How to Find Cheap Flights Online and Book Air Tickets for $2

The airplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth.“ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Let’s all admit it.

There’s something tiresome yet magical about the process of finding cheap flights online. It’s an obsessive habit of many travelers around the globe who get an instant gratifying sense of possibilities.

However, the mechanism of online flights booking is as complex as it is chaotically confusing that you will often find yourself seated next to someone who paid half or double your plane ticket.  I like this system though, it punishes the lazy and rewards you, the determined and curious.

What I’m about to show you are a few ‘dirty secrets’ that had helped me more than once to find cheap flights online. How cheap you’re asking? Yesterday I found a one-way ticket from Sweden to Poland for a whopping $2. I once found a one-way ticket from India to the United States for $69. And boy, I love one-ways.

Those who will leave this article harnessed with this new knowledge will get their ten minutes of reading time back in possibly tens or hundreds of thousands of future saved dollars. The return on investment will be huge – as long as you apply those techniques.

How to Find Cheap Flight Tickets Online?

Captured this on my first flight abroad – Tel Aviv to New York, 2009.

How to Find Cheap Flights Online

Let’s dive right in.

“Why should I even bother? the travel agent guarantees the lowest price!”

This is a very confusing concept in the flight-booking industry that most people are not even aware of. Travel agents don’t actually guarantee the lowest price possible – but the lowest price advertised. It’s very easy to confuse the two – what they actually guarantee is the lowest price the airlines allows them to advertise.

What’s really happening here?

The airlines can’t supervise the prices their tickets are sold for by the agencies, so what they do is supervise the prices those agencies are allowed to advertise. Those agencies can and will lower the price even less than the lowest-advertised price.

If the travel agent insists that this price is the lowest on the market, he probably means that this is the lowest price on the market offered by this specific airline. Most times you can ‘stitch’ together a few separate tickets that will get you to your destination for a much cheaper overall price than your agent’s quote.

Travel agents will RARELY be able to give you cheaper flight tickets than the tools I’m about to introduce in a few minutes, but once in a while you will encounter a black swan. In other words, it’s not totally futile to check agencies as not-so-often you’ll find the cheapest ticket through some travel agent. But that’s uncommon.

Where and How to Book The Cheapest Flights Online

ITA Matrix (

This tool was bought by the Google monster in 2010 and is the king of savvy frequent flyers. It is so powerful and efficient that I always find myself surprised that most of the world isn’t even aware it exists.

You can’t actually book the tickets through the tool but that’s a good thing – you can be sure you don’t pay any extra commission fees like in most other flight search engines. You’ll have to visit the airlines’ websites and manually book the flights you found through ITA Matrix. This only adds 30 seconds to the process.

Here’s a screenshot from the tool:

ITA Matrix by Google - Best Tool to Find Cheap Flights

I spent a lot of time over the years playing with different flight engines – and ITA Matrix stands out as the most powerful. I later found out that many of those search engines actually use the ITA software as their core engine. You can still check other sites like Kayak, SkyScanner, Momondo, Orbitz etc just to compare prices before you order – but in most cases you won’t need anything other than the Matrix.

Skyscanner (

In the past year and a half – I actually used SkyScanner more than any other tool in existence. The reason? as someone who makes his money online and has plenty of freedom and flexibility – I have the luxury of traveling whenever and wherever I want. That brings the ‘Everywhere’ and ‘Whole month/year” features of SkyScanner VERY handy.

For example, I know Europe tends to be beautiful in December (Christmas markets and stuff) and might even want to catch the ‘Northern Lights’ in Scandinavia if I find a good ticket. Ran an ‘Everywhere’ search for ‘Whole December 2013′ to quickly get a rough estimate of my options:

Finding Cheap Flights in Skyscanner

The results:

Skyscanner Cheap Flights Results


That brings a great opportunity to visit Budapest and feel their famous traditional Christmas market. Running the same search from ‘Budapest’ to ‘Everywhere’ – I found another ticket for $20 to Sweden (The ‘Northern Lights’ are supposed to break an intensity-10 years-record this December) and a few more – including a $13 flight to Istanbul. As you see – if you have the flexibility – your options are near limitless.

Basic Rules of Thumb to Follow: How to Get Cheap Flights?

1. Flexible Search

Flexibility breeds options. Whenever it’s practical – put to use the option to search a whole time period instead of the exact day. (Like +-3/5/7 days or even whole-month/year like in Skyscanner). This will dramatically decrease your costs most of the time.

