By Lorenz Rychner
This item appears on page 13 of the May 2016 issue.

I swear by Airfarewatchdog ( It has brought up many a fare that I would not otherwise have known about.

Just as importantly, when it alerts me to a fare for a flight on a day I can’t travel, it often leads me in the right direction and, by digging around in places where otherwise I would not have gone digging, I can find a deal. 

As an example, last fall, family news meant that I would have to make a trip to Switzerland on short notice. I kept GVA (Geneva), ZRH (Zürich) and major airports in nearby countries on my list of fare alerts, which I would get by email.

On Oct. 7, 2015, I received an Airfarewatchdog alert about a $921 round-trip Denver-Geneva fare with a stipulated departure date of Nov. 2. As I dug deeper, I found an even better deal on a flight leaving Nov. 1: $841.80 round trip (base fare, $202, plus taxes and fee, $639.80).

When I visit and see an enticing fare listed, I click that fare to see more details (valid dates, etc.). states where it came across the fare (an airline’s website or an aggregator website) and what parameters it used (for example, it might say, “We found this fare by selecting ‘My dates are flexible’”), which I will use when I search for the fare.

There is no direct link to the fare in question, however; I have to find it, myself. To search, I can click on a link to jump straight from to the specific airline or to the aggregator website ( or whichever) or I can open a new browser window and get to the airline or aggregator website that way, then I find the fare and book there, if it’s still available, but never on

By the way, if you do a search on and do not specify a date, it finds the best fare within the next 30 days.

It costs nothing to put fare alert preferences on and nothing to get their fare alerts. You cannot book flights, tours, vacation packages or anything else on Since the website and the email alerts it generates do not involve selling or fees or creating spam, there are no negatives involved. I can highly recommend this website.


Denver, CO