Flight scanner would be the name that each of over a dozen or so sites on the web could go by. You probably already know what a flight scanner is, but just in case you don’t let’s clarify the combination of these two words and put them in context. A flight scanner is simply a feature by the use of which you get access to flights from many, often hundreds, of airlines, seat availability and prices, for just about any route. This would be the definition of a dedicated flight scanner web site. However, just because a site is not a dedicated flight scanner, in the full sense of the word, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be a flight scanner.
What does that mean? Well, in reality, you have two different types of flight scanning services on web sites. As already mentioned above, there are the dedicated flight scanner sites, which query many different airlines’ databases for flight availability, seat availability, prices and routes. There are dozen or so sites that offer this as a primary service. And then there are quite a few more that are what we would call secondary publishers, who only display the search feature they “borrow” from primary flight scanning web sites.
However, the most common flight scanning service is not one we commonly think of first, when thinking about a flight scanner. See, in reality every single airline’s own web site is also a flight scanner, albeit only for the own flights’ availability. You are naturally limited when using specific airlines search feature, but they nevertheless satisfy the criteria.
There are obvious advantages to using multiple-airline scanning services. You get to browse through lots of results and choose the most convenient flight for your needs, be it you want the lowest price, the most direct route, you want to travel business class or choose to have one-day layovers in specific cities in order to do some sight-seeing. You might however miss special offers from airlines where you’re the holder of a frequent flyer membership, but I suppose you can always do a multiple search first and then check with your favourite airline once that’s done.