Getting a cheap flight is the holy grail of traveling and when you get one, it feels like the ultimate win. For instance, I was able to book open-jaw flights to Europe from the United States for myself and my daughter for less than $700 for roundtrip flights. I was so proud of this deal that I shared it on Facebook.
Scott’s Cheap Flights aims to do the same thing. It’s all about finding cheap flight deals on both domestic and international flights and sharing those deals with email list subscribers. Using both computers and people to research opportunities and evaluate the benefits of the flight deals it sends, this company is praised all over the internet for the value it provides. On average, subscribers save up to $550 per ticket for flights abroad. If you’re a frequent traveler, that savings can add up big time.
This Scott's Cheap Flights review takes a closer look at this service and how you might be able to make your travel budget stretch further with this super-simple travel hacking tool.
What is Scott’s Cheap Flights?
Scott’s Cheap Flights launched in 2015. Founder Scott Keyes developed the idea after researching flights. Each time he found a great deal on a flight, he’d share the news with friends. He was often asked how he did it and if he could teach them how to do it. Instead of helping them out by sending individual emails, he created a distribution list and started sending them information about deals he had found.
Five years later, Keyes has turned this initial idea into a company that has more than two million email list subscribers. People sign up for a free or premium membership and in return get email alerts of deeply discounted pricing on flights from airports they select to destinations within and outside of the continental U.S.
The site doesn’t make commissions on these recommendations. It makes money through paid memberships. The links it provides to flight deals take you to other websites where you can search for and purchase tickets. You can’t search for flights on the Scott’s Cheap Flights site, but you can browse through an extensive library of articles and resources for making smart travel decisions.
How to use Scott's Cheap Flights
A lot of what goes on at Scott’s Cheap Flights takes place behind the scenes. The website itself is a portal for you to sign up for a Scott's Cheap Flights membership. This process includes selecting airports you want to receive alerts about and sharing some personal information so you can begin receiving emails with deals.
There is not much more to the website after you complete your registration. It has an extensive FAQ section and lots of articles containing travel tips and info on being a smart, savvy traveler. You can peruse recent deals, get some generalities about current deals, and get linked directly to Google Flights with search criteria already filled in. The site doesn’t offer flight search capabilities.
But once you create an account and designate your airports, Scott’s Cheap Flights starts looking for flights that could be good deals. Instead of relying on an algorithm, the so-called Flight Experts review the available data against the company’s standards for what constitutes a cheap flight or a good deal. Criteria include how the price compares to regularly offered prices for that flight, convenience, how much time you’ll spend traveling, travel dates, airline experience, etc.
This human involvement in the deal-finding process is a key detail in providing quality recommendations to members. The emails you get have information about possible deals and links/instructions for booking. Scott’s Cheap Flights doesn’t handle any kind of booking. It sends you to partner sites, such as Google Flights and Momondo to search for the provided deal. There, you can complete your booking. Customer support is on hand via email, though, to help you with questions.
Scott's Cheap Flights FAQs
Is Scott’s Cheap Flights free?
It has both free and premium service choices. With the free service, members only get access to the basic deals and information, which makes getting the premium subscription more attractive if you’re looking for the most and best deals. Added perks of being a premium subscriber over a free subscriber include alerts for mistake fares, rare deals, and peak and holiday fares.
How does Scott's Cheap Flights work?
The idea behind Scott’s Cheap Flights is pretty simple. You sign up, choose which airports you want to fly out of, and subscribe to receive emails with fare deals to destinations within and outside of the continental U.S. that depart from airports on your list. They use a combination of software and human flight searchers to find and evaluate flight deals and choose the ones that are the best value for subscribers. So whether you want to fly to New York or Australia, chances are you might find a great deal.
How can I find mistake fares?
Mistake fare notifications come with a Scott’s Cheap Flights premium subscription. This is a great perk because finding mistake fares on your own is time-consuming, as you’ll have to scour reservation websites such as Google Flights, Skyscanner, and other online travel agencies to find them. One option is to sign up for price alerts for specific destinations with your preferred travel search service. This will route mistake fares to your inbox.
Do airlines have to honor mistake fares?
Unfortunately, no, they don’t. Scott’s Cheap Flights estimates that around 10% of bookings for mistake fares are canceled, and the bigger the mistake, the more likely it is to get canceled. However, most airlines will refund your money and some may even give you some credit toward another flight.
Does Scott's Cheap Flights send text messages?
No, at this time Scot's Cheap Flights only provides email alerts. They do not have a mobile app either.
How to sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights
Signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights is easy. Start by visiting the Scott’s Cheap Flights website. Click on the “Sign Up” button in the top right corner of the screen. You’ll have two options to choose from: sign up with your Google account or with your email address. If you sign up using your email, you’ll be sent a link to verify your account.
Next, you’ll be asked to choose your home airport. If you live close to an airport that doesn’t usually get a high number of deals, the software will suggest additional airports to add and create a list that the software will regularly search.
You’ll be asked to choose a membership plan after you select your home airport(s). It will continually nudge you toward the premium membership, even if you choose the basic one. There is a comparison list to consider, which shows what you get with each option.
As you can see from the image below, you get very little from the free version. Because the premium version of the membership is only $49 per year and you get a 14-day free trial, it may well be worth the investment for the deals you get in return. And if you compare credit cards and use a lucrative rewards card, the purchase makes even more sense.
You’ll finish out your registration with a message from Keyes and the option to check out deals that were recently available. Then you just have to wait for the deals to hit your inbox. The rest of the site doesn’t offer searches for flights or much additional information other than travel guides.
How to get the most out of Scott’s Cheap Flights
Signing up for the premium membership will help you get the most value from Scott’s Cheap Flights. As a premium member, you’ll automatically receive every type of deal Scott’s Cheap Flights searches for. Being flexible with travel dates and destinations can also lead you to the best prices. The days you fly can impact fares, and you may well find that flying into a city that’s close to your main destination can result in significant savings.
For example, when I was planning my trip to Amsterdam, I looked at prices for flying into London, Paris, Brussels, and even a few cities in Germany. Even though London and Amsterdam aren’t all that far from each other, tickets to London were hundreds of dollars more expensive than flying direct to Amsterdam. I also found the best deal for flying home to the U.S. was to leave from Paris. This led to planning a multi-city trip and taking trains across Europe to get from one destination to another.
Another tip for making the most of Scott’s Cheap Flights is to act fast when you get a great price. These offers may be very short-lived. Once you see an offer, immediately investigate whether it’s a good buy for you. Even better, see if there is a way to book your cheap flight with points to reduce your out-of-pocket costs. And don't forget to compare offers on the best travel credit cards to maximize your rewards.
Finally, make sure you’re subscribed to get ongoing communications from Scott’s Cheap Flights. This will keep you up to date on all the promotions, educational information, contests, and more that are being sent out by the Scott's team.
Bottom line on Scott’s Cheap Flights
Overall, a Scott’s Cheap Flights email subscription is a great tool to check out if you’re planning to travel or are just interested in seeing what kind of airfare deals are out there. Sometimes a great deal on a roundtrip ticket can lead you to places you never thought you’d go or it could help you see an amazing destination that's been on your bucket list.
It costs less than $5 a month to get all the premium information. If you’re someone who loves a good deal, especially when it comes to travel, that is money well spent.