Think you already know how to find the cheapest or the best flights? Maybe you use Skyscanner or Kayak or perhaps you even go direct to your choice of airlines, which in some cases is just fine.
Google Flights should be a tool you use alongside your favourites! Why? Find out How to utilize Google Flights below..
More power and flexibility
Maybe you are an adventurous soul and willing to start a major trip in a city other than your home airport. Google Flights is a powerful search engine with a plethora of options.
Unlike some comparison sites, Google Flights enables you to search multiple destinations from multiple bases, all in one search!
So that way you find the best offer to a range of destinations you might be interested in. In most cases, this does not even matter. If you are doing a big South East Asia trip or Southern America, that might mean starting your journey in Saigon rather than Bangkok or Buenos Aires rather than Bogota and go the other way.
Lets dive into some examples
Say you are based in London and are travelling to Asia. You may be going to multiple destinations in one trip or just want to explore a select few from a list, but you want to fly in Business so first select that from the third drop down option.
After you select an initial departure city, here we have London Heathrow – LHR (knowing airport codes can make your experience a lot faster!)
You click on the departure field again, but this time, click on the “+” to add the additional cities you will consider flying from. Here I chose Oslo, Stockholm, and Amsterdam, because not only are they convenient cities to position to, but regularly have good business class deals from.
For the destinations, you could choose a few cities as departure cities but great feature is you can put in an entire region! So lets try South East Asia
Now select your dates, and go!
So we now have a map showing the options available and the left hand side showing the cheapest options, in this case seems to be Bangkok.
Clicking through show you the flight options to Bangkok. And even from the get-go, we have an amazing price of £1278 with Finnair.
Check the connections and timing of each and be sure to scroll down as there can be other good alternatives with only marginally higher prices.
In this case we have some Qatar options for £1366, not much of an increase for an enhanced airline product.
To further refine your flight options, you have more controls at your disposal.
Say you are only interested in Star Alliance carriers. Click on the “Airline” dropdown and you will see that option and now we have star airlines only.
The best recommended flights seems to be more expensive, but wait, if you scroll down..
You can fly Lufthansa business class for £1268! But there’s a catch. This flight has 2 connections and thus the total journey time increases from 10 hours non-stop option from Thai to over 20 hours here.
Thankfully, we have a filter for that! We want to see only flights with 1 stop or less. While we are there, lets choose total journeys under 20 hours.
Again google will show the best flights first, and therefore direct non-stop flights are at top, so lets also put a price limit. Set max price to under £1600
and there we have our options narrowed down..
Our best option looks like Turkish Airlines for £1406 and outward journey is under 16 hours.
Best dates and price charts
So far we have not yet tried to find the best departure dates. So lets play with that.
Click on the departure date again.
You are now presented with a calendar view with prices loading up for each date, and you can immediately see if you depart on the 17th of November instead of 6th, you save almost £200. Nice!!!
There are similar deals in October too if that suited you better.
So now we see flights departing on 17th from Stockholm to Bangkok on SWISS for a cool £1258! Bargain!!
Want to know more? Click on the “Prices” option which brings us a nice bar chart showing a view of price fluctuations within a period.
You can see here that’s as good as it gets for this flight.
There’s a grid view too, if you prefer a quick scan of that.
Whats more? How about some useful tips? The “Tips” tab that shows you can fly non-stop on premium economy for £919,
That’s good but not as good as 1258 for return in business for magnitudes more luxury! So we’ll pass.
Once you select outbound and return flights, you can see all your booking options. Including options to bookmark and share with friends.
What if you were still unsure? Perhaps you have the time/ hoping prices would drop even more? Or just need more time to hash out details.
Well if you sign into your google account (if you aren’t already) you will see a flight tracking option.
Simply click on the tracking toggle and you are set. You will now be alerted by google on any prices changes for this itinerary. Brilliant huh?
Specific connection points
If there were some particular places where you wanted to go via, this is your tool. This feature essentially lets you build multiple trips in 1. And remember any connections under 24 hours does not count as a stopover, so you should still get the best price if there are flights available on a particular fare code.
Other fares have a very reasonable surcharge added on.
Select “Brussels” in the above example, and you have
well that’s understandable as I have already filtered by some very specific criteria, namely the Alliance and price range. You can un-select any filters simply by clicking on the “X” of the option.
Alas, I would use and apply this much earlier on in the search process.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and find it as useful.