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Travel Tips

The Best Flight Search Engine: Trip.com v Skyscanner v Moonsand


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What is in this blog? Table of contents:

While the odd travel agent can still be found on the high street today, the stark reality is that the vast majority of small, independent travel agents have been pushed aside by the rise of flight search engines and online flight booking tools.

The days of popping in to see your local agent, discussing your preferred travel dates and destinations are gone. Instead, in the digital era, all of this can be done from the comfort of your own home, with a few flicks of your fingertips.

After all, how can the small, independent high street travel agent compete with the speed and technology offered by the industry’s leading flight search engines?

In this article, we will be examining one of the industry powerhouses in greater detail, while also comparing them with two lesser known, but no less effective options when it comes to finding and comparing cheap flights for your next holiday.

We are of course, talking about Skyscanner, and will be comparing them with Trip.com, and ourselves (Moonsand), as we aim to prove that we’re able to compete with the best flight search engines!

What are Trip.com, Skyscanner and Moonsand?


A multinational travel service conglomerate, Trip.com lays claim to being one of the worlds largest online travel agents and flight search engines. Boasting over 45,000 employees and well over 400 million users worldwide, it is easy to see why!

The site offers a broad range of booking services, ranging from flights, to hotels, tours and even train tickets! Essentially, they provide the ULTIMATE one-stop-shop for all your holiday booking needs.

They are also highly accessible, with the website available in 19 different languages, ensuring that they are able to effectively cater to a global audience.


Skyscanner are probably the most recognisable name in the flight search engine sphere, but, what you probably did not know is that they themselves are a subsidiary of Trip.com. But, with Trip.com as their parent company, they are backed by the largest travel conglomerate in the world.

Skyscanner offers its users extensive options for travel, comparing prices across flights, hotels, and car rentals.

They utilise powerful technology to serve users around the globe with a broad range of travel options at competitive prices by sifting through data from thousands of travel providers.

This data allows users to make informed and unbiased decisions, simultaneously simplifying the booking process, getting users a good deal and providing flexibility.


At Moonsand, we’re not backed by global travel conglomerates, and we’re not considered a household name… just yet! But, when it comes to the search for the best flight search engine, we think we deserve to stand up and be counted amongst the biggest names in the industry!

Created by travel enthusiast, for travel enthusiasts, we endeavour to not only provide our users with the best deal possible on their travels, but also the best service possible.

We aim to cater to all types of travellers, which is why as a flight search engine we prices from major airlines and hotel sites to deliver excellent prices to our users. We not only match the biggest names in the industry when it comes to prices, we beat them, and we can prove this a little later in this article!

Which is the Best Flight Search Engine?

Each flight search engine, with its unique approach travel and technology, caters to a variety of users’ needs and preferences, aiming to enhance the way users plan, book, and experience travel.

As we explore their features in more depth, we will uncover which service might best match your travel planning style and preferences.

Trip.com v Skyscanner v Moonsand: Key Features Comparison

Search and Booking Capabilities

Trip.com offers its users a host of travel booking options to make them a one-stop-shop, enabling them to cater to every aspect of your travel needs. Whether it is hotels, flights, train tickets, tours, attractions, taxis, or more, if you can book it, you can boo it through Trip.com!

It is easy to see why Trip.com is a firm favourite around the globe!

They also offer gift cards, meaning you can give the gift of travel to a loved one! And, for those who travel often, Trip.com offer an excellent rewards program.

Trip.com vs Skyscanner vs Moonsand: Trip Giftcard Sales
Trip.com Gift Cards

Discover Trip.com.

Perhaps the most well-known feature of Skyscanner is its innovative "everywhere search," which allows users to enter their departure airport and then receive a plethora of low-cost flight options to locations all over the world.

Trip.com vs Skyscanner vs Moonsand: Skyscanner Everywhere Search Feature
Skyscanner 'Everywhere Search'

According to our research, those who have the "travel bug" and would rather explore new places rather than stick to one particular destination—on a budget, of course—find this function especially appealing. Adventuresome travelers can discover new parts of the world on a budget by expanding their options for travel destinations by removing the restrictions associated with particular locations.

Discover Skyscanner.

To keep you safe, we at Moonsand work with hundreds of reliable and screened travel and lodging companies. As a travel aggregator and flight search engine, we obtain pricing information from our suppliers for flights and hotels, compile it, and present you with the best deal we can (which we'll demonstrate a little later on).

Our website was created by travellers for travellers, and it is powered by your savings—that is, we save when you save. We intend to stay, and we don't see it taking long for us to start squaring off against the big players in the flight comparison website market.

Moonsand is prided on the deals we can source and the knowledge we can share. Offering detailed blog content and a newsletter that shares insights, news and tips on the best prices, how to save money on travel and how to travel on a budget plus more.

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Price Comparison and Deals

In addition to sun, sea, snow, and sand, traveller’s hearts are won over by the cost of flights and accommodations.

Trip.com excels with its price match guarantee, a feature that enables users to shop around, and then Trip.com will match any prices if they are beaten. This is particularly important for travellers who are budget conscious, however this can be a time consuming process, so perhaps not best suited for those in a hurry!

Skyscanner operates on a no-commission basis and is totally dedicated to transparency. By doing this, they make it feasible for customers to view and pay prices that are as near to what they would pay the airline provider directly.

This strategy has gained a great deal of confidence over time, and Skyscanner is a great option for customers who appreciate price transparency because of their great costs.

