When searching for cheap flights, I use Google Flights to find the best deals on airfare. But what is Google Flights exactly? It is a metasearch engine and travel fare aggregator. Google Flights has partnerships with over 300 airlines and online travel agencies, allowing it to offer options without bias in its search results.
Below we’ll show you how to use Google Flights to find cheap flights and answer frequently asked questions about this powerful free service.
How is Google Flights Different from an Online Travel Agency (OTA)?
Google Flights is a flight search engine that allows you to search for and compare flight prices from different airlines. It is different from an online travel agency such as Expedia or Priceline because it does not sell tickets directly to customers. Instead, it directs users to the airline website to complete the booking.
Potential Disadvantages of Booking Flights Through a 3rd-party Online Travel Agency
There are several potential disadvantages to using an online travel agency to book travel:
- Limited options: Some OTAs may not have access to all the same deals or options as booking directly with the airline.
- Hidden fees: Some OTAs may charge additional fees that are not immediately obvious at the time of booking.
- Less control: When booking through an OTA, customers may have less control over their reservations and may have to rely on the OTA to make changes or adjustments.
- Limited customer service: Customers may have a harder time getting in touch with a real person for assistance when booking through an OTA.
- Commission-based pricing: since the OTA’s make money by taking commission on the sale, the prices for the same service or product can be higher than booking directly from the supplier.
- Brand loyalty: when customers book through an OTA, they may not receive loyalty points or other benefits offered by the airlines or hotels.
It’s worth mentioning that not all OTAs are the same; some have better prices and services than others. It is essential to do research and compare prices and services if you decide to use an online travel agency.
How Does Google Flights Work?
Google Flights is incredibly user-friendly and easy to use. The intuitive interface allows you to easily search for flights, compare prices, and book tickets. Google Flights can be tailored to meet users’ needs in different countries, with support for multiple languages and currencies.
The platform also provides various tools and filters to help users find the best flight deals for their trip. Google Flights can be easily accessed on your computer or mobile device through a search engine. Google Flights does not have an app.
Use These Google Flights Features to Help You Find Cheap Flights
- Search and compare multiple airlines
- Ability to track flights and prices
- An interactive calendