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Skyscanner tops travel comparison sites for finding cheapest price

The Scotsman logo The Scotsman 02/12/2019 Jane Bradley

Travel comparison sites often fail to find the cheapest price for consumers, a Which? investigation has warned – but Scottish firm Skyscanner was rated the best by testers.

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The consumer watchdog pitted the seven most used flight comparison sites against each other to see which consistently found the best price. Edinburgh’s Skyscanner produced the cheapest price six out of 10 times.

Google Flights, however, found the cheapest fare just once. It also found the most expensive fare three times.

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For a last-minute return flight to Krakow – voted Which? Travel’s best destination for a city break – Skyscanner was at least £60 cheaper than any of the competitors Which? checked.

When it came to hotel comparison sites, Kayak sourced the cheapest deal in six out of 10 hotel searches, although the savings were relatively small in most cases. TravelSupermaket came second, finding the cheapest price on four out of 10 occasions, although it also had the most expensive rates on four occasions.

Which? Travel also asked customers to rank comparison sites according to their experiences of researching and booking flights and hotels online in the past two years. Skyscanner was rated the best for flights, with a score of 69 per cent. It was also the only site to score four stars for value for money.

Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, said: “Holidaymakers are known to spend hours and sometimes days looking for the best hotel rates and the best air fares, so for many of us travel comparison sites are the first port of call.

“There are really only one or two sites you should consider using, though, if you want to save yourself both money and time.”

The consumer champion asked more than 2,200 holidaymakers to rate their experiences using holiday comparison sites over the last two years in a range of categories, including user-friendliness, price and market coverage.

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GoCompare – which uses third parties for its flight and hotel searches – came bottom of the survey with a poor customer score of only 45 per cent. As well as raising issues with functionality and high prices, users criticised the site for its poor market coverage and whether users were shown prices for all major booking sites

Customers said they liked being able to compare prices for a hotel and read customer reviews side by side.

However, this year Which? Travel warned holidaymakers to take these reviews with a pinch of salt after finding evidence that suspicious reviews were artificially raising the profile of some of the highest-rated hotels on the site.

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