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Many experienced travelers have that list of places they must go. You know what that list is, sometimes its written down, often its not. When a work or school vacation is on the horizon you often start planning for one of those destinations. But how do you set a budget and know how much you should expect to pay?
Two tools to help me get an initial price range of a flight route are:
Lets say I live in Jakarta, Indonesia and I have always wanted to see the ancient city of Petra, Jordan. I am looking to fly from Jakarta to Amman, Jordan for Spring break; March 16-25, 2018.
Matrix is usually where I start if I want to get a good idea of the price ranges on a certain flight.
Matrix uses Google Flight technology in their search of airlines. I like that you can put in a list of airports, or airports nearby. You can also search for +/- a few days after your projected departure or return date to browse fares on different days.
Tip: Make sure if you are picking a city outside the USA to name your currency at the bottom of the search screen.
After Searching I get a good idea on price, stops, and duration. Duration is something I usually look at first. If it is a good deal but 35 hours to get there I need to adjust with the Duration button. For this flight route I would adjust to each way no more than 18 hours.
When adjusting I can see from matrix that Qatar Airways and Saudia Airways are the best options for getting me there efficiently and the price is probably going to be anywhere from $900-$1500 USD for a good fare.
Also if you did select a +/- days on your search be aware of the dates that are stated under each bolded time in the Matrix Search.
The Momondo interface is easy and straight-forward to use. One draw-back is that it does not include the +/- date search that Matrix and Kayak has. Nevertheless, I can enter my flight information from Jakarta to Amman.
Upon searching, one of the best features of Momondo is that it sorts flights for you based off of price/”cheapest”. duration/ “quickest”, and what it calls “best“. Best usually is its own calculation of duration for the price.
I usually like glancing at Quickest first to see what the travel haul is like. In this case just under 13 hours there and just under 14 hours back.
If you don’t have a preferred alliance I would check out and consider going with one of the top “Best” options or browsing by airline preference at this point.
Kayak, like Matrix allows you to do +/- days if you are more flexible with when you leave and return and are looking for a great deal. The thing I like best about Kayak, both with domestic and international fares is that they can combine one way or tickets for what they call “Hacker Fares”. This is also very helpful for muti-city itineraries.
Kayak also has an easy to use tool-bar on the left side that allows you to adjust what time of day to arrive or depart, sort by price, and has Airline Alliances that you can select. I found the Alliance button handy when I head American Airlines / One World Elite status for two and a half years.
So each of these are different and can be helpful to start your research on a certain area or flight route. Check them out and leave a comment if you have a favorite function or choice out of these three sites.