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thrifty traveler vs going

Thrifty Traveler vs. Going: Which Flight Deal Service is Better?

Thrifty Traveler Premium is the best flight deal alert service out there, offered at the best price. But we've got competition in the flight deal world … and one of our biggest competitors is Going – formerly known as Scott's Cheap Flights.

On paper, Going and Thrifty Traveler are quite similar. We're both travel-obsessed companies that offer a flight deal alert service, scouring the internet to send members email alerts for cheap flights around the globe.

But there are critical differences. That includes the annual cost of each subscription service, the number of airports from which we search for flight deals, and the volume of alerts we send to members – especially for travelers hoping to redeem credit card points and airline miles.

Here are the differences between Going and Thrifty Traveler.


What is Going?

Going is a travel website and and subscription service. It was formerly known as Scott's Cheap Flights, named after founder Scott Keyes. Scott's Cheap Flights launched in 2015.

Going currently offers a free option called “Limited” that sends subscribers a few alerts each week – but only domestic flight deals within the continental U.S.

For travelers who want more deals, Going currently offers a paid “Premium” subscription to get more flight deals, including international fares as well as flights to Alaska and Hawaii – but only in economy. There's also a higher (and more expensive) “Elite” tier which offers domestic and international flight deals in premium economy, business class, and first class.

Recently, Going also started sending credit card points and miles flight deals called “Going with Points.” Going users report they only receive one or two points alerts a week.

No matter which service you subscribe to, Going only sends flight deals for travelers based in the United States and its territories. Going no longer searches for flight deals from airports in Canada.

In addition to its flight deal alerts, Going also publishes some travel guides and tips on its website.


What is Thrifty Traveler and Thrifty Traveler Premium?

We're Thrifty Traveler, a travel and flight deal website. Thrifty Traveler Premium is our flight deal alert service that searches for the best cheap flight deals (including points and miles award alerts) from more than 200 U.S. and Canadian airports.

CEO Jared Kamrowski founded Thrifty Traveler in 2015 with an email newsletter full of travel tips and guides, plus a few free flight deals he would post to our website. Soon after, he started the flight deal alert subscription service Thrifty Traveler Premium.

Now, we've got eight full-time employees and counting that run our flight deal service, searching around the clock from airports big and small throughout the U.S. and Canada to help members book the best flight deals every day.

Thrifty Traveler Premium 

Thrifty Traveler Premium sent more than 1,200 flight deals to subscribers last year, from sub-$100 domestic fares to a $232 roundtrip mistake fare to Paris to discounted business class tickets. But we also sent more than 300 award alerts to use credit card points or airline miles like Delta SkyMiles, American AAdvantage miles, American Express Membership Rewards Points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points and many more.

Here's what one looks like.

thrifty traveler premium award alert example 

Start getting deals like this one – sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium today! 

All Premium subscribers can receive all of our deals, including economy, premium economy, business, and first class seats bookable with cash or using points and miles.

A subscription to Thrifty Traveler Premium costs $99.99 per year and includes:

  • All domestic and international flight deals from your home airport (and as many other airports as you want!)
  • Every kind of deal we send: economy, premium economy, business, and first class
  • Filters to receive the kinds of deals you want and skip the ones you don't
  • Instant text message alerts for mistake fares and other rare Unicorn alerts
  • Our special “Nerd Alert” deals for unique flights and aircraft
  • An online hub to see all our recent deals and filter by price, month, and airline alliance
  • One-on-one credit card consulting with our team of experts to help you earn the right points
  • Access to our exclusive Facebook group to exchange advice with fellow travelers
  • A 100-day money-back guarantee
  • Our price lock guarantee: Once you sign up, you'll pay that low price for life (even if we raise prices!)


Thrifty Traveler Premium 

Thrifty Traveler Premium sends all kinds of deals to its members. Here's a glance at some recent finds:

Thrifty Traveler Premium


How Does Going Compare to Thrifty Traveler?

Going and Thrifty Traveler both offer paid flight deal subscriptions that send email alerts to members.

Going and Thrifty Traveler Premium both find and send deeply discounted domestic and international flight deals every day. In some cases, we send nearly identical alerts to our members!

Both Going and Thrifty Traveler Premium focus on major airlines – not budget or ultra-low-cost carriers – for their deals. And they're typically nonstop (or one-stop) flights with quick connections. Neither service acts as a travel agent or booking service for customers: We send the deals with instructions, you book them yourself.

But exactly what you get from each service – and what you pay for it – is much different.


How Much Does Going Cost vs. Thrifty Traveler Premium?

Thrifty Traveler Premium currently costs $99.99 a year to get every flight deal we send: cheap domestic and international fares; premium economy, business, and first class deals; and award alerts to use your points and miles. Our Premium members also get additional perks like one-on-one travel credit card consulting.

Going, meanwhile, currently offers two tiers of its paid service: Going Elite and Going Premium. Going Elite is the option that is most similar to our Thrifty Traveler Premium service.

Going Elite costs $199 a year as of publication – more than double the current cost of Thrifty Traveler Premium. Going Elite members receive domestic and international alerts, including premium cabin fares, as well as occasional “Going with Points” deals.

Going Premium costs $49 a year, as of publication. That tier only includes economy flight deal alerts. And Going Premium members are restricted to receiving alerts from 10 U.S. airports.

Going offers a free 14-day trial of both services, though you have to enter your credit card information in order to begin the trial.

going plans
Going's breakdown of its Limited, Premium ($49 per year), and Elite ($199 per year) plans


But Thrifty Traveler Premium offers a 100-day money back guarantee. That means you can give our flight deal service a try and, if you're not happy with it, cancel it for a full refund within 100 days.

Plus, Thrifty Traveler Premium members are locked into their subscription rate for life: Even if our prices eventually go up, you'll always pay the price you signed up at. Going makes no such commitment.

tt premium price lock


What Going Does Better than Thrifty Traveler

There's no question Going is a good flight deal service that helps its members save on travel. They offer a few perks that Thrifty Traveler Premium doesn't.

One such feature is a “watchlist”: an option to relay up to 10 preferred destinations to Going, which says it will “diligently search for outstanding travel deals” to them.

Going also touts its “Weekend Getaways,” deals specifically tailored for weekend trips. While Thrifty Traveler Premium members also get deal alerts that include weekend travel, we don't have a specific filter for them.

And while it hinges on which airport(s) you've selected, Going claims to send a higher volume of flight deal alerts overall than we do.


What Thrifty Traveler Does Better Than Going

There's no question Going offers a good service. But we're confident ours is better – and at a lower price, too.


More Deals from More Airports

No flight deal service finds flight deals from more airports than Thrifty Traveler Premium. And that includes Going.

As of publication, our service finds flights deals from more than 215 airports big and small in the U.S., Canada, and U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. If yours isn't on it, we're happy to add it upon request!

Check out the full list of airports we find flight deals from – yours is probably on it already!

At last count, Going covered less than 200 airports in the U.S. and its territories.

Members who have used both services report that while Going finds some great deals, they tend to focus more on the major U.S. airports like New York City (JFK), Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD), Los Angeles (LAX), and others like them at the expense of midsize and regional airports.


Text Alerts for Mistake Fares & Rare Deals

The better the deal, the shorter it lasts. When an airline screws up and accidentally sells a mistake fare for half the price (or less) than normal, every second counts.

That's why we allow Thrifty Traveler Premium members to opt in for instant text message alerts to get an instant heads up about what we just found. That also includes what we call “Unicorn fares,” ultra-rare and time-sensitive deals that may not be a mistake … but they're still an incredible deal.

thrifty traveler text alert 

As of publication, Going does not offer text alerts to its paying Elite or Premium members for any flight deal alerts.


More Points and Miles Deals

Love cheap flights but want to find the best ways to use your credit card points and airlines, too? This is what really sets Thrifty Traveler Premium apart from the competition.

We were the first flight deal service to send members both cheap cash fares and award alerts to redeem points and miles, and we're confident we do it better than anyone. That includes deeply discounted Delta SkyMiles flash sales, cheaper American Airlines award tickets, hard-to-book business class award space alerts, trips to Australia using miles, and more.

Going formally launched its “Going with Points” deals in summer 2023. But many Going Elite members report those award deals are “few and far between” – especially for the top-dollar business and first class redemptions that points aficionados care most about. And only Going Elite members who pay $199 for the service can get those premium cabin mileage deals.

