With dozens of flight booking websites to choose from, which ones are easiest to use, offer clear pricing with no nasty extras and great customer service? Here, we reveal satisfaction ratings for the flight booking websites that are most used by Which? members.
Unsurprisingly, flight sites fare badly in this year's survey, with holidaymakers venting their frustration at how their booking site has dealt with cancelled bookings and refund payments during the pandemic.
These reviews cover online travel agents that provide flights. See our table of if you're after accommodation. Or check our reviews of to find the best prices on travel, accommodation and package holidays.
The table below reveals how three of the most popular flight booking websites compare in aspects such as customer service, website functionality and price.
|Flight booking website||Functionality of site||Relevance of search results||Prices||Transparency of fees||Customer service||Customer score|
|Using the table: Star ratings are based on one to five stars. The more stars the better. Sample sizes are in brackets next to each booking site. A dash indicates we did not receive enough responses to report on a company in that category. Relevance of search results Whether filters worked effectively and results were relevant. Functionality of site How easy the site was navigate and how quickly it generated results Transparency of fees If the first price quoted was the one the customer ended up paying. Customer score Based on a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend the company to a friend. Companies with the same customer score are presented in alphabetical order.|
Our 2021 survey results reveal that Expedia is the best website for booking flights and also the most used. However, the company did not score highly enough to be considered for Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) status.
Read our reviews of the best and worst flight booking sites below.
It may be the top-rated booking site for flights, but that’s not saying much when the competition includes Opodo (33%) and Lastminute.com (30%). Expedia faced complaints over refunds last year, and its three-star rating for customer service reflects the fact that many people were left underwhelmed.
Expedia’s website is slick, but it’s a case of style over substance, if our price spot checks are anything to go by. It wasn’t able to find the cheapest price for any of the 10 flights we checked and was the most expensive option for five of them.
Which? verdict: Worth considering if the price is right, but our check suggests that’s rare.
Opodo is a poor flight booking site in just about every measure. Prices are comparatively expensive and customer service is woeful. In fact, non-existent might be more accurate. Several Opodo customers complained to us about the difficulty of getting through to speak to someone who works there, with one giving up after being on hold for three hours and another resorting to writing to Opodo’s chief executive in their futile search for a refund.
It’s no wonder customers gave it a shocking one-star rating for the service they received/endured.
Which? verdict: Nothing to recommend it. Avoid.
For the second year running, Lastminute.com has the dubious distinction of being the worst booking site for flights and accommodation.
Not only is its website clunky and frustrating to use, but it’s poor at its main job of finding competitive prices.
Assuming you ever get hold of anyone, its customer service leaves a lot to be desired. One unlucky holidaymaker described the service they had from Lastminute.com as the worst they have ever encountered.
Which? verdict: Don’t. Ever
On the face of it, flight refunds are fairly straightforward – if your airline is based in the UK or EU, or you're flying from a UK or EU airport, the airline must offer to fully refund you within seven days if it cancels your flight. This is because your flight is protected by the .
If you booked flights directly with the airline then it is responsible for processing this refund. But if you booked through a third-party booking site, such as the ones featured in our table above, then the refund process becomes more complicated, because the booking site will want to contact the airline on your behalf and then pass any refund on to you when they get it.
However, not only have during the pandemic, but some booking sites also seem to have gone completely Awol, with many customers reporting difficulties in contacting some sites. To add insult to injury, Lastminute.com and Gotogate even started charging customers admin fees to process refunds.
The surest way of getting a refund if your flight is cancelled is by booking direct with the airline and paying on credit card. That way, if the airline refuses a legitimate refund request, you can claim your money back from your credit card provider using .
But remember that you're only entitled to a refund if the airline cancels the flight, which they aren't bound to do, even in cases where the government is advising against all but essential travel. That's why it's always safer to book flights as part of a .
Between July and August 2021, we asked 3,478 Which? members to tell us about their experiences of researching holidays online in the past two years. We only reported on companies and star rating categories when we received at least 30 responses.