Many times this will allow you to find crazy deals and ‘black-swans’ out of nowhere. That ‘Whole year’ feature in Skyscanner? that’s how I found that $69 one-way ticket from India to the United States, a ticket that usually costs around $400.

When you travel with no set plans – the world really does become your oyster and you can just ‘jump on the adventure’ when you find one.

In my experience, a few days OR a few months in advance will yield the best results. When some seats are left a few days before the flight, many times the airline will offer the ticket for much less than the original price. Any money is better than an empty seat.

2. ‘Stitching’

If I get a direct one-way flight from Tel Aviv to Baku (Azerbaijan) – I’ll have to pay $225. If I get a flight to Budapest (~$50) and from there another one to Baku –  I’ll pay a total of $100 (55% less) and also get to see a little bit of wonderful Budapest! This is what I called ‘stitching’. You stitch a few tickets together to make it cheaper and see a few more beautiful places.

I’m using this technique all the time. It leaves a helluva more Israeli Shekels in my bank.

My good childhood friend Naama came to me last year asking for help to find a cheaper ticket to Durban (South Africa) than that $1380 one the agency offered her. We managed to stitch a few tickets through Europe and lower the overall price by close to $500. Knowledge is money, my friends.

Try to use big main airports as ‘stitching points’. Bangkok in the East, JFK in America, London or Frankfurt in Europe etc. This method works in international flights as well as local ones. Use it wisely and try to find out what main-traffic airports in the country there are and use them as stitching-points.

If you don’t have a clue – use Skyscanner or Kayak to find out what ‘connection-stop’ the airline itself uses for the specific route you’re after and use it as a stitching-point while booking independently.

When I get to the country of my final destination, I’ll often fly through a cheaper-local airline to my desired location within that country. If you fly to Bangkok in Asia, you’ll find crazy-cheap flight tickets through AirAsia to almost any place around. If you fly anywhere in Europe, you can do the same thing through WizzAir or RyanAir. Going to the U.S? try Spirit or Southwest airlines.

Sometimes they offer promotional tickets in advance just for the cost of airport taxes and gas.

And last thing for the stitching technique – don’t underestimate small airports. Gems do show up from time to time and many times you can find small airports with lower taxes and cheaper prices. Luton is a great example – it is not the big main airport in London but I use it a lot as a stitching point in Europe.

a cheap flight i found in the philippines

a very cheap domestic flight I found through ZestAir on a remote airport in the Philippines.

3. Round-trip/One-way Comparison 

Don’t ask me why it happens, but I swear it happens. Sometimes a round-trip to and from the same destination will cost LESS than a one-way. It’s common and I have no idea why it happens.

I personally love love love one-way tickets for the freedom they give, but sometimes booking a round-trip can save you money even if you don’t use the return fare. Try to see if getting a return will lower the overall cost. Check the mid-week days the next week for a return (tuesday to thursday), those seem to be the cheapest.

You might even end up using your charisma later to persuade the airline representatives to change your return date and actually use the return fare when you need it, or even change the return departure location with a small cost. Might worth trying.

4. Relax

Don’t sweat the whole process too hard – finding super cheap flights shouldn’t take too long. Time IS money – and if the time you spent is more valuable than the money you saved.. slap yourself for bad resources management. I usually spend less than an hour even for big inter-continental trips. That’s usually the sweet spot and spending a lot more time will save only a little more money.


Bonus Resources:

Wikipedia list of low-cost airlines (great for insanely cheap flights tickets locally).

Kayak Explore (lets you quickly see a big map with all your options by cost).

P.S – I didn’t touch the concept of frequent flyer miles for the simple reason that I’m from Israel and can’t really make an effective use of it. If you’re an American – I know there are some amazing techniques to fly for practically free if you make use of credit cards and other Frequent Flyer Miles opportunities. You can probably learn a lot more about it in FlyerTalk forums.

That’s it!

For any comment or insight, use the comment box below. Share the guide with your fellow traveling friends, fasten your seat belt and have a wonderful flight.


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  1. lee

    Cousin, you surprise me everytime! Great article.

  2. Thelma

    Muy interesante :)

  3. Riya Travels

    Interesting blog on how to find cheap flight tickets online.

    Thanks for Sharing!

  4. helen Chou

    Hi Regev, thanks for this article. Very helpful. I’ve been doing the stitching technique on my trips and I definitely love it – saves a lot of money. I find the matrix thing very helpful and I’ll be using it going forward on my next trips. Thank you thank you from Philippines! :)

    • Blessa

      im also from the philippines. i manage to find the cheapest flights online here inside asia through his ‘stitching’ method

    • Regev Elya

      Awesome Helen, very glad to hear.

