Cheap Flight Price Tracking and Alerts (2019 edition)
April 11, 2019 11:21 AM   Subscribe

I want ongoing tracking of cheap flights from MSP to Boston, Toronto. Modern approaches to find cheap flights to (wherever is cheap). I am totally flexible on dates, in general, and want to go places whenever flights are cheap! I tried Skyscanner and Delta's email list, and getting very little that is useful.
posted by gregglind to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I use the phone app The Hopper. Enter dates and locations and it uses historical data to let you know the best time to purchase the tickets to get the best price.
posted by terrapin at 11:23 AM on April 11 [3 favorites]


scotts cheap flights sometimes has toronto. It's kind of made more for farther away places though
posted by bbqturtle at 12:09 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


I recommend Scott's Cheap Flights. They have a free email list; I signed up for the premium version, which is $49/year. So far the eponymous Scott is responsible for me traveling to Peru, France, Denmark, and the UK later this year.

The thing is, you have to be prepared to jump on the flight as soon as you find out about it. Sometimes they come up with mistake fares that will be deleted as soon as the airline figures it out. Still, to me the investment has been worth it.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:10 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


For Toronto in specific there's YYZ Deals (free mailing list), and also Next Departure which has a subscription model as well as a free mailing list that sends out only some of the flights.
posted by Gortuk at 1:53 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


I just dropped Scott's Cheap Flights premium email list, because it revealed something: the airlines now only offer their cut-rate ultra-low short-term deals for price-sensitive customers in the Bargain Economy fare. This is a new kind of Economy fare which doesn't allow you any kind of luggage, not even a carry-on. If you aren't willing to fly that way, you can pay really high bag fees, or upgrade to a non-discounted "regular" Economy fare. That fact doesn't have anything to do with Scott's Cheap Flights -- it's just the way the airlines work now.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 2:31 PM on April 11


Delta and American Basic economy both allow you a carry on, United only allows one on trans-atlantic flights, but none of them charge more for checked baggage than an Economy fare. The OP is asking about North American travel, so the trans-atlantic rules for baggage don't apply here, either.
posted by soelo at 2:51 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


A combination of Hopper, Google Flights and Secret Travel. For North America then you need to haunt the individual airlines like Southwest, Alaska Air and a few others. You want the flexibility to get the best flights and be ruthlessly honest if your return flight is going to need luggage to deal with the overage allocations.
posted by jadepearl at 4:55 PM on April 11


I’ve used Hopper to track prices but booked directly with the airline when the price was what I wanted because I’ve heard that when things go awry it’s a lot easier to deal with the airline than a third party agent like Hopper, Expedia, or Priceline.

Hopper does an okay job but it does get things wrong from time to time and sometimes “the lowest price you’re going to see” is not even remotely the lowest and you kind of have to have calm nerves and wait things out.
posted by Gev at 5:08 AM on April 12


I use alerts on Google flights when I have specific dates and cities in mind.

If you are generally looking for sales out of MSP and are more open on dates/regions subscribing to Thrifty Traveler is useful. I pay for the premium version, but they also have a free tier. They are MSP-based, so they have many local deals. Following them on twitter and instagram may be more timely than their daily email blast.
posted by mcgsa at 8:11 AM on April 12


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