Want to find cheap flights without having to spend hours searching online? Skyscanner is a flight search engine based in Edinburgh, Scotland that searches thousands of online travel agencies and booking sites for the cheapest flights, hotels, and car rentals.
But is Skyscanner legit, and can you trust it to help you compare flights? Join us for an honest breakdown of what Skyscanner is, how it works, and how it stacks up against similar options.
Show Table of Contents
- Our Skyscanner Review Approach
- How Does Skyscanner Work
- How to Use Skyscanner to Find Flight Deals
- How to Find the Cheapest Month to Fly
- Find Great Deals on Hotels and Car Rentals
- Is Skyscanner Reliable?
- Pros and Cons
- Ease-of-Use: 5
- Features: 4
- Customer Service: 4
- Value for Money: 5
- Skyscanner vs Other Travel Booking Websites
- Skyscanner vs Kayak
- Skyscanner vs Expedia
- Skyscanner vs Momondo
- Skyscanner vs Going
- The Final Verdict: Is Skyscanner Legit?
- How does Skyscanner make money?
- Are the prices on Skyscanner accurate?
- Is Skyscanner legit and safe to book flights?
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
- Value for Money
Our Skyscanner Review Approach
Our goal is to give you all the necessary information to decide if Skyscanner is right for you. Along the way, we’ll provide ratings based on personal experience and other user feedback.
Each writer at ViaTravelers is a true traveler – we’ve been to 100 countries and every state. Traveling that much can get expensive, so we’ve used our fair share of online booking platforms for the best deal.
We’re big fans of Going.com, but Skyscanner is another industry giant and one of the most popular flight search engines. The following review reflects our experiences.
We’ll highlight the good, the not-so-great, and everything in between. You’ll also get a thorough breakdown of exactly how Skyscanner works, what it does and doesn’t do, and tips on using it if you feel so inclined.
How Does Skyscanner Work
First, let’s take a closer look at the different features that Skyscanner brings. The good news is that Skyscanner is incredibly easy to use, whether you want to search for flights, book a hotel, or find a great deal on a car rental.
How to Use Skyscanner to Find Flight Deals
When you first arrive on the website, you can create a free account by clicking on the “log in” tab on the upper right-hand side of the screen. Even if you choose to proceed as a guest, click on the icon to the left of the login to set your preferred language, home country, and currency.
If you know when and where you want to go, simply fill in the details and select what class of airfare you’d prefer. One thing that makes Skyscanner a cool option for digital nomads and flexible travelers is that you can also find deals using much more open-ended search criteria.
If you don’t have a specific destination, you can search flights to literally everywhere or narrow it down to multi-city travel options. You can also use Skyscanner to search for the best deals on specific dates or during entire months.
Whether you want to fly first-class or save money by booking a flight in economy, simply select your choice from the dropdown menu. Specify the number of travelers who need a ticket for your trip, hit search, and wait for the magic to begin.
If you choose an open-ended search, Skyscanner will present you with a list of options from all over the world. You can then use the filters at the top to arrange your results by cheapest flight, direct flights, recommendations for you, or destinations with the lowest restrictions.
Now, let’s imagine your trip plans are a little more specific, and you’ve decided you want to fly from Los Angeles to London, but aren’t quite sure when. Skyscanner has your back when finding flight dates with the best deals and highlighting them using a handy color coding system.
Last, let’s check out what happens when you have specific dates in mind. Simply enter them into the Skyscanner search engine, and your results will look like this.
You can use the dropdown menu at the top to sort them by cheapest flight, fastest flight, or departure/arrival times. Over on the left-hand side, you’ll find further customization options that allow you to filter your search results by everything from specific airlines to how many stops you are or aren’t willing to endure along the way.
Not quite ready to book your ticket just yet? If you want to stay on the lookout for cheaper flights that pop up during your desired travel dates, then consider creating a price alert.
If Skyscanner spots cheap tickets or great flight deals for your desired dates, they’ll send you an alert to let you know. If you are ready to book, move on to the next option.
Select the deal you’re interested in from the flight search options, and you’ll be taken to a page like this, where you’ll find all your actual booking options. While Skyscanner includes ratings alongside each airline or travel agency, this is where it’s important to do your due diligence.
While you’ll usually find travel deals from sites you’re familiar with, don’t be shy about researching the ones you aren’t. Upon selecting a deal from a reputable third-party booking platform, you’ll be redirected to the platform to finalize your ticket purchase.
Simply fill in your contact information, verify your flight details, and fill in the necessary payment information to book your next trip. If you choose to check out the deals available from booking platforms you’re not familiar with, make sure to check for hidden fees and confirm the cancelation policy of the airline, just in case.
See Related: Jack’s Flight Club Review
How to Find the Cheapest Month to Fly
If you want to visit a certain city or country but aren’t sure when the cheapest time to fly may be, then try this fun Skyscanner hack. Click the “explore” tab from the menu at the bottom of the site and make a selection based on the country, city, or airport of your choice.
On the next page, scroll down past the few initial flight deals that will appear. About midway down the page, you’ll discover a handy chart that breaks down the cheapest month to book flights.