  5. Mark Lukes

    Probably, this technique will get through my trips everywhere. Saving for a ticket is the best way to get other stuffs.I love it! looking forward with your tips!

  6. WOW! That was the BEST travel article for flights that I’ve ever found! :)

    • Regev Elya

      Thanks Josh, I aim to please =)

  7. Benteke

    until now I cannot find cheap airline tickets, how travel agents get the best price? now it sounds so easy after reading this! thank you found some crazy cheap flights thank to you, still trying to book flights for $2 though :)

  8. Randy Meyer

    I found your website excellent and to the point. How about an article on traveling with currency. My biggest fear traveling aboard is ensuring I have enough currency to enjoy the trip with but also minimizing the risk of being robbed. My own experience is that the majority of the world’s prime traveling spots unless you count major cities world doesn’t exactly have ATMs on every corner and credit card acceptance. How do you do it?

    • Regev Elya

      Great question, dedicated post coming.

      • sue

        im not sure i understand how to do this i guess i am a real newbie i want to go from Canada to Tunisia may 4th or 5th need the cheapest flight possible as my son will be joining me any help will be greatly appreciated thanks in advance

  9. Maureen

    Great article! I’VE taken the blessing of my Mom’s expertise as a travel agent for granted. I assumed everyone was aware of the travel savings out there. May I add a little note to travel savings? While staying g at a hotel don’t be discouraged should your room not be what you booked. Most respected Hotels will offer a upgrade or put you in another accommodation Ask smile and have fun.
    With warm regards, in Loving Memory of Jean McLaughlin/Ceniceros. All flags travel.
    Her Daughter

  10. Nancy Fall

    Great article – I never thought of this method, I use to go straight to ticket websites, but now thanks to you I can find them cheaper. Thanks again!

  11. Monika

    I could not agree more – the more options to compare prices, airlines, routes and search engines you have the better chances of getting a great deal out there!

  12. Shruti

    Hi Regev,

    I know this may be really absurd and you can totally ignore it if you chose to. Im trying to book my tickets to Mumbai from sfo from 10th dec- 2nd jan and the cheapest tickets Im getting are 2174. I cant be flexible about my dates as I have very limited PTOs and have to attend my best friend’s wedding on 12th. The travel agent I spoke to says these are the cheapest tickets and that I should take them but I dont know if that should be trusted. What would you advise me to do?

    • Regev Elya

      nothing is too absurd to ask Shruti,

      This price is insane. You’re talking about US dollars right? anyway, if you aren’t flexible – there’s little you can do besides looking for a flight using my ‘stitching method’. Try to look for something like SFO–> London and another ticket form London to mumbai or something like that. Try it with a few different popular cities and you should be able to find something.

      • Shruti

        Wow I never thought I would get a reply!

        I’ve tried everything you spoke about in your post an spoken to like 10 agents, but nothing cheaper than that! I guess I will be spending that crazy amount after all! The trip better be worth it now.

        Thanks again,

    • Hey Shruti,

      try . I can assure you will find the best price and the agents there will beat any online price

  13. Rob

    Great article! We’ve actually tried out the Skyscanner app, and done quite a bit of research on it ourselves, and posted some of our findings (bugs, ideas etc) onto our app wall over at, which I thought you might find interesting :)

  14. You can try . This site connects you to the travel agents. These agents will most of the times beat any online price that you find plus you enjoy the benefits of booking through a travel agent. Multiple agents will compete for your business which ensures that you will get a best price

  15. My recommendation to get lowest airfare:
    1. Start with Cheap Air (use promo code to save)
    2. Search Jet Blue and Southwest Vacations (Southwest gives a significant discount on airfare when booked with hotel).
    3. Check the old-schoolers: Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia,
    4. For good measure (and to be sure) check, CheapOair, Hotwire, Priceline, Mobissimo, and Trabber.
    5. If you need to book a hotel with your flight, definitely check Southwest Vacations. They offer some of the best combo deals when purchased with Southwest airline tickets and they’re not available on the other sites.

  16. Laura

    Thanks so much for this article! I’m struggling to find an affordable price to go home for Christmas (Montreal to Barcelona) and this is exactly the info I was looking for : )

  17. terry

    Thanks so much for the tips. I just wanna ask, do you find that this works in the way United States? I’m trying to book a flight and its 500+ just to fly 4 states over plus luggage and pet fee which is like another 300. I could fly overseas for that price. Again Thanks so much. Have a great weekend.

  18. I like what you mentioned about the ‘punishing the lazy and rewards you’ as it is realistic, huh. If one is determine to get the cheapest flight, no one can break out from it. In my case, Im not lazy but Im just desperately on a budget.

