Finding cheap flights can sometimes feel impossible, especially if you don’t live near a major airport or you want to travel during peak times. This is where flight alert services like Matt’s Flights really comes in handy.
Towards the end of last year, a friend of mine was raving over on Facebook about how he kept getting really great deals with Matt’s Flights.
I’d never heard of it before, but I’m always open to finding great deals that I didn’t have to go searching for myself.
So for the last two months, I’ve been a premium member of Matt’s Flights testing out the alerts. This has allowed me to check out some seriously great deals and even have one-on-one access to Matt himself
Here’s what I think of the service.
What are Flight Alerts?
Flight alerts are exactly as the name suggests. They are alerts that you receive, usually via email, that tell you about the price of a flight.
They can come in many different forms. You can sign up for services that tell you about a specific flight on a specific day.
For example, I really want to fly from Mexico City to London on January 5th and return on January 20th. I can set an alert through a service that will notify me if the price changes, whether that means it goes up or down.
There are also more general flight services out there. These allow you to set your home airport (or in many cases, several nearby airports) and you will receive weekly alerts telling you of great deals that have been found.
For example, if you live in New York, you can set your local airports to JFK, LGA, and EWR. You will then receive daily or weekly emails telling you of great flight prices from JFK to LAX or EWR to Mexico City. The possibilities here are endless.
These types of deals also have fixed dates. The deal may only be for flights in January or flights in May and the deals only last for a few days, so you need to act quickly.
What is Matt’s Flights?
Matt’s Flights is a flight alert website where you can insert your email address and your local airports and immediately start receiving flight alerts.
Matt spends time personally searching for the best deals both nationally and internationally for US and Canadian airports.
Once he finds a great deal, you’ll receive an email with the destination information, the prices, the dates that those prices are showing up for, and a link to click that allows you to see and book the deal for yourself.
It’s an incredibly simple system and one that doesn’t have to cost you a penny.
There are two membership options with Matt’s Flights, the premium membership, and his free membership.
Premium Membership Versus Free Membership
The thing that I really like about Matt’s Flights is that you can opt to simply receive the free emails with flight alerts or you can pay for a year’s premium membership and get personalized service.
If you sign up for the free membership, you will receive an email whenever Matt finds a flight deal in your region.
When you sign up for the free membership, you choose a region. So in my case, I chose the north-east and the west coast. You can sign up for as many regions as you want so you never miss a really great international deal.
As I mentioned above though, he currently only has deals available for the USA and Canada.
The premium membership costs $59.99 for the year. However, you get a 14-day free trial before you pay for the service, so if you aren’t completely happy, you can cancel the membership before your card is charged.
The premium membership is unlike any that I’ve seen before. It gives you one-on-one email communication with Matt himself. He will help you find the absolute best deal for a trip you have in mind.
So if you really want to go to Bali in May, you can tell him what airports you want to fly from and what dates you are looking at. He will then come back to you with the best deals he can find for those dates.
Pros of Matt’s Flights
- The free membership allows you to access almost-daily flight deals at no cost
- You can sign up for as many airports as you want so you never miss out on a great international deal leaving from a different airport
- The premium membership means having someone else scour the internet for personalized deals whenever you’re dreaming of a new destination
- You get deals from smaller nearby airports that you probably wouldn’t have thought of looking at before
- There aren’t many other memberships out there that offer such personalized attention
- You can cancel anytime
Cons of Matt’s Flights
- It’s only for US and Canadian airports, which for me is a bummer since I’m based in Mexico City and wouldn’t work for European-based travelers
- The premium membership is more expensive than the other similar services out there
- Sometimes by the time you look at the deal later in the day, it’s already gone.
Who Would Benefit from Matt’s Flights Service?
If you are a frequent traveler, you like and have the time for spontaneous travels, and you love a good deal, then you would love Matt’s flight service.
The deals come in and you only have a few days, or perhaps up to a week, to decide whether to buy it or not. They are often for the following month or the next two months, so you have to be able to make plans quickly.
If you are busy and don’t have the time or simply don’t want to spend the time searching for the best price flights for your next trip, the premium service really is unbeatable.
Being able to email directly with Matt and speak to him about the dates you want to travel, where you want to travel, what airports you’re willing to travel to, and what your budget is is perhaps the very best part of this service.
Alternative Flight Alert Services
There are several alternative flight alert services of varying quality out there.
The one that is perhaps most similar to Matt’s Flights is Scott’s Cheap Flights. This service is only available for USA airports and their basic membership doesn’t offer quite as much as you get from Matt’s Flights.
The free service with Matt’s Flights offers most of what’s listed below and the premium service with Scott’s flights does not offer one-on-one service. That being said, it is $10 cheaper for the year.
The other flight services program that I have heard a lot about, but haven’t had a chance to try yet is called Next Vacay. Next Vacay do not offer a free membership like the other two, but their yearly service is currently only $25.
They also offer a full 30-day trial before you pay, so if you aren’t happy you can cancel before you are charged. In addition to that, they promise that if you are not happy within the first six months of your membership, they will give you a complete refund.
While the other two flight alert services show both domestic and international services, Next Vacay focuses on really great deals to international destinations. They also offer a lot more home airport options including Europe.
The third option which I use when I simply want to be notified of a specific trip price is a feature available on Skyscanner.
I almost exclusively use Skyscanner to look for flights when I search for myself. Once you search for a flight on specific dates, Skyscanner allows you to set up an alert.
This means you will receive an email when the price changes. The price may go up or down, but either way, you will be notified. This is a completely free service.