calculate fares with the promo code figured in and tell your what the promo codes are so you can get the best deals.
- We specify when a flight is nonstop, because given a choice, that's what most consumers want. A $129 one-way nonstop from Newark to Los Angeles may seem higher than a $211 RT with a connection in Detroit, but we list both because some people value convenience over a slightly lower fare.
- We include all weekend fares. In general, other fare listing sites do not. Some weekend fares are not listed on the airlines' sites and in their newsletters.
- We shop for value, not just the lowest fare. Let's say a New York/London fare is $400 RT on Friday for travel Monday to Thursday, November-March only and on Saturday it's $400 RT for travel in July and August seven days a week (which actually happened not too long ago). We alert users to this very important distinction; other fare alert services do not.
- We provide deep links to fare calendars to every domestic fare that can be purchased on Hotwire.com, Southwest.com, or Cheapair.com, and to Orbitz.com for most international fares. These links, which no other fare listing service provides, bring you directly to the flexible date fare booking calendar for the specific fare so that you find seats more easily.
- We show fares from every conceivable airport that's a reasonable drive from the original search airport. For example, you'll find that New York's JFK is linked to fares from LaGuardia, Newark, and White Plains.
- We only list fares that we think are reasonable. If a fare on a particular route is in our opinion abnormally high, even if it's gone down $10 or $20 from the previous day, we won't list it if we believe it's still too much to pay. Other sites list all fares without regard to price.
- Better organization. We list domestic, international, domestic weekend, domestic international, and Canadian fares separately, under easy to use headings.
The fares we list on this site:
- Have suddenly gone down (overnight or during the day)
- Are lower than their historical average
- Are usually offered by just one or two airlines serving the route
- Are in our opinion a good deal when taking into account the route, fare restrictions, time of year, or other factors
- Have at least a few seats available at the sale price
(we check "by hand").
- Are often unadvertised and short-lived