01How Google Flights Works
Using Google Flights to search for airfare works similarly to using Expedia.com or any other travel search engine. After you arrive on the home page, you simply enter your departure airport, where you want to travel to, and your dates.
Once you do, you’ll see that Google Flights lists out your best airfare options and pricing for various airlines.
In this case, we searched for round-trip flights from Indianapolis to Dubrovnik. While you can’t see all the results on the screen, Google Flights came up with dozens of flight options ranging from $1,076 on Delta, Croatia Airlines, and Endeavor Air to $1,677 on American Airlines and Croatia Airlines.
However, Google Flights also throws in a helpful tip–that if this person is willing to fly out of Chicago (ORD), flights to Dubrovnik over those dates start at just $762. That’s a big savings, and that’s a tip you won’t find if you search on Expedia.com or Kayak.com.
Google Flights also lets you search by the number of stops, by the airline, flight times, and more. That way, you can narrow down your search based on the type of flight you prefer. Also keep in mind that Google lets you track prices and sign up to receive an alert if the flight you want goes down in price.
02The Google Flights “Discover Destinations” Tool
Still, one of Google Flight’s best features is its “Discover Destinations” tool. This function allows you to enter dates and find deals to various parts of the world from your home airport.
If we search for flight deals out of Indianapolis in August to “anywhere” with “any interests,” we see a ton of deals ranging from $193 round-trip flights to Las Vegas to $313 round-trip flights to Cancun.
Break it down even further and you’ll find more specific deals. For this search, we looked for flights out of Indianapolis in May to “Europe” with “any interests.” Amazingly, we uncovered round-trip flights to London starting at $782, round-trip to Dublin from $688, and round-trip airfare to Moscow for $968.
03How to Use Google Flights to Your Advantage
Now that you know how Google Flights works, it’s smart to figure out ways to use it to your advantage. The first strategy is obvious. Whenever you want to travel somewhere and find the best deal on airfare, lean on Google Flights to show you the best prices across all airlines worldwide.
Since Google Flights also lets you search by number of stops or flight time, you can also use it to weed out the flights with several layovers or unnecessary length.
Another way to use Google Flights to your advantage is to rely on it for new travel ideas. Whether you don’t know where you want to go or you just want to go somewhere “cheap,” Google Flight’s Discover Destinations tool makes it easy to uncover hard-to-find deals all over the globe. Remember though, you can’t actually buy airfare on Google Flights. The website will show you the best deals, but you’ll have to go directly to the airline or to a discount travel website to buy.
Can Google Flights Help You Save Money on Airfare?
Searching for the lowest prices on airfare used to be a huge pain. Usually, you would have to call individual airlines to get pricing or work with a travel agent to drum up the best deal. It was all pretty time consuming and inefficient, and that’s true even when you knew where you wanted to go.
Fortunately, the internet happened and we now have a wave of travel discount websites that make comparing prices easy. Nowadays, all you have to do to hop on a discount travel website and search for airfare or package deals for your airport and dates.
Unfortunately, travel discount websites like Expedia, Priceline, or Travelocity don’t always show fares from every airline. Worse, they don’t make it easy to compare prices from different departing cities, and they don’t let you find hidden travel deals for random dates.
Then came Google Flights—a Google-fueled travel search website that makes comparing fares across different websites seamless. While Google Flights isn’t set up to let you purchase airfare directly, its engine lets you search different departure and arrival cities so you can locate the best pricing for your specific itinerary.
And, unlike other comparable websites, Google Flights also lets you search for the best one-way, round-trip or multi-city fares across nearly every airline around the globe. Once you find the flight you want for a price you afford, you can visit the airline’s website or a travel discounter to make the purchase.
Let's take a quick walkthrough to find the best airfare deals.