NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Searching for a good deal on airline tickets? Consumer Search.com, a company that scours print publications and Web sites for the best deals on products and services, combed the reviews and found that the following three sites were consistently ranked first in their categories:
Best travel search engine.
Kayak.com. Kayak is a free service that allows users to compare fares gathered from airline Web sites and online "travel agencies." Once you've chosen a particular flight, simply click on the price and Kayak reroutes you to the airline or online agency to make your purchase. You can also use Kayak to find discounts on rental cars and hotels.
Best discount travel site.
Hotwire.com. Hotwire is still the best source for bargain flights. The site's fare prices are consistently the lowest, according to Consumer Search. The trade-off? You don't discover what airline you're flying or the exact time of departure until after you make your purchase, which means you're flying blind.
Best international travel site.
Mobissimo.com. For bargains on foreign travel, your best bet is Mobissimo.com, says Consumer Search, because it has the largest international supplier network. The site also includes a blog that tracks bargains on airfares and hotels.
If none of these sites deliver the fare you're after, try visiting Airfarewatchdog.com, a service dedicated to keeping tabs on the cheapest tickets offered directly by airlines.
By Marshall Loeb