  19. When you purchase your flights depends on your dates of travel. For example, if you are traveling during the busy July 4th holiday week, then you should buy now or as soon as you can. Otherwise, summer is a popular time to travel so prices will be higher than normal. With that said, it would be a good decision to purchase your flights at minimum 55 days out from your departure, but I suspect you’ll want to purchase more than 55 days out.

  20. maha

    Goof I didn’t try for cheàp flying just believe me it is too good.I will try this.I am so happy to know this.

  21. yibson

    this guy is a guru,you are the best of the best,your article is like one in town boss.thanks to you,but if one want to use online agent to book his ticket to any part of the world, how can one find those online agents that can do that that for us.
    Please i need a clue on how to get an online booking confirmation as mostly i used credits cards for my bookings,Thanks a lot.
    If you actually know some pls dont hestitate to throw them on me thanks..

  22. Holisoa Ratovomahefa

    Hi Regev, I read your blog in 2013 about finding the cheapest airfare by stitching flight. I am from Madagascar and will need to go to the US, and get no clue about how to process stitching the flights. Can you show me please, the cheapest I found through search engines is 1745usd. Looking forward to hearing from you. Regards.

  23. Stitching is awesome, only when delays occur you’re $cr3w3d. While I suggest it for 2 flights, defo not a good suggestion for more flights.

    Dave from Malta

  24. Gloria Mestidio

    I would like to purchase a cheap flight from Florida U.S.A to Bangkok International Airport. The flight is one way that is on December 28,2014. How much it will cost?

  25. Angelou

    Great article!! I’m 6’1 and 250 pounds I love flying cheap but can’t handle being uncomfortable. Do you have any suggestions for flying business class for cheap, my main concern is comfort not perks. One idea I had on a trip I’m planning to South Korea is to buy all 3 coach seats for 2400.00 versus 3600 for business class. If I bought two seats I would be paying for extra comfort for the third person in my row and wouldn’t be able to stretch out all the way. A row with two seats would be perfect. Any suggestions would help, I love your article.

  26. Carl

    What is the cheap cheap cheapest way travel for my girl friend and I from Seattle to St Louis round trip on a airplane

    • louise tan

      log on to flight hub website

  27. Andrea Lelo

    Good afternoon. I was wondering if you could help me find a good way to travel from Mexico to London from September 09 – 21 2015 by stiching some tickets together (I can be very slightly felxible -since I am glued to a desk-, but I need the 14th and 16th to be inlcuded in the dates and to have two saturdays in the period).I don’t expect you to help me for free, thus we could agree on a set fee or a perctange of what I am saving. ¿What do you say?

    Thanks in advacnce for taking the time to read my message,



  28. josh allan

    my advice

    showing real price and airway main web page.
    there is national travel platform

  29. Sean

    I am glad you covered stitching in here. I recently had some troubles with airlines, and had to book a last minute ticket after missing a flight. I was trying to keep the cost down, and I ended up intuitively stitching some tickets together. It does take a bit of time, but I think I will take the time every time I fly now to find the cheapest option this way

  30. Dwight

    Looking at airfare to Israel from Kansas City, it looks like it is cheaper if I were departing Tel-Aviv and flying to the U.S. then returning to Israel. Why is that? Do they assume Americans have more income and can afford higher ticket prices?
    I’m bringing my wife and college age daughters while I write some travel articles.
    I read your blog about cheap airfare but it didn’t seem to provide any cheaper flights for me.
    I’m not sure if I understand how to ‘stitch’ together flights from the U.S. to Israel and then home or if it is worth the hassle.
    Any suggestions appreciated.
    BTW, I came across your blog while looking for calorie intake for weight gain.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your writing.

  31. Jack

    Hey, very interesting article and great to know your from israel, I’m currently in israel and never want to leave but have to at some point.
    I am currently looking for the cheapest air ticket I can find, flexible with the dates but need to leave Israel (tel aviv) to Sweden (gothenburg) in the next week or so.
    I was already supposed to be back but due to some lost luggage with egged I missed my return flight and so was very happy to extend my stay but obviously that means money spent to stay. Finance is limited and so need a cheap ticket so I can determine how many more days/weeks I can squeeze out of my financial situation, kindly assist with more information on how I can use your strategy to get a cheap ticket allowing me to make the most out of my time here in your amazing country.