Click on the cheapest month to find a calendar breakdown that lists the cheapest flight on each date. Or select the “chart” option to get an overview of which dates have the best deals overall.
See Related: Ways to Book the Cheapest First Class Flights
Find Great Deals on Hotels and Car Rentals
After you’ve finalized your round-trip flight details, you can also use Skyscanner to find the best deal on hotels and car rentals during your stay. The entire process is pretty similar to finding flights but less open-ended, so you’ll need to enter where you’re going and when.
You’ll then be presented with a list of hotels you can filter using price, star rating, reviews, cancellation policy, and more options. Once you’ve narrowed it down, use the menu at the top to arrange your hotel results by price, review, star rating, or proximity to nearby airports or landmarks.
You’ll also find an interactive map on the right-hand side that gives you an idea of each hotel is location and price. Simply click on any options that interest you to jump to them in the search results.
Much like when searching for flights, when you click on the option of your choice, you’ll be redirected to the website with the lowest rate. If you look closely at each listing, you can also choose from various booking platforms at the bottom by clicking the one you prefer.
Using Skyscanner to Find a Cheap Car Rental
Skyscanner has everything you need to find flights, hotels, and car hire options all in one place. Select the car rentals tab, type in when and where you want to pick up your rental, and the date and time you want to return it.
On the next page, you can use the map or filters to narrow your options based on nearby airports, the number of seats, and more. Yet again, you’ll be directed to a third-party site to make the booking, so stay alert for scammy websites.
The cool thing about Skyscanner is that you can even use it to find the best deals on rental cars in your hometown, even if you don’t plan on taking a flight anytime soon. On the car rental homepage, you can choose your hometown from a selection of cities to get a look at the best deals on car rentals near you.
See Related: Best 5 Dollar a Day Car Rentals
Is Skyscanner Reliable?
It’s possible to get two completely different opinions on Skyscanner, depending on who you ask. And given that the site is now used by 100 million people each month and available in 30 languages, you’ll find plenty of differing responses regarding who you ask.
In order to understand the difference in opinions, you first need to understand exactly what Skyscanner is and isn’t. As we’ve tried to lay out, Skyscanner is a meta-search engine that constantly combs the internet in search of the best deals on travel.
Skyscanner isn’t an airline website but a travel fare aggregator that pulls together the best deals from other online travel agencies and presents them for your perusal. In other words, they don’t actually come up with the prices; they help you find the right ones.
Many of the least flattering Skyscanner reviews come from travelers who have ended up attempting to take advantage of the “deals” offered by less-reputable online travel agents, only to discover the terrible truth about them firsthand.
The bottom line is that while Skyscanner is a legitimate company, its search engine doesn’t always filter out less-than-stellar third-party agents. While it can be a great way to find cheap flights and more, it’s essential to do your due diligence and check out the companies behind its search results before booking.
See Related: Best Apps & Sites Like Expedia For Travel
Pros and Cons
Like other platforms, Skyscanner has its own strengths and weaknesses. Based on our experiences and reviews, here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons you can expect when you use Skyscanner.
- Skyscanner combs through thousands of flights worldwide to present you with the best options at the best prices.
- You can use the multi-city flight search options to find the best booking option for various destinations in the same time frame.
- The “Everywhere” search option is a cool way to check out prices on sites all over the world during a specific time frame.
- You can also use Skyscanner to book hotels and rental cars for your trip, complete with search options that include proximity to different airports or landmarks.
- When you take the time to learn how to use the website best, Skyscanner can genuinely save you a great deal of money on travel.
- Like Google Flights, Skyscanner is a flight search engine that redirects you to a third-party site to complete your booking.
- Some third-party booking sites it suggests are much more reputable than others, so be sure to do your due diligence.
- Given that you can’t make a booking directly through Skyscanner, it has very few customer service options. That said, it does offer helpful information that can help you contact the airline or booking agent you used.
Now that you’ve got a feel for how Skyscanner works, let’s see how it stacks up in a number of categories. While we ultimately encourage you to decide whether or not Skyscanner is right for you, here are our opinions based on user reviews and personal experience.
Overall, Skyscanner makes it incredibly easy to find a cheap ticket at over 500 airports around the world. The simple, user-friendly interface can even point you toward the best hotels and rental cars for your trip.
Skyscanner actually has a number of really great features if you take the time to learn to use them. The downside is that you can’t book your flights directly on the Skyscanner website and will need to research verifying the creditability of some third-party booking sites it may recommend.
Customer Service: 4
This is where it’s so important to understand that, much like Google Flights, Skyscanner is a search engine rather than an actual booking platform. While it’s technically possible to contact Skyscanner directly with a question, the website is pretty upfront that you’ll need to deal directly with the third-party partner you used to make your purchase.
Value for Money: 5
Who can argue with the price of a free service? Not only will you find great deals on Skyscanner flights, hotels, and rental cars, but the fact that the site offers free price alerts is pretty impressive.
Skyscanner’s price alerts allow you to keep an eye out for the best deals on flights to one or more destinations on the dates of your choice.
