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LIST: PRICE-COMPARISON WEB SITES

When I first started this list "price comparison" sites - aka 'travel search engines', or 'meta search engines' - were a bit unusual. Now there are loads, so I list the ones that interest me. Mostly they specialise in air fares, but some also cover holiday/travel prices. They are not travel agencies. Instead they direct you to the airline or operator to make your booking.
CheapFlights starCheapflights is the grandad on this list. When it first started (1996) it just dealt in low fares from a small list of airline discount shops, but now it has grown into one of the most popular travel sites in the UK, with a comprehensive range of flights and holiday packages from over 300 airlines & travel agents. Where they stand out is their use of social media. They engage with customers in a natural way through their blog, G+, Facebook, Twitter, etc, and try to inspire travel ideas through their 'Inspire Me' page and their handy 'Travel Tips' page.
dohop.com Icelandic travel search engine launched in April 05 that simultaneously checks flights and fares across 80 low-cost and 570 traditional scheduled airlines.
GoEuro Travel What makes GoEuro different is that it is a "multi-mode" travel search engine that compares and combines plane, train, bus and car rental options in Europe. You can search for the best combinations to and from any town or village, based on price, time and convenience.
Kayak.co.uk Kayak first appeared in 2005 as one of the first fare-checking sites in the USA and quickly expanded into a full travel search engine, covering hotels, cars, short breaks, etc, as well as air fares.
momondo Award winning Danish travel search site, launched in 2006. Compares prices on flights, hotels and travel deals.
Openjet.com Cool-looking meta search engine/online agency, making fare comparisons on a selection of low-cost and mainstream airlines.
Sailogy.com Searches 12,000 boats in over 1,000 destinations from over 500 boat charter companies around the world, offering detailed descriptions & photos, real-time updated prices, direct contact with the boat owner and online booking.
Skyscanner Pound sign Small Edinburgh-based website launched in 2001 and now covering over 5000 flights on 180 airlines. It shows you what the fares were on a particular route when it last auto-searched (IE when the last visitor asked a few hours/days ago) and then gets updated prices for the flights you pick (thus updating the database). Bookings are made on the airline site.
Teletext The old workhorse of electronic distribution (remember those dreadful block graphics on your telly?) has a stylish site with plenty of bargain holidays, flights, cruises, ski holidays and ferrys crossings from selected travel companies. Teletext says it is "the only travel comparison site that checks and vets all of its suppliers".
Travante.com Hotel and flight site launched in 2013 searching over 200,000 hotels and airlines across the globe. iOS & Android apps launching soon.
TravelJungle.co.uk Founded in 2001, Traveljungle searches & compares air fares, hotel room rates and car hire rates on multiple suppliers such as airlines, online travel agencies, hotel chains or big car rental brokers.
Travelmatch.co.uk Travelmatch will do price comparison but it's not so much a price comparison site as a 'type of holiday' search site, designed so the user doesn't have to specify a destination first.
Travel supermarket.com Launched in the summer 03 by the company behind Moneysupermarket.com, on which it is modelled. Travelsupermarket is not really a supermarket at all, its an index to other shops. They automatically 'spider' or 'scrape' fare databases and travel company websites to come up with a comparison report of best prices. You make a selection and you are handed over to that company to make the booking. Travelsupermarket pocket the introduction fee.
Trivago Comparing prices on over 630,000 hotels worldwide
Ufly4Less.com Budget airline fare-checker that started out not as a website, but as a piece of software that you bought and ran from your own PC.
Voli low cost Flight and hotel comparison engine, searching over six hundred worldwide airlines, low cost carriers, railways, coaches, ferries and online travel agencies. Designed for the Italian & UK market.
Vuelos Baratos Spanish fare comparison site with an English language page.
Wegolo.com European low-fares checker site. Launched in 2004 and now checks fares from 40 low-cost airlines in the EU.

 

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