How to Use Google Flights to Find Cheap Flights
It’s just incredible how Google Flights has changed the way people search flights, and that too, cheap flights with great deals and a host of other remarkable features. It was not that easy to search for a cheap flight and most often it involved too much research into a couple of websites that offered a flight search engine only. What Google Flights has done is that it has brought all that matters to a frequent flyer under one roof. So you find a flight search engine, attractive deals, cheap flight options, travel itinerary, flexibility to change flights, multi-city travel options, luggage options and so much more. You cannot just search for a cheap flight, but track price change, get alerted via email and do more than you could imagine. Browse through below guide to know how to use google flights to find cheap flights and where to find cheap flights:
What is Google Flights?
Google Flights is a search engine that lets you search for cheap flights instantly. It is not an online travel booking site that lets you book flight tickets. On the other hand, it redirects you to the online travel agencies from where you can buy tickets. You can however not be able to buy tickets from Google Flights. Google Flights just shows you the flights with their prices, dates, and other criteria.
How to use Google Flights?
You can use a web browser to use Google Flights search anywhere. You will not find any app called Google Flights. You need to browse the Google Flights website on your desktop or mobile. On the left-hand side of the Google Flights home page, you will see a menu and on the right side is the actual flight search engine.
Menu: The left-hand side menu has shortcuts to go to different sections like Vacation Rentals, Travel, Things to do, Hotels, Flights, Explore. Using this menu, tourists can find travel destinations, do hotel bookings, find vacation rentals, search flights and find about activities that they can do in their chosen destination. The home page is also the place where you can change your default language, national currency, location.
Flight Search box: The right side of the home page has a search engine where you enter your departure city and destination city. You can select what type of trip you want e.g. one-way trip, round trip, or multi-city trip. Specify how many passengers are going on this flight and the dates of travel. You can select the class you are traveling in like Economy, Business, First, Premium economy.
Covid advisories: Below the search box are the government advisories on travel. View countries that have travel restrictions due to the Corona outbreak, and what travel advisories do you have to follow like quarantine period, proof of immunization, etc. You can also track these Covid regulations by getting alerts about them in your inbox.
Input the departure city and city of arrival in the search boxes and the dates. The search results will display flights that operate between the cities that you had specified in the search box.
Search filters let you be very specific about certain things. You can specify the number of stops, connecting airports, bags, airlines, times, price, flight duration.
How to search for cheap flights on Google Flights?
Multiple city search
In the departure box, you can enter the city of your departure and the destination box let you specify the city of arrival. Google Flights let you choose up to 7 departures and 7 arrival destinations. This is a very good solution for those who do not have any specific city in mind. So for arrival city, if they choose New York, they can decide which airport they want to take the flight to like John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Likewise, they can choose the departure airport also. If you know the airport code, you can also type the code directly into the search box. Google Flights will display the cheapest flights first. And the cheapest of them is highlighted in green, followed by others. Below this are the other flights which are more expensive.
In the calendar box, you can find the dates with the prices of flights. You can select the date on which the prices of flights are the cheapest. Such dates are highlighted in green. The calendar shows you a month-wise result page. You can adjust the months by clicking the arrows to the right and left.
Flight insights are a way of Google Flights to summarize the flight search results. On the top of the search results, there is a Data Grid and Price Graph. Additionally, just below the Best Flights results, is a pricing section, which shows a typical price during a period.
The Date Grid shows the cheapest days on which to take the flight. It is a grid of all the dates and prices on that dates. You can scroll down the dates and find out more dates on which the prices are cheap. The cheap prices of flights are highlighted in green.
A bar chart shows the price graph for 2 months period. Click on the arrow button and you can also see the price of flights for more months.
How to book a flight through Google Flights?
Google Flights is a search engine that lets you find all airline operators which offer flights between the destinations you have specified. Depending on the kind of trip i.e. one-way trip, round trip, or multi-city trip, you will see all the airlines which offer flights. The top results are usually the cheapest flights and the results below them are the more expensive ones. So if you have opted for one way trip, you will have to enter two destinations, one is the departure and the other the arrival destination. In the case of a round trip, you should also see the cheapest return flight.
Select the flight and the site will redirect you to the website of the flight operator where you can book the flight. You will see all the payment-related details and personal information that you have to feed to book the flight.
