Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Travel App Reviews: Still Searching for that plane ticket deal?

Cause I sure am!
This is what true love looks like.

As I had mentioned back here, I am looking for a one-way ticket to Providence, Rhode Island, so that I can catch my Norwegian flight to Dublin. I was hoping to score some last minute deals but now it's 28 days away and I'm starting to get panicky because I'm not good at last minute stuff unless it's local or part of my job. I tend to be more prepared around this time! So even though the rest of my European trip is ready to go, I'm still not at my flight to leave America yet, so to speak!

Turns out TF Green (PVD) is not a huge airport and not all flights go there. It's seemingly a specialized airport and I'm kicking myself that I booked my Dublin flight leaving from here without knowing PVD's circumstances and knowing how flights are harder to come by at a decent price. (It's important to note that Boston, Chicago and New York were all excluded from going to Dublin on Norwegian) I figured a one-way flight wouldn't be too hard to come by, and it's not, it's just that unless I want to arrive at 7am for a 9pm flight to Dublin OR catch a flight that lands as my other ride is taking off then I need to keep shopping and expect to spend around $100- which is only a few dollars LESS than my flight to Dublin in the first place, which is annoying and anti-thrifty.

Again, alas. I have cleared my cookies and cache and am ready to research!

So, in order to run through all of these apps I download that all insist they're the ONLY place for go for the BEST cheap flights... I will be searching this specific flight from Detroit to Providence for one adult passenger on May 1 (one-way) and see how many of them are the same or better or worse. I know a started a short list a while ago but I want to expand and see what's better for me so that if you're looking up these apps, you can see what sounds best for you, too.
Since so many claim to be the best, let's give 'er a looksie:

Spirit: Doesn't fly to this airport. Sucky.
CheapOAir: Lowest cost $114.30 on American. Not so cheapo here but is usually ok.
NavigatoFly: $87 on American
Flight Search: $87 on American -pretty much exact same app as Navi only it's orange instead of blue. Uninstalling. 
Fareboom: Turns out the App is for car rentals only despite having an airplane as their logo. Unless you've already booked? Confusing but only showed me cars just now. Uninstalling. Checking their website: it's garbage. Just another site that pops up 45 different low fare windows. Waste of time.
SkyScanner: $88 cheapest BUT lands at 11:54 pm. Rats. Next cheapest if $95 but arrives 8 hours ahead of my flight and I can't possibly sit in one place for 8 hours just to get on a plane and sit in one place for another 8 hours.
Fareness: $95- cheapest price for the month. Not the best app, but they provide a calendar of rates.
Kiwi: $90.39 but leaves at 6:05AM. Shortest flight, though. For $96.58 I can cut that time in half still with a direct flight, if only my outbound to Dublin were at 2am next day... Seems better for hotel deals than flights.
Hopper: $100 Still my fave though. Just not here.
Jetradar: $88 on American and not stupidly early morning! One I can actually use!
Momondo: $95- same as everyone else. Seems better for international flights but I'm still not impressed with anything it shows me even in my pretend vacations. I don't understand why people love it.  It's the same as everything else, just with a better marketing team. Uninstalling.
LastMinuteFlights: $87. Not bad but for an app that claims it is the ONLY go-to for last minute flight deals it's running all of the same flights as everyone else. So this app is full of lies? I tried moving up the date to April 11th (at random) JUST to see if the actual more last minute idea is legit since a month out isn't last minute.  Nope, prices are $40 higher. I bet they're just banking on that last minute panic for most of their sales. Uninstalling.
CheapFlightsTickets: Nope. Seems to only be Europe to Asia type of flights. Detroit exists on their menu but I couldn't even pull up Boston. Uninstalling.
CheapTickets: The app just takes you to their website. Then the site tells you to download the app. $102 cheapest and not in a timely manner. Uninstalling.
EasyJet: Nope, not American. We don't exist here. Uninstalling after I play a minute longer. (IE doesn't even exist on the app, just Belfast UK)
Hipmunk: They won't let me create a google account without access to my Google Wallet. They want you to use it with your GW and pay for everything that way but even though my GW isn't even hooked up to anything or used, I don't need an app having any sort of access to my money or information like THAT. Uninstalling!! And SCARY!* Cute logo though. 
Jetcost: $46 if I go to Boston on Spirit but same old $88+ for PVD. I may keep this app. Even though it gave me the same results, I got them at least 50% faster than most of the others above.
Secret Travel: Not a flight deal app, per se. It's more of a deal package app, which is ok for later.
SkipLagged: $87