  32. Khaleel

    I need to go Los Angeles from chennai airport

  33. Gwalusajo Joshua Kapande


    i am looking for very cheap ticket round way route i.e. From Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Dar Es salaam (mwl. Nyerere Interantional Airport) and back to Amsterdam Schiphol airport on different dates! The Travel date to Dar es salaam should be 3 or 6/July/2015 evening/night i dont leave on weekend because of the higher costs. The return date from Dar es salaam to Amsterdam should be 17 or 18/ or 14/August 2015. Please Contact me and help me to find the Cheap flight for my Route!! In Short we are two persons travelling the same route the same day.

    Thanks i look forward hearing from you soon so we can make the deal.

  34. aleks

    ca u help em to get a cheep airfair to thaliland from germany or around the world

  35. Roman

    I’m looking for kayak cheap flights is sky scanner better?

  36. Joseph C

    Are there ways to buy cheap flight tickets by buying them last minute? Certainly airlines must want to sell their seats till the very last one, wouldn’t there be a way to get hold of last minute seats such as these at rock bottom prices?

  37. Nuno Grancho


    I was using for a flight Lisbon – Chicago and return and the price was 434USD. Is this possible?

    When I tried the price for the same flight was almos twice.

    Is this possible? Is skiplagged reliable?

    Thank you very much.

  38. Tripmatcher

    Useful advice for travel enthusiasts!

  39. Eddy

    Best way to fly cheap is (and always has been) to marry a pilot. C’mon ladies! Just hop on one and enjoy the ride.

  40. Richie

    Hello! I like your blog. I’ve tried to find cheaper tickets after reading this, but just couldn’t. I’m trying to fly from either Atlanta, Miami, or New York(whichever is cheapest) to Spain(preferably Madrid) in May or June, but want to come back by July, but stay there for about 6 weeks. I prefer nonstop, direct flights. Can you please help me? Thanks!

  41. Muhammad Abdullah

    I like it.
    Let me know how to stitch?

  42. Julia

    Dear Regev Elya!

    I’m Julia, I’m currently studying in Germany.. and because my second semester is going to be in Argentina I was searching for cheap tickets and came across your amazing advises.. I’ve tried to implement all of your tips and tricks.. but it’s either me.. or.. maybe something I’m doing wrong.. I’ve already spend 2 sleepless nights trying to figure out my way.. but didn’t really succeed.. I beg you please.. could you check my rout? Maybe there are no cheaper tickets.. so I’ll have to book what ever is available until it gets even more expensive..
    My rout is: Germany (or maybe any other country in Europe I can get) to Buenos Airs.. max date 10th of August.. return ticket maximum 5th of January.. I need to be in Cologne airport on 6th of January before 16:00..
    If you have some time.. and will..

    Hoping to hear from you soon

    Best regards, Julia

  43. Great article ! I have also recently discovered the ITA Matrix and I use it a lot ! Google also introduced the website which is also very useful if you do not really know where to go but you have a budget in mind…

    What is also really useful is the fact that you can see detailed prices displayed on the entire month on Skyscanner.



  44. Chris

    Dear Ticket Agent,
    I am writing to request a plane ticket for a friend from Lagos Nigeria to Nairobi..Request departure on July 5th with return on July 12, 2015. Will appreciate if you can arrange the least expensive ticket. Will confirm with credit card as soon as you have sent particulars of confirmation of flight. I will greatly appreciate your attention to this request as soon as possible thank you ..


  45. Prashant

    I have travelled thrice to European countries from India but not even found single time the way u declared flight rates..
    Pl find me from India

  46. Sesilia

    Hi my name is Sesilia and I really need your help, trying to get the cheapest roundtrip ticket from Seattle Washington to Pago Pago American Samoa.Leaving Seattle on july 17 and return on Aug 3rd for my mother Funeral.

  47. Mal

    Please help me to buy tickets I found on Matrix.
    This is the code:
    LAX CX X/HKG CX CMB Q5.80 300.00NXSPCL CX X/HKG CX LAX Q5.80 300.00NXSPCL NUC 611.60 END ROE 1.00 XT 5.50YC 7.00XY 5.00XA 35.40US 5.60AY 25.00LK 116.40YR 4.50XF LAX4.50

  48. Lindsay

    Hi there. I am trying to use the methods that you talked about in your article and not quite sure that I am doing so correctly. Or, if I am, it all seems a bit confusing. :P Is there any way that you might be able to help me figure out if there is a flight from Charlotte to/from Fort Lauderdale International (FLL) for any of these dates: 10/5, 10/12, 10/18, 10/19, 10/24, 10/31. It would be a four day trip. I’m having trouble trying to figure it out, especially on the skyscanner site. If you could help at all it would be so greatly appreciated!! Thank you!

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