Google Flights matrix lets users keep a track of flight prices. They can get to know by email, about a change in prices, learn about the expiry of fares, and the best flights to book. Make sure that you are logged in to your Google account. In case you are logged out, you will be prompted to sign in to your Gmail account. You can toggle the Track Prices button to activate this feature.
By sharing the flight search result, users can choose to share an itinerary with family or friends before booking a flight. The Share button is very useful when users are looking for flights for a group or others. You can hit the Send To Yourself button to send the search result to your email account. Instead, you can also send it to others, by clicking on the Share button. You can share the result by email, Facebook, Twitter, or Copy link.
Google Flights search option lets you explore the destinations in three ways, Place, Date, and Price. You can do it by clicking the Explore button from the main menu.
Designation with Place
The Explore Destination Places option lets you select the destination you want to travel to. It shows a map with destinations where you can go. For example, if you set the destination like Europe, then it will show all the best destinations of Europe with the prices. The map will also show the destinations on the flight route.
Destinations with Dates
You can explore destinations by date, and set the period for which you want to plan a trip. The feature is right below the departure and destination boxes. It let users enter dates within the next 2 months or even specific dates. You will be able to browse flights that are available every month.
Destinations by Price
You can search for destinations for which a flight is available by setting a minimum flight price. The price feature is also below the box where you enter the date. You can pull the handle to the specific price point for which you want to book or search for a flight. The slider lets you conveniently slide through the range of prices for a flight.
Google Flights has made it incredibly easy to do a single search and offer multiple solutions. For example, you can click on the Travel option on the left-hand menu, and it will let you search for Vacation Rentals, Flights, Hotels, Destinations, Things to do, and more. Or, you can go to google.com/travel. For example, if you enter the search term as Australia, then a drop-down menu will let you click on travel destinations in Australia, things to do in Australia, cheap flights to Australia, hotels in Australia, Vacation rentals in Australia. It will let you further decide on the theme of your travel, and will show the top articles relating to that destination. Similarly, if you type hotels it will prompt you with suggestions and you can also enter your own choice of destination, and it will find the best hotels in that destination.
FAQs about Google Flights
How does Google Flights work?
Google Flights work by searching databases of online travel agencies and flight operators to show you flight schedules, flight prices, seats. Google Flights uses a powerful program called ITA Matrix which was developed for travel agents and online reservations.
Can I find accurate prices on Google Flights?
Google Flights does show accurate results with prices. Even if you browse through individual online flight operators you will not find a huge difference in prices. But if the prices are outdated and not updated by the OTAs, then Google Flights will also not show updated prices.
Can I find the cheapest flights on Google Flights?
Yes. You can find cheap flight tickets on Google Flights. Google Flights just reflects prices it has retrieved from OTAs and many other airline operators. It gets the cheapest prices based on its in-built program. Use Google Flights more often to get yourself familiar with its functions and features. You can check out other sites such as Skyscanner or Momondo to verify the search results of Google Flights with that of that site.
Is there any alternative to Google Flights?
Momondo, Kayak, Skyscanner, Priceline are some alternatives to Google Flights. But you should know where and when to find cheap flights using these resources.
Can I find all airlines on Google Flights?
You will get so many airlines, almost 300, on Google Flights. So it will be fair to say that you will find most of the airlines on Google Flights. However, there are few airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Air China, Thai Airways, China Eastern that are not on this platform.
Can I book or cancel a flight through Google Flights?
Yes. You can book a flight using Google Flights. It will redirect you to the website of the airline operator or the online travel agency and you can book your flight. Google Flights is just a search engine that displays a list of all flights and gets you the cheapest ones. In case the flight is canceled you cannot ask Google Flight for a refund. You have to approach the airline with which you booked your flight to ask for a refund.
Which airlines are there on Google Flights?
Here is an entire list:
Google Flights is used increasingly to search for the best cheapest flight options globally. It is incredibly flexible for use and displays accurate results. It has features that give you complete travel solutions that every traveler wants. You can search for cheap flights, find travel destinations, find the best hotels and vacation rentals, and plan a visit accordingly. Check out our other travel guide to know How to Setup Google Flights Tracking Alerts.