In the last month alone, we've sent Thrifty Traveler Premium members nearly 30 points alerts, each with in-depth booking instructions so you can put your airline miles or credit card points to use. A few highlights include:

  • Nationwide flights to Mexico and the Caribbean for just 10,000 American AAdvantage miles
  • Delta SkyMiles deals to Europe for 34,000 SkyMiles or Cancún (CUN) as low as 16,000 SkyMiles total
  • A rare chance to book Qatar Qsuites business class using transferrable credit card points
  • Lie-flat seats to Hawaii bookable for just 40,000 points each way!


aa mexico tt premium deal 

We also have a special kind of alert just for the diehard points and miles crowd: We call them Nerd Alerts.

Happy to book within the last few weeks (or even days) if it means you can snag ultra-rare award space like Lufthansa First Class to Europe? Want the heads up on when you can book an Etihad Apartment or Qatar Airways First Class, even if those flights don't touch U.S. soil? Nerd alerts are for you.


Extra Benefits

Thrifty Traveler Premium members get some additional benefits that Going Premium and Elite members do not.

We offer each and every Premium member complimentary travel rewards consulting. Our credit card experts work one-on-one to recommend the best travel rewards cards to fuel your travels.

For extra help or other requests, we also have an exclusive Facebook group for members to trade travel advice and recommendations.


A (Much) Lower Price

This one is easy.

For its top-tier service, Going currently charges $199 a year. Our Thrifty Traveler Premium service costs half that: Just $99.99 a year.


Price Lock and a 100-Day Money Back Guarantee

Ready to give Thrifty Traveler Premium a try? We offer two extra reasons to do so that Going does not:

  • Price lock for life: Once you sign up, you'll pay that same subscription price for life – even if our membership prices have gone up.
  • 100-day money back guarantee: We're so confident that you'll love our service that we offer a 100-day money back guarantee. If we're wrong, you can cancel for a full refund within that 100-day period.


Thrifty Traveler vs Going Free Flight Deal Alerts

Not ready to pay to start getting flight deals in your inbox? Both Thrifty Traveler and Going also offer a free option to start getting some flight deal alerts for free.

Travelers who sign up for Thrifty Traveler Flight Deals get one or two domestic and international flight deals a week straight to their inbox. You can set your home airport as well as opt in to get flight deals from as many additional airports as you'd like: One or two more … or all 200-plus!

Going Limited members also get one or two flight deals a week, but only for discounted airfare within the continental U.S. – not including Alaska, Hawaii, or international destinations. Going's free Limited members can also only receive alerts departing from up to five U.S. airports.


What Travelers Say About Thrifty Traveler vs Going

Don't just take it from us: On Reddit, in Facebook groups, and reviews of our products, everyday travelers like you say you should pick Thrifty Traveler over a subscription with Going.

Reddit user umngopherfan, for example, shared in the r/TravelHacks subreddit that Thrifty Traveler Premium is “well worth the money and have saved thousands of dollars with the service.”

reddit testmonial thrifty traveler 

Same goes for user ElderberryParking272, who told travelers that, while they use both Going and Thrifty Traveler, “Thrifty has been by far my most utilized subscription.”

reddit post comparing thrifty traveler vs going 

Points and miles aficionados, in particular, say Thrifty Traveler Premium is the much better option. Here are a few tidbits they shared in Facebook groups dedicated to award travel, like Travel on Points and Award Travel 101.

fb group testimonial

thrifty traveler vs going fb group

thrifty traveler vs going in fb group post 

Travel experts have recommend us over other services, too. For example, J.T. Genter at Award Wallet concluded that “no service does a better job of alerting travelers to deals than Thrifty Traveler Premium.”

“Out of the services I subscribe to, Thrifty Traveler is often the first to find deals,” he wrote.


Bottom Line

We love a little healthy competition.

Just like us, Going offers a flight deal alert service. They offer some of the same features and deals as our Thrifty Traveler Premium service.

But we cover more airports and find more deals (especially if you're hoping to redeem points and miles) than Going … at a fraction of the cost.

If you're sold, start getting the best flight deals straight to your inbox with Thrifty Traveler Premium!

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