02.Site by site
Note: all booking, amendment and cancellation fees specified by the websites are on top of those charged by the airlines, including credit card fees. Some tickets may not be refundable.
Claims: “Best Flights have more choice of global airlines, routes and low-cost carriers than any other booking engine on the planet.”
Booking: $18.95 per booking.
Amendment: minimum $55 prior to ticketing, minimum $110 after ticket issued.
Cancellation: minimum $350.
International carriers compared: 120+
Lowdown: Compares a wide range of airlines and destinations, including many sale fares. But like STA Travel, its high cancellation fee disappoints.
Claims: “If you find a better price then we will beat that price by $1 and also give you a $50 coupon to use on your next Expedia.com.au booking.”
Fees: No booking, amendment or cancellation fees.
International carriers compared: 93
Lowdown: The world’s largest online travel company’s no-fees policy is admirable, though this website quoted one of the more expensive prices in our search, so the lack of fees may be offset by a higher ticket price.
Claims: “Australia’s leading travel and lifestyle website.”
Booking: $14.95 per booking.
Amendment: $50 per person per change.
International carriers compared: 70+
Lowdown: Last Minute’s steep cancellation fee earns it a cross.
Claims: “Australia's multi award-winning online travel service.”
Webjet Processing fee: $29.95
Booking price guarantee: $19.95.
Amendment/cancellation: For changes or cancellations on Jetstar, Tiger Airways, Virgin Australia or Air Asia flights, contact the airline directly. For all other cancellations, there is no Webjet fee if you process your change or cancellation request online (over the phone will cost $50 per person plus applicable airline fees).
International carriers compared: 48
Lowdown: Despite its high profile and lack of cancellation fees, Webjet’s steep booking fees, compulsory price guarantee and comparatively limited database of international carriers mean you should not treat this as a one-stop shop.
*only trans-Tasman flights compared
Claims: “Each Wotflight booking gets you a $20 Wotif.com gift voucher you can use on our sister accommodation site – www.wotif.com – where you can search and book over 16,000 properties around the world.”
Booking: $16.95 per booking.
Amendment: $39 per change per ticket.
International carriers compared: 7
Lowdown: Unlike its famous sister hotel site, Wotflight allows you to book flights up to almost 11 months in advance. Keep this one in mind for your overseas trip to New Zealand.
Claims: “We'll beat any genuine competitor airfare quote, subject to the terms and conditions below. And if we can't beat a competitor airfare? We’ll give you $1000 travel credit!”
Booking: $19.95 per booking.
Amendment: Minimum $100.
International carriers compared: 28
Lowdown: Available for everyone to use, not just students or people aged under 26. Its big cancellation fee slug is definitely a drawback.
Claims: “Unlike many online travel agencies, Jetabroad continuously updates its airline information – so we won't quote you a price for a seat if the airline says it's not available.”
Refund/cancellation: $100 per passenger.
International carriers compared: 51
Lowdown: Jetabroad offered us the lowest price for one of our flights. Definitely worth a closer look.
Claims: “We bring a choice of more than 400 airlines.”
Amendment: $55 per ticket.
Refund/cancellation: $110 per ticket.
International carriers compared: 153, but claims to compare more than 400 via its extended network of online travel agents.
Lowdown: Zuji is a part of Travelocity, and one of its sister companies is Lastminute.com. Its fees policy is hard to find compared with other websites.
Claims: “Direct Flights International is one of Australia’s leading online international and domestic travel agents.”
Booking: None (for electronic ticketing or pick-up from the Sydney office)
Amendment/cancellation: $275 per person.
International carriers compared: 180+.
Lowdown: Direct Flights offered us the second-lowest price for one of our flights. Like Jetabroad, it’s a lesser-known site that’s worth a closer look, though its cancellation charge is comparatively steep.
Cast your net worldwide and you’ll find dozens of flight comparison websites. Although not based in Australia, they offer prices for Aussie-bound flights, and according to our UK sister organisation, Which?, Skyscanner and Travelsupermarket.com are stand-outs. We’ve listed some well-known international and Australian sites here, as well as aggregator sites, which compare the comparison sites.