Thursday, 27 March 2014

Words of praise: flight search on checkfelix

Words of praise: flight search on checkfelix

This article is about flight search for return flights between Europe and Thailand in economy class, if you fly from/to elsewhere, completely different rules might apply.

ChristianPFC's travel dates are usually flexible within one week, that makes 49 different combinations for go and return. 

I spent some time over the years looking for a good flight search website, and found opodo allows flexible search +- 1 day, bravofly +-3 days. However, on opodo you often don't get the table and on bravofly, you have to click on fields in the table to see the price.

These two served my needs only partially. Recently, I discussed this subject with a friend and he recommended www.checkfelix.com which I did and was positively surprised. 

Simple (in a positive way) user interface. The search is coded in the web address:

http://www.checkfelix.com/flights/bkk-BER/2014-03-28-flexible/2014-05-03-flexible

which means you can hit "refresh" and get updated prices. Other websites loose all data when you "reload" or open the window again the following day: "session expired".

Then you have a choice between various websites where you can buy this flight, with prices displayed. However, these prices are without fee for credit card (varies with website and credit card, can easily be 20 Euro). Some websites offer "Sofort-Überweisung"(immediate online money transfer, you need account number and password and transaction number for online banking), which is free.

In my case, 602.23 Euro was displayed on checkfelix and the following end price depending on payment method on the website I used for booking:

                       Sofort-Überweisung    Visa card
flight price        627.32                        627.32 
service charge   +15                            +15
card fee            -15                             +28
discount            -25                             -25 
total                 602.23                         645.32

So, if you play everything alright (Sofort-Überweisung only available on some websites and for some countries), you really get the price that is shown in the search.

A word on insurance: insurance costs about 5 to 10 % of the flight price. I have flown in Europe and between Europe and Thailand dozens of times, never bought insurance and never needed it, thereby saving the money equivalent of some flights. My reasoning is that if I'm unable to take the flight, then it must be something serious* and the money lost on the flight I can't take is a minor issue. 

*Like losing a limb in a car accident.

A word on flight search websites: they all access the same pool of flights that are offered by airlines, and I think there is serious redundancy in flight search websites, just take a look how many of them compare prices on/with other flight search websites, over cross. Finally, the airline makes the price! And for my travels, there are usually only two or three airlines that have prices and times that fit my preferences, checking yet another flight search website that promises lowest prices is pointless.

(I never booked a flight with a travel agency or directly with an airline. Would there be any benefits?)

Update: review about skyscanner here (in German) allows to check a full month
http://faszination-suedostasien.de/tipps-empfehlungen/apps/9730-skyscanner-flugsuche-im-test-so-kannst-du-billige-fluege-buchen

3 comments:

  1. I see that checkfelix is a "brand" of kayak.com
    Is there any real difference in the search i wonder?
    RonanTheBarbabarian

    ReplyDelete
  2. no insurance really? i only get insurance incase i get a problem in los like a road accident crossing the road etc, as then the private hospital fee's will be big money!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indeed, Kayak is very similar and has a 7x7 table (+- 3 days), don't remember why Kayak didn't make into my list when I was looking for flights with flexible date two years ago.

    When I'm in Europe, I am covered by my health insurance here, and for Thailand I have a separate health insurance which is much cheaper than the insurance offered in combination with the flight.

    ReplyDelete

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