Frommer's has revealed the surprising results of its regular Best and Worst Airfare and Hotel Booking Sites study.
Frommer's pitted the biggest names in airfare and hotel booking engines against each other in multiple rounds of intense head-to-head competition to determine which sites were best at delivering the cheapest prices, the most useful results, and the best user experience.
Champions have tumbled. Stragglers have risen. Big names like Expedia and Trivago failed to crack any top spots while lesser-known underdogs like Agoda and Skyscanner have claimed medals.
In airfares, Momondo and Skyscanner came out on top, while in hotels, the big winners are Booking.com, Agoda, and Priceline.
For airfares, Frommer's tested sites on both last-minute flights (leaving within 72 hours) and APEX fares (booked six weeks out); on major gateways (NYC to LAX, Miami to Rio) and secondary ones (Philly to Rome) alike; and it threw in a few curve balls (Denver to New Delhi) and included a flight with no North American legs (London to Barcelona) to see how well each site handled Europe's thicket of no-frills carriers. Using a bespoke, weighted scoring systemincluding negative points for finding the worst fareseach big name in contention was ranked.
For hotels, Frommer's determined which site found the most options and the lowest rates in Orlando, Boston, Rome, London, and Hong Kongboth in general and on four specific hotels in varying price brackets in each city. Dictating a $200 ceiling and requiring results in parts of town that tourists would use, it used an informal scoring model based on five factors: Number and quality of filters and sorting options, number of accommodation types beyond hotels, ability to find the lowest price on our 20 chosen hotels, number of lodgings available in each city center, and number of those that cost under $200. Performance was weighted: For most factors, a site got 2 points for performing at the top of the class but was docked 2 points for coming out at the bottom.