An important skill for everyday travelers is knowing how to find cheap flights. When redeeming points and miles isn’t an option, being able to pay less for flights can go a long way towards making a trip more affordable. And one of the best resources to find good flight deals is Scott’s Cheap Flights.
No, this is not an advertisement. Their website is the real deal when it comes to finding cheap flights.
Scott Keyes’ website started out as an email blast to friends whenever he found good flight deals. It’s since expanded, and now there are more than a million subscribers receiving his emails with flight deals. You can hear more about him on the podcast Talking Points.
The folks at Scott’s Cheap Flights don’t have an algorithm doing all of the work, either. They are real people scouring the internet for deals. This means they don’t send emails about a cheap flight with limited availability. They are only going to send out actual “good deals.”
How to Sign Up
There are two options for Scott’s Cheap Flights: free and premium. In full disclosure, I have the free option and love it. All you need to do to sign up is enter your email address and select where you want your flight notifications to come from. In fact, it’s so easy, we should probably add this to our Beginner’s Guide!
Let’s go through the options to pick your locations. The following regions are available:
USA & Canada
Australia & New Zealand
Then you have the option to pick different regions within your chosen location. But, you aren’t limited to just one region. If you want, you could pick the Northwest USA, Western Europe, and South Asia. It’s very customizable. Below is an example for the United States and Canada.
It’s free, so you really have nothing to lose by signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights. Being able to select different regions is helpful because you won’t get bombarded about cheap flights from an airport 5,000 miles away.
Most of the flight deals will be domestic, but you will get international deals every now and then. I’ve actually found the international deals to be more frequent than I thought they would be.
The only real kicker is there’s a 30-minute delay from when the deals are published online to when the email comes through. So there’s a chance that those 30 minutes might cause you to lose out on a deal, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s probably not going to make a big difference. And, did I mention it’s a completely free service?
I’ve never lost out on a flight deal from an email that Scott’s Cheap Flights sent to my inbox.
The premium option for Scott’s Cheap Flights is $39/year, but it has a 30-day money back guarantee.
Premium members get 3x as many deals sent to their inboxes, and they receive mistake fares. Mistake fares are what they sound like – fares that are mistakenly issued by the airline for a fraction of the normal cost (think a $150 roundtrip ticket between the US and Europe). Sometimes airlines won’t honor these fares, but a lot of the time they will.
The annual fee will also come with the ability to select home airports (not just regions) as well as include more alerts around peak travel seasons (summer and the holidays).
If you travel a fare amount or have the ability to book spontaneous trips, my guess is that you can most likely save the $39 in airfare each year.
What to expect
Generally, the emails from Scott’s Cheap Flights look like this:
It will include the location, the price, the source, what it normally costs, as well as the many airports that it’s good from. The email will also usually say if it’s basic economy or a main cabin fare (i.e., if it includes a seat assignment, etc.).
From there, you have to search for the flights using the source (e.g., airline website, Expedia, or Google Flights).
You might not be able to travel a whole lot on a regular basis, but it’s good to get these emails coming into your inbox. Maybe you’re already trying to find a place to travel to next summer and this will help you find a good deal, or maybe you’ve just got the travel bug and are itching to book a spontaneous trip!
So even if you can’t redeem points and miles for flights, there are other ways to save money on them. And then you’ll still have plenty of points and miles to redeem on hotels.
Have you used Scott’s Cheap Flights before? Have you gotten a great deal? Tell us where you’ve gone!