Master Google Flights
Your guide to scoring the perfect flight with the tech powerhouse’s travel tool
Given the copious power Google offers as a search engine, it comes as no surprise that it also offers an excellent flight-finding tool.
Similar to most of Google’s services, finding the flight that’s right for you can be as automated or as customized as you’d like. It even allows you to circumvent the need to comb through each individual online travel agency (think Orbitz, Momondo, etc.) to find the best deal.
Track fluctuating flight prices with email notifications, discover the best time of the month to book your flight for the lowest price, and even apply a wide range of filters to make sure only the flights you are interested in appear in your results.
Let’s talk filters
Google offers a seemingly endless assortment of filter options to help customize your search experience. Filter by price, time, layover length, connecting airports, number of stops and more. A few of its more unique filters allow you to further customize your results.
Have you had a bad experience with a particular airline? Don’t fret, because Google Flights allows you to filter out any bad apples by using the “airlines” filter to exclude results from a carrier.
Heavy packers get a boost from the “multiple bags” filter, which instantly updates ticket price based on the number of bags. After all, the cost savings from one airline to the next can change drastically depending on your luggage needs.
Download our baggage fees comparison chart
While offering a great resource for optimizing your must-have flight needs, Google Flights also features an interactive “explore map” of popular destinations from your chosen departure airport, either with flexible dates or specific ones applied. Whether you use the map to monitor your frequent business trips or to peruse your dream destinations, it offers excellent flight prices in real time from all around the world.
Another excellent feature is the “track prices” option. Once you’ve selected a flight, and before you decide to book, you can enable Google to track the prices over the length of time from when you initially tracked it until the time of departure. Tracking multiple flights to the same destination can help you decide the best time to purchase and the best value for you.
Perhaps, the greatest feature of Google Flights is its “best flight” filter. It looks at everything from the length of flight and departure time to frequency and the length of layovers to determine your best options. But, ultimately, the choice is yours.
Once you have flight options narrowed down, you can also choose to “share” flights using a link or share directly on social media. This is a great option for those traveling with others or as a group.
How does it stack up?
Does Google Flights feature most airlines and competitive prices? What about allowing you to search through all the various online travel agencies listed in one location so you don’t have to? Yes, of course it does. It’s Google we’re talking about, here.
But, that isn’t to say Google will always offer the best deals. Other online travel agencies and aggregators often lure travelers with competitive promotions. In addition, many of the popular travel sites offer users loyalty points that can be used to discount future bookings. So sometimes, the better deal may be found elsewhere.
Oh, and, one more thing … those planning to fly with airlines like Southwest or Allegiant will have a hard time finding flights on Google Flights as they typically only sell directly to travelers via their websites.