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I've been using Google Flights to look for flights, but occasionally prices of flights from some airlines (Emirates and Southwest, for example) don't display.

Is there an easy way to see if other, competing airfare search engines would display prices for those airlines?

I'm looking for something like a table showing main airfare search engines and the airlines they cover, so that I can compare the search websites easily.

  • This may not be the most efficient way, but just have multiple tabs up in your browser of choice in which each tab has a different travel site. Some popular ones might be: Expedia; Google fligths; Kayak, and many more. You can write down each price on a piece of paper which shouldn't be too hard. Travel agencies is another choice where someone can do all that for you. I would check for Apps on your cell phone as well. – K. Schmidt Jan 3 '16 at 1:13
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    SouthWest specifically does not allow any search engine to show their flights, they only offer them on their own website. Otherwise, I would guess most all of them show all they can get, which is nearly all others. – Aganju Jan 3 '16 at 4:25
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    We need a search engine for airfare search engines. – Federico Poloni Jan 3 '16 at 15:13
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+100

I see two questions here:

  1. Is there an easy way to compare which airfare search engines cover which airlines?

I'm not aware of any. Some sites publish a list of the airlines they cover, e.g. Kayak has a ranking here and Azair has a list of them on their landing page, but others don't seem to publish this information. I remember having seen something like 400+ airlines for expedia and 900+ for Google Flights but I can't even find those numbers again.

  1. Is there an easy way to see if other, competing airfare search engines would display prices for those airlines?

You have to check those competing airfare search engines. Note that Southwest does not allow aggregators to show their flights in their results but I would be surprised if that were the case for Emirates. Some seach engines, notably ITA Matrix, do not display flights of low-cost carriers. This summary answer of mine might be of tangential use to you. Here I found an older (and likely out-of-date) post about airlines that are typically not in flight search engines.

Your best strategy is to compare two or three search engines and take the best offer. There are quite complex algorithms behind flight searches and results can diverge or miss the optimum if you rely on only one engine.

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In my experience the very best flight search engine is the ITA Matrix. I believe it is so comprehensive that it negates the need for a 3rd party website to list which websites return which airlines. Note that you cannot book flights on this site.

I am yet to find a scenario where this search engine wouldn't return a flight option (aside from airlines that specifically chose to exclude their fares such as Southwest Airlines).

  • It does not list many of the low-cost airlines, such as Easyjet (which is listed on other sites), or of course Ryanair (which really doesn't want to be listed). Also, it has a very poor interface by 2016 standards, with no filtering possible once you get the results. – jcaron Feb 7 '16 at 0:30
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    OP wants a meta search, comparing the lists of airlines handled by say, kayak, skyscanner and so on. – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Feb 25 '16 at 13:32

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