Similar to Skyscanner, we at Moonsand gather pricing information from various sources in order to find our customers the greatest deal. After that, we send them to the websites of our partners so they may finish booking.

To help present the best prices and the best options for flight deals, Moonsand has a low fare calendar. Designed to show you the best pricing around your selected dates. So, if you are flexible this is a great tool to save on your next trip.

Trip.com vs Skyscanner vs Moonsand: Moonsand Low Fare Calculator
Moonsand Low Fare Calculator

However, as we all know, in terms of cost, you have to see it to believe it!

That’s why we’ve gone to great lengths to prove that not only are we able to match the prices of the biggest names in the industry, but we’re able to beat them!

For this example, we opted to fly from London to Dubai, looking at direct flights only but opting for flights from any airport on all three platforms.

As you can see, Trip.com comes in at £489, Skyscanner at £479, while at Moonsand, we came in at £465 for the exact same flights!

*Prices below accurate as of 01.06.2024

Flight Comparison Site Cheapest Flights Airline / Route Date / Time / Duration Date / Time / Duration
Moonsand £465 Emirates
Sep 2nd 21:45 – 07:35 (+1) 6h 50m (Direct) Sep 16th 10:20 - 15:05 7h 45m (Direct)
Skyscanner £479 Emirates
Sep 2nd 21:45 – 07:35 (+1) 6h 50m (Direct) Sep 16th 10:20 - 15:05 7h 45m (Direct)
Trip.com £489 Emirates
Sep 2nd 21:45 – 07:35 (+1) 6h 50m (Direct) Sep 16th 10:20 - 15:05 7h 45m (Direct)
Flight Comparison Prices between Moonsand, Skyscanner and Trip.com

Additional Services & Perks

While all three platforms are primarily flight search engines, each does have other features that should be taken into account.

For example, Trip.com offers users a one-stop-shop solution to their travel booking needs. Giving them the ability to book virtually anything you need on your trip, from hotels and flights, to tours, tickets and taxis!

Additionally, as we touched on earlier, they also run an excellent rewards program and offer their users the ability to purchase gift vouchers for family and friends who love to travel.

Trip.com vs Skyscanner vs Moonsand: Trip.com Rewards Interface
Trip.com Rewards

By providing comprehensive flight information such as duration, layovers, and in-flight amenities like Wi-Fi, Skyscanner elevates the level of travel preparation.

When travellers make a reservation with Moonsand, we guarantee that there are no additional costs. This implies that we provide you with the total cost of the flight, including taxes and fees for carry-on luggage, at the time the results are displayed.

Since we were created by travellers, we assume you would agree that there is nothing worse than completing a booking process just to have additional costs imposed on at the last minute.

Trip.com v Skyscanner v Moonsand: Pros and Cons

Each platform brings distinct advantages to the table:

Trip.com is multinational and has a website that is accessible in over 19 different languages, making it ideal for travellers all around the world. They utilise advanced technology and algorithms to give their users exclusive deals and prices, making them a great option for those who plan in advance and are budget conscious.

They also have multilingual customer service available 24/7! Additionally, they have a fully functioning mobile app, which can be used interchangeably with their desktop site.

However, some users report that their booking is often cancelled, with the option to rebook being given at a much higher price.

Skyscanner's sophisticated search features provide customers with access to arguably the widest selection of travel possibilities. Its user-friendly interface permits users to plan with a great deal of flexibility. They also don't accept booking commissions and have a tool called "Everywhere Search".

However, on the downside, all of this choice could potentially be overwhelming, leading to some users feeling that the site is over complicated.

And finally, here at Moonsand are here to support those who enjoy travelling. Our user-friendly design, wide range of options, and competitive rates have enabled us to take on the largest names in the market.

We do not currently have a mobile app, though, which may work against us for certain consumers. Additionally, we do not have all of the functionality that full service platforms have, but we do not feel that this negatively impacts the experience of our users.

Trip.com v Skyscanner v Moonsand: Pros and Cons Summary:

Pros Cons
Trip.com • 24/7 multilingual customer service
• Multinational and accessible for users around the world
• Excellent mobile app
• Not all users fully satisfied
• Occasionally cancel bookings then give the option to rebook at a higher price
Skyscanner • No booking fees
• Excellent for price comparison and finding low prices
• A clean and easy to use interface
• Direct booking is handled by third parties, which can lead to inconsistencies in customer service
• Limited additional services compared to full-service platforms
Moonsand • Modern, user friendly interface
• No booking fees
• Excellent for price comparison and finding low prices
• Designed by travellers, for travellersIndicates the cost of flights with luggage included
• Offers price match
• Direct booking is handled by third parties, which can lead to inconsistencies in customer service
• Limited additional services compared to full-service platforms
• No current mobile app

Final Flight Search Engine Recommendations and Tips

Choosing the right flight search engine depends on your specific travel needs and preferences.

In this article, we’ve given you a detailed run-down on three of the biggest names in the sector, Trip.com, Skyscanner and Moonsand.

But ultimately, the best flight search engine for you will be the one that closely aligns with your goals, and we hope we’ve given you all the information you need in order to make an informed decision.

One last thing from us… Enjoy your trip!

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out our related articles:

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Moonsand compares hundreds of flight and hotel booking platforms and
displays all your search results in one place.
Moonsand compares hundreds of flight and hotel booking platforms and displays all your search results in one place.
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