Guest Post by Alex of Wander with Alex
Google Flights is a popular flight search engine that compiles upcoming flights all in one place. Rather than hop around from airline-to-airline websites searching for the best price, Google Flights will do all the work for you.
Google Flights vs Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)
Websites such as Expedia, Priceline, and Travelocity are known as online travel agencies (OTAs). Online travel agencies are third-party service providers that strike deals with airlines to offer lower prices.
While OTAs can certainly offer cheap flights, some people would rather deal with the airlines directly. You see, if something happens to go wrong on your flight, it’s up to the online travel agency to remedy the issue.
So, watch out for OTAs with a bad customer service reputation!
Google Flights, on the other hand, is not an online travel agency. Rather, it is a search engine that simply compiles airline prices in one place for you to compare.
Once you’ve found a flight that you like, Google Flights will send you to the airline’s website to finish your booking. The advantage to this is if something goes wrong with your flight, you can work directly with the airline to resolve the issue.
How to Use Google Flights
Search for the Best “Cheap” Flights on Google
Google Flights is straightforward and easy to use. Begin by visiting Google Flights and entering in your destination information and dates to populate the Google Flights date grid.
Once you’ve searched for this information, you will be taken to a page that will allow you to filter your results by stops, airlines, bag fees, price, times, emissions, connecting airports, and duration.
As you can see, Google Flights is a very powerful tool that will let you compare and filter by options that are important to you.
Track Flights and Prices with Google Flight Alerts
Under the search bar, you will see an option for tracking prices. This Google Flights feature allows you to sign up for email alerts that will notify you of any price changes on your preferred flight.
If you don’t have flexibility with your travel dates, Google Flights alerts are a great option to watch for the best prices.
Google Flights Date Grid and Price Graphs
If your travel dates are flexible, then check out the Date Grid and Price Graph.
The Google Flights Date Grid will show you the cheapest flights within a certain date range in grid form. The cheapest prices are conveniently highlighted in green while the most expensive are highlighted in red.
The Google Flights Price Graph is another graphical representation of flight trends that will allow you to explore pricing by week or month.
Find Cheap Flights on Google Explore
Google Explore is another great feature for those that are flexible with dates and destinations. If you don’t care about dates, simply input your departing airport and you’ll get a map listing all your options (with prices) around the world.
So, if you’re spontaneous, the Google Explore feature is the perfect way to find a random destination based on lowest price.
Which Airlines are NOT listed on Google Flights?
One notable airline that isn’t listed on Google Flights is Southwest Airlines. That is because Southwest Airlines chooses not to list prices on Google Flights or any other online travel agency website.
So, if you’re fond of Southwest, don’t forget to search their website! As well, there are other smaller airlines you may not see when searching for flights on Google.
How to Use Google Flights to Find Cheap Flights
Here’s a quick recap on how you can find cheap flights using Google Flights.
- The more flexible you are with your travel dates, the more likely you are to find the best price
- If you cannot budge on your dates, use Google Flight Alerts to keep track of price changes
- Use Google Explore to find the cheapest destinations from your location
- Use the Date Grid and Price Graph to compare ticket prices by week or month
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Final Thoughts on Using Google Flights to Find Cheap Flights
Now that you are aware of all the great features that Google offers for finding flights, don’t forget to try it out for your next flight and search the Google flights date grid created for you!
Be sure to sign up for the mileage reward programs pertinent to the airline you fly. If you fly with United Airlines and haven’t already signed up with United MileagePlus to begin accruing points, NOW is the best time!