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The cost of an airline flight these days has become extremely prohibitive for the overwhelming majority of the population and as a consequence for many people if they can’t drive there they don’t go there. You can certainly search around the web for a great deal, but for the most part what you’ll find is slightly discounted rates that aren’t going to really make much of a difference for you. It’s a frustrating process, especially if there are a lot of places you really want to visit. I have to admit, my family has almost given up on the dream of cheap air travel, but it turns out there is an option that’s great for consumers and a little frustrating for the major airlines.The best iPhone apps for booking flights
The app that I’m talking about is called Skiplagged and it’s an app that’s designed to quickly hook you up with the cheapest flights around no matter what destination you have in mind. It’s simple and easy to use and is available for free in the App Store. It’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
If there is one sure way to know that this site works, all you have to do is search through some recent headlines on major news services such as CNN, the BBC, and the Los Angeles Times – all of these news organizations have featured news articles on the battle that’s been brewing between this app’s Creator, Aktarer Zaman a young computer genius, and major airlines such as United. The reason for the controversy is that Zaman’s app actually shows you how to tap into a hidden secret that will save you up to 40% on flights that the airlines don’t exactly advertise.The best iPad apps for traveling
What Zaman has discovered is that you can actually fly to a destination you want by using a longer flight that includes your destination as a stopover. These flights are called hidden cities within the airline industry and apparently it really does work. You simply book a seat on the longer flight, but don’t go any further than your actual intended destination. The only drawback is that you can only use carry-on luggage as any luggage that you checked would be lost at the final destination that you never intend to go to.
Finding a flight using your own criteria couldn’t be any easier. The app has a built in search bar at the top that automatically fills in the closest major airport to you so all you have to do is to tap on the destination box and type in the name of the city you’d like to visit. Skiplagged will then bring up all major flights to your final destination, including flights that have that destination as a stopover, and display the flight times, departure dates, return dates, as well as the price. In the tests that I did, I found literally hundreds of different flight options for any city that I chose and I have to say the prices were quite impressive.The best iPhone apps for long flights
If you want to adjust the criteria that the app uses to search for flights, once you’ve performed a search for a desired destination, you can simply tap on the filter icon in the top right corner and adjust your criteria. The app allows you to choose whether or not you’d like to see hidden city suggestions, whether you’re looking for a regular flight or not, whether or not you prefer nonstop, and what your desired takeoff and landing times are. There’s quite a bit of choice here, but if you’re really looking for a major discount you’re probably best to leave all options on the table.
One feature that I really did like about this app was that on the main screen it includes some suggested travel destinations and actually shows you the potential discount that you can save by booking a flight using this app to those destinations – if you’re looking for a spur of the moment get away this feature can come in real handy.
If you don’t find the destination you’re looking for in the list of suggested cities you can simply tap on the arrow icon in the top right corner and the app will then pull up an expanded list of potential travel destinations for you to choose from. Essentially, if there’s a city that you can think of it’s likely in this list. Each suggested destination includes a thumbnail picture of that city which I thought was a nice touch as well.
This app not only provides you with information on affordable flights, but it will also allow you to book them from within the app. All you have to do is tap on the flight that interests you and a box will pop up with the trip details including the airline, the departure dates, and any stopovers that may be included. To book your ticket you simply tap on the book now tab at the bottom of the box and you’ll be directed to a website run by the creator of this app. After a short delay it will load the details of your flight request and provide you with instructions on how to book a flight.
The app doesn’t actually allow you to book the flight directly, which is a bit of a shortcoming, but it does provide you with all the instructions you need. It also provides you the links that will help you book your flight. It may seem a little complicated at first, but it does work if you have the patience.
The app defaults to US currency, but if you live in a different country you can simply tap on the currency icon in the top right corner and choose your currency from the list of available currencies. Any flight you pull up after that will be displayed in your currency of choice.
I’m willing to bet that there are very few people out there that knew about the air flight booking trick that this app can help you use to book cheaper flights. It’s definitely an eye-opener and this app is a must have for anybody that’s looking to travel in the near future.
Allan is a freelance writer who loves scouring the App Store for exciting, intriguing and unique apps.