The 'hidden airport' travel hack could save you as much as 80% on flights

Megan Willett
Tips to Save Money on Flights
Tips to Save Money on Flights

Chances are when you're searching for flights, you'll check Kayak or Orbitz to find the best price.

But a new travel website called Tripdelta claims to have created an unique algorithm that searches for "hidden airports" and can save travelers as much as 80% compared to the bigger websites.

The website has been in the works for over two years now and was put together by a team of developers who created a complicated algorithm that could smart-search for deals like a seasoned travel hacker.

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The algorithm finds these so-called "hidden" airports by searching for connections from nearby airports or connections between two different airlines.

"Flight searches are not able to make out the right hidden connection," Tripdelta founder Maximilian Ibel explained to Tech Insider. "It requires a self-improving, self-learning, and predictive algorithm to solve this problem."

Tripdelta compares as many as 500 times more flight combinations per search than competing websites, according to Ibel, and combines different carriers and routes to find the best possible option.

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"For example, if you want to go from Berlin to New York, one option would be to stop over in London," Ibel said. "Both flights are probably being operated by British Airways. Usually all major airlines provide a flight option to your destination. However, in this case it might be cheaper to take a low-cost carrier like Ryanair to Stockholm and from there take a flight with Norwegian to New York."

"The problem is that Norwegian and Ryanair do not operate in the same alliance and do not have a codeshare agreement," he added. "Therefore, they are not found together by other flight searches. That makes Stockholm a secret airport and this route hidden."

Essentially, the same search tricks you could do yourself by combing websites like ITA Matrix or Skiplagged, Tripdelta does for you.

Here's a recent example. I searched for the same flight from San Francisco to Berlin on Kayak as well as Tripdelta and saved $20 on the same lowest priced flight. Kayak flight prices then jump up another $200 to $537 while Tripdelta found flights for under $400.

I did, however, discover that the website didn't always give travelers the cheapest option. When I searched New York to Berlin, for example, Kayak's lowest result actually beat Tripdelta by $15.

Still, travelers who want more options on where to check flights and compare prices will appreciate Tripdelta for doing the work for them instead of spending hours manually searching for the best possible route.

So far, Ibel said tripdelta has over 100,000 users and Ibel himself said he's saved thousands by using the search engine.

"The thing about tripdelta is that we give you a lot of additional, unique options with every search," he said. "Sometimes the flight is cheaper, sometimes the connection is better and shorter, and sometimes the original search is the best. But we try to make sure that you have every option in one search available."