While flight alert clubs like Going.com (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) will keep you updated on more flight deals year-round, Skyscanner’s alerts are great if you’re looking for price alerts to specific destinations.
See Related: How to Use Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights)
Skyscanner vs Other Travel Booking Websites
These days there are plenty of great sites that can help you find a great rate on a flight, hotel, or rental car. So, how does Skyscanner stack up against competing sites like Kayak, Expedia, or Momondo?
Skyscanner vs Kayak
Kayak is the most similar to Skyscanner and has stayed on top of updates to ensure it offers nearly identical features and service options. It even has a few additional features, such as bus and train information, packages, and a “hacker fare” tool that combines two one-way flights from different airlines to create a cheaper option than a single round-trip fare.
Like Skyscanner, you can’t make direct bookings on Kayak but will be redirected to a third-party site. Given that Kayak and Skyscanner are free to use, it’s worth checking out both, as the difference may largely come down to personal preference.
See Related: Kayak.com Review: Is Kayak Legit?
Skyscanner vs Expedia
While Skyscanner and Kayak are flight search tools, Expedia is an actual booking platform, meaning that you can book directly from its website. Though Expedia does its best to present the best deals from various airlines, its search features don’t tend to be quite as robust or thorough as Skyscanner’s.
Unlike Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” search option, Expedia requires you to enter your travel dates before it can seek out the best deals for your trip. Expedia is a very reliable booking site, but it never hurts to check out all your options on Skyscanner before you book.
See Related: Is Expedia Trustworthy? Here’s Our Full Review
Skyscanner vs Momondo
Momondo is another great travel search site that can help you find the best flight deals from various airlines, rental cars, hotels, trains, and packages.
As part of the Kayak family, Momondo features some deals you can book directly through the site, though it’s incredibly upfront about letting you know if another site offers the same deal cheaper.
One of the things that makes Momondo stand out is its fun interface and incredibly thorough search features. The Explore feature lets you check out flights to destinations via an interactive map or search based on the type of trip (romantic, outdoorsy) you want.
See Related: How to Use Momondo to Find Cheap Flights
Skyscanner vs Going
Going.com (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) is a great resource for finding amazing deals on airfare but it works differently than Skyscanner and other flight search engines. Going.com isn’t a travel agency or booking site, but a flight alert platform designed to give you a heads-up whenever airlines release an amazing deal.
The platform offers both free memberships and subscription tiers designed to save you hundreds of dollars on mistake fares and price drops. The only catch is that there’s no way to know when a deal with appear for a flight to a specific destination.
If you’re super flexible and want to stay on the lookout for the best deals from your chosen airport, then Going.com is a great choice. But if you’re looking for flights to a specific destination or on certain dates, then you’re better off going with Skyscanner or a similar flight search engine.
The Final Verdict: Is Skyscanner Legit?
Yes, very much so – there’s a reason many of us at ViaTravelers regularly use Skyscanner. We gave Skyscanner a 4.5 out of 5 based on various factors. Not only is the website completely free to use, but it also makes it incredibly easy to find great prices on flights from airlines all over the world.
As mentioned, your experience with Skyscanner will likely come down to how well you understand what it is and what it’s intended to do. Think of it less as a booking site and more as the Amazon of travel – while you can use it to find great deals, it’s important to be aware that you may also come across a few less scrupulous sellers along the way.
With that in mind, Skyscanner is a great place to start your search if you want to save money on travel. Just be sure to check out the legitimacy and policies of any third-party site you’re unfamiliar with before finalizing your booking.
How does Skyscanner make money?
Skyscanner works with over 1,200 partners and makes money from commissions and sponsored advertising. They also offer integrations for third-party travel companies.
But while you will see sponsored ads (even from non-travel companies) on the Skyscanner website, rest assured that they will not affect your search rankings. Skyscanner is reliable because the site doesn’t allow companies to pay for a higher rank in the search results and provides honest ratings alongside each company, whether they are particularly flattering.
Are the prices on Skyscanner accurate?
Yes, but with a few caveats. Skyscanner makes every effort to keep the prices on its search results up to date but admits that there are times when a price may not have been updated accurately.
For the most part, you’ll rarely run into large price differences when you’re directed to a well-known, reputable third-party website. If you do run into a site or airline that presents you with a very different rate on its booking page, Skyscanner urges you to reach out so they can investigate further.
Is Skyscanner legit and safe to book flights?
Skyscanner is a legit company and a great place to find cheap flights and other travel deals. Just be aware that it does not offer direct bookings, and do your research on any third-party sites it may direct you to.
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Ease of Use9.5/10
Value for Money9.5/10
- Skyscanner combs through thousands of flights worldwide
- Can use the multi-city flight search options
- The "Everywhere" search option is a cool way to check out prices on sites all over the world
- Can also use Skyscanner to book hotels
- Skyscanner can genuinely save you a great deal of money on travel
- Redirects you to a third-party site to complete your actual booking
- Some of the third-party booking sites it suggests are much more reputable than others, so be sure to do your own due diligence
- Given that you can't make a booking directly through Skyscanner, it has very few customer service options
- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.