There’s no doubt that New Zealanders and Australians are great travellers but let’s face it, to travel overseas from the antipodes you have to be committed to exploring the world because the distances involved are considerable! That’s why I was keen to try out the Bravofly flight search site.
Those who know me know I am an independent traveller, both on principle and to make my travel dollar go the furthest possible. I use the internet to find cheap flights and hotel deals because paying someone else to organise travel for you costs more.
There are plenty of flight comparison sites and apps around to help people like me plan their travel so why use Bravofly.com.au?
Here’s what I did to test it out: I conducted two sample searches, I say sample searches but these are examples of real journeys I have taken a number of times before or am currently planning. One search for an Australian domestic flight (Melbourne-Hobart) and one international flight (London-Marrakech).
So how did the site perform?
Australian domestic flights
I have visited beautiful Tasmania three times in the past and I’ll always go back for more so the obvious choice for my Australia domestic flight search was from my usual Australian base in Melbourne to Hobart.
Bravofly searches over 350 traditional and low cost airlines. Once the search results have come up you can filter to find the most convenient flights on the lefthand side of the screen. At the top is a handy table showing the cheapest flight options across the week you are searching and it is easy to look at the previous and subsequent weeks as well.
There’s a useful Compare tab where you can see up to five flights you have selected (by ticking the compare box) and take a closer look. You can also compare the results of different searches here. The travel options you select will remain available under the Compare tab for up to 40 minutes.
You can further filter your search results by ‘trashing’ unsuitable options but don’t worry these are still available under the Trash tab.
All this is ideal for an inveterate cheap flight searcher like myself!
Once you have confirmed your flight choice there is a box with information about travel visas required for your destination, including electronic travel authorisations. There is also an option to pay a little extra for a fully flexible flight ticket.
If you need help during the booking process just click on the headset icon in the top right corner of the screen.
Bravofly claims to be a one stop shop for flight searches wherever you need to travel in the world. Deals from airlines and hotels around the world are fully searchable and bookable. So I can plan my bi-annual long haul trip to include New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Asia no problem.
You just have to look at the (dropdown at top right) list of languages the website translates into to realise they are serious about this, there is everything from Argentina and Belarus to Vietnam and Ukraine.
I searched for flights for my planned trip to Morocco in late October. The first thing to do was to change to the ‘Great Britain Cheap Flights’ version of the site. Then it was a similar process of playing with the various options for filtering to find my perfect flight, including whether you need to depart and return at the same airport or with the same airline (it can be cheaper to mix and match).
The Bravofly search came up with cheaper options than from the searching I did a few weeks ago – hurrah!
Why is this site better?
- The ability to do search in your own country/language category is something I have not seen on any other flight search engine and seems to me a massively sensible.
- I like that I can easily filter or sort my search by departure time/price /number of stops etc. with just a few clicks.
- I did a quick price check on the actual airline or hotel website (as you always should before booking through a third party website) but Bravofly came out best every time so far and wouldn’t it save so much time to be able to rely on their price checking?!
- I like that you can call Bravofly to add services or make changes to your booking up to within 24 hours of departure. It’s like having a travel agent without paying for one.
When it’s time to travel
You can present your confirmation email at the airport check-in desk and they will provide a boarding pass. It is also possible to use the reference number to print out an electronic ticket directly from the airline webpage.
What doesn’t work so well?
Bookings are not always confirmed immediately but usually within 24 hours and only longer if there are issues with an airline or a special assistance request. I know these days we expect that confirmation email to instantly appear in our inbox but don’t worry the booking will be made, just relax.
What about the fine print?
Where Bravofly is offering a deal or discount, these are flagged up at the top of your search so you know what the terms of travel are before you move forward. The last thing you want to do is go all the way through to the payment stage on a great deal and find that there are hidden terms or costs.
Take a look at the blog and excellent travel tips section on the site – there’s loads of travel inspiration there. I’ll be checking Bravofly to research my next travel plan – for London to Morocco!
By Natasha von Geldern
Have you used travel search engines? What are your top tips?
Disclosure: Bravofly.com.au asked me to carry out an honest review of their travel search site because I am a frequent traveller and the above opinions are my entirely unbiased assessment of the site.