published: 6/23/23 | June 23, 2023
One of the biggest barriers to entry when it comes to travel is airfare. It can get expensive – especially in the post-COVID travel boom.
As anyone who has spent time researching flights knows, finding a cheap flight can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Unlike other aspects of travel (for example, museum entrance fees or walking tour prices), airline tickets do not have a set price. Instead, tickets are fickle and unpredictable. We can’t expect a non-stop flight from New York City to Tokyo to always cost the same amount (although that would be awesome!).
And even if you do find an affordable deal, it can be easy to fall into decision paralysis, wondering if you really should book it, or if you can find something cheaper (this is something that happened to me a lot when I first started traveling).
But this price volatility can actually be used to the traveler’s advantage – with the right tools.
This is where Going comes in. It is a tool designed to help you find cheap flights.
Formerly known as Scott’s Cheap Flights, Going is a membership-based website and newsletter that searches for flight deals to more than 900 destinations around the world. Most deals are 40-90% off regular fares, which means members save an average of $550 on international economy class seats (first class travelers save an average of $2,000).
That’s a huge amount of savings!
Going started in 2013 when Scott Keyes found an incredible deal from New York City to Milan: just $130 round-trip. He booked the ticket on the spot, went to Italy, and had the time of his life.
When he returned, his friends and family kept asking how he found such a great deal. So, he started regularly emailing friends with the deals he’d found. By 2015, Scott’s cheap rides were born.
Many years – and over two million members – later, Scott’s Cheap Flights has renamed it Going. Same company, new name. Going encourages its members to take a reverse booking approach to travel, which means choosing your destination and dates based on available flight deals rather than deciding when and where you want to go and then searching for a deal. It seems counterintuitive at first, but it means you can find incredible deals if you’re flexible.
I’ve known Scott for years and love what we’ve done with the company. I think he has created one of the best tools for finding cheap flights. But don’t just take my word for it – here’s everything you need to know about going in to decide if it’s right for you!
How does go work
At its core, Going is a membership website, which means you have to sign up for some sort of plan to access its deals (one option is free, and all plans offer free trials).
After signing up, it’s very easy to set up your account and get deals in your inbox:
There are three levels of membership: limited, premium, and elite. While Limited is completely free, you can take advantage of the 14-day free trial for both Premium and Elite before you sign up.
New users can also get 20% off Premium with code NOMADICMATT20.
The classes are divided as follows:
- A small selection of deals on economy class tickets for international travel, after a day or two you’ll find them
- You can follow five US departure airports (but you can’t filter flights any other way)
- Instant notification of both international and domestic economy class deals
- Rare false fare alerts from your home airport (when airlines incorrectly price a flight)
- Weekend Alerts (for flights departing within the next month)
- The ability to filter the alerts you get
- Up to 10 US airports can be tracked
- Everything is in Premium
- Every knight discovers a mistake going
- Deals on all ticket categories
- Unlimited number of departure airports
- Priority support
Here is a full breakdown of the plans:
If you’re just looking for an exotic airline deal, the Limited plan will probably suffice for you. However, if you’re looking to travel more and really want to save money, Premium is a must-have. It has more perks and offers a lot more value.
(If you’re a new user, don’t forget to use promo code NOMADICMATT20 to get 20% off Premium.)
Once you choose a plan and sign up, you’ll want to enter your home airport, as well as any additional airports you might be willing to fly to for a great deal.
While the main perk of being a Going member is that you can just sit back, do nothing, and wait for a deal to pop up in your inbox, you can also search on the Flight Deals page:
Here is an example of what you can see on this page in the Limited vs. Elite plan:
Limited Offer (Free Plan):
Elite plan view (as you can see, there are hundreds of additional deals here, filtered for economy class flights only):
How does he go find deals
It may come as a surprise to hear, but most Going Deals are found by (human) flight experts using a set of criteria to determine what makes a “deal.”
This means that they don’t just send you any cheap flight, but instead curate a selection of deals. They won’t send you a flight with several long layovers or overnight layovers, nor will they send deals on budget airlines.
Instead, Going’s deals consist of nonstop or one-stop flights on full-service airlines with manageable layovers. They also make sure that the deal includes a minimum of ten different departure dates, so you’ll never run into one that requires you to travel on a particular day. In short, they just pick up decent flights, which I really appreciate.
On each deal, you’ll see a breakdown with a little about the flight and destination, as well as sometimes a write-up that includes helpful tips and information from the aviation expert who found the deal:
You’ll also see a flight’s price history, so you can see exactly how good a deal it is. For me, this is very interesting:
Once you’ve secured a deal you like, all that’s left to do is book it. Simply hit the Going “Book” button, which will then take you to the booking site. It’s usually Google Flights, but sometimes it might be Skyscanner or similar platforms.
As you can see, when you click the button, Going has already set all the filters so that the deal it found appears:
When booking, you’ll want to act fast. Flight prices change all the time, so snag this fare while it’s still there. This is particularly the case with false fares, as they are rare and quickly collected or fixed.
Remember that in the US you legally have 24 hours after purchasing a flight to cancel it, so book first and then quickly figure out any logistics needed (vacation, pet sitting, etc.), knowing that you can cancel within a day if needed.
And that’s all there is to it!
The pros and cons of using Going
- Get cheap flight alerts delivered to your inbox (saving you loads of time)
- Simple and easy to use
- Great and practical customer service
- Affordable tiers (including the free tier)
- It allows a variety of checkout options to simplify your searches
- Paid membership is essential for the best deals
- Only works if your home airport is in the United States (including the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam)
- Reward flights are not available (you cannot book with points)
Should you use Going?
Go is for travelers who want cheap airline tickets and can be flexible on dates and destinations in order to get the best deals. Going calls this the “reverse reservation” approach.
Going is for people who don’t have the time or inclination to constantly check for cheap fares, and would rather pay a small fee ($49 per year Premium plan is enough for most people) to unlock a world of deals.
Going also works best for travelers who can act quickly once a deal is available. While most deals are for travel 2-9 months in the future, since prices change so quickly, you’ll need to be able to book as soon as you get an email alert (but: remember the comprehensive 24-hour free cancellation policy on all airlines). American).
On the flip side, Going is not a tool that helps you find cheap prices for a specific destination for a specific period of time. (If that’s all you want, just set up a Google Flights alert for your desired dates and destination.) The very nature of the service requires flexibility in order to take advantage of the best deals.
The go is also not for people who’d rather spend the time researching deals themselves than pay for a membership. You can find flights that Going Finds Yourself, as they are publicly available on search engines such as Google Flights, Skyscanner, and Kayak. However, this takes (a lot of) time, and one person will not be able to find all the deals that a Going team of 50+ people can! I even get tired of looking for flight deals sometimes!
I think Going is a great resource for helping budget travelers find amazing flight deals all over the world. While you can certainly learn the tips and tricks for doing it yourself, Going saves you the time and energy needed to hunt for deals so you can get on with living your life, wait for the perfect person to come to your inbox, book and go.
Sign up with promo code NOMADICMATT20 to get 20% off the Premium plan!
Book your flight: logistics tips and tricks
Book your flight
Find a cheap flight with Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the world so you’ll always know that no stone is left unturned.
Reserve your accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it constantly shows the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It is comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Want to travel for free?
Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodations – all without any additional spending. Check out my guide to choosing the right card, current favorites to get started, and see the latest best deals.
Ready to book your flight?
Check out my resources page for the best companies to use when traveling. I list everything I use when I travel. It’s the best in class and you can’t go wrong with it on your trip.