Fares for similar flights can vary dramatically from airline to airline. A quick search for a nonstop flight from Los Angeles to New York on the online travel site Orbitz revealed tickets ranging from $339 to $539. For this reason, it's crucial to research the prices on as many carriers as possible before making a purchase.
There are several places to search for airfares online. You could search each airline's Web site individually, but that could take some time. A more convenient way is to search a travel Web site like Orbitz.com, Travelocity.com, Kayak.com, Hipmunk.com or Dohop.com. These sites will search fares across a number of airlines and provide all results together in an easy-to-read table. However, these travel sites don't include results from all airlines, and the prices they display aren't always lower than those on the airline's Web site. For these reasons, a thorough search of each travel Web site and each carrier's Web site is always best.
You can also save money by shopping around at different airports. The closest airport to your home or destination may not always have the cheapest flights. For example, if you're flying to San Francisco, check the prices in San Jose. The difference in price may more than pay for any additional transportation you need once you get there. And consider booking one-way tickets. You could fly to your destination on one airline and return on another, and potentially save money.