Q:

How do you check airline rates online?

A:

Quick Answer

Search a specific itinerary directly on airline websites and on travel search sites to compare fares online. Enter the departure and arrival cities, travel dates, and number of passengers when searching to get accurate rates.

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Full Answer

Travel search sites such as Kayak, Travelocity and Expedia compile and return fares from multiple airlines for the itinerary you enter. This allows you to get an idea of rates with one search. These sites often let you include hotels and rental cars for additional savings.

One drawback to booking through a travel search site is the fee structure. Many airlines charge for checked baggage, and some charge fees for extras such as having a boarding pass printed at the airport or choosing your own seat. These fees aren't always listed on a travel search site, making it difficult to accurately compare rates. The base fare may appear lower on one airline, but the total cost could be more with additional fees.

Searching directly through the airline is another option. Airline websites offer search features to find rates for specific itineraries. The search function is similar to those on travel search sites, with fields for departure and arrival airports, dates, and the number of people traveling. While travel search sites often boast low rates, you may find cheaper rates directly from an airline.

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