I have been thinking just fly to Boston and take a bus or train or whatever RomeToRio has to offer or something and using my Spirit miles could save time and money. I guess another set of research is due for Boston?
Boston as low as $48. I could take the train for $13 at 3:30pm and arrive well ahead of schedule for my outbound flight and the train drops me off right at the airport?? Well, shit. At least I worked through the apps I don't like. I think I freed up half of my phone storage!

Still so much to do for my flight over, but at least we ran through some of these "best apps ever for flight deals". The best ones I looked at today: Jetcost, Jetradar.

*You should never have to allow any wallet access to an app that you're not comfortable with, nor should they ask for it just to get started. I'm sure should you choose to use it it would be easy, but if you're not even interested in with Hipmunk has to offer- guess what, you already gave them FULL ACCESS to your Gogle Wallet and all subseqent banking information. So now that's out there in a way that seems less trustworthy than the apps you choose to use like Amazon. If you want to attach your GW or any credit cards to something it should be YOUR choice, not the app's. They're asking far too much and it's a big red flag.
I left a review of the app on their DL page and they responded to it saying that they don't ask for that information at all EVER and told me to email them why I think that they do. It was pretty condescending sounding, honestly. So I edited my review and gave explicit details of how I tried to create an account and was denied my account opening because I refused to allow permission to access my GW. No account was made. 
Does this not look like they're asking for permission to use my Google Wallet to you??

Are there apps that I missed? Websites that are better? Any tips? leave it all in my comments!

16 comments:

  1. Such an informative post and one I will refer back to when I'm next on some travels!

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  2. Wow, I have not heard of many of these. Will have to look into them!

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  3. I know most of them but you surprised me with some. Will check it out deeper.

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  4. Wow, you're brave to use these apps. I'm way to paranoid to give access to any of them. I rather search on the laptop or stick with my travel agent.

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  5. Thanks for all of this information! I didn't know about all of these apps!

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  6. Wow! I didn't realize there were so many options. I always use SkyScanner to find the best deals. I'll have to check out some of these other apps the next time I fly.

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  7. I don't use many apps when I search for flights but I have found a few tricks that help me find the best deal. First, I always use an incognito browser. Second,use a VPN to put you in a different country. From word of mouth NZ and South Africa have yielded the cheapest flights. I always use Google Flights as a baseline so that I know what the average flight price is for that day so that I know if I'm getting a good deal or not.

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  8. I Love reading about different apps that can help with travel. I've added these to my list. Thanks, awesome post..

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  9. This is so thorough - I'm impressed! What a great review of all the major apps for flights! We only fly using miles for now, but when those run out, this app review is an amazing article to use to help us narrow down our search!

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  10. I have never heard of most of these research sources, or even some of these airlines! Always good to find helpful tips like these, especially when you travel like I do

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  11. I didn't know there are so many apps for flights! Or that some of these airlines existed, I am definitely going to have to try some out for my next cheap trip.

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  12. That is some solid ticket research right there!! Wow!! I had no idea there were so many different apps. Definitely going to do better research next time! I usually always just go with my main 3 (direct airline site, Expedia, or Kayak).

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  13. Gosh, I just love these money-saving tips of yours! Keep up the helpful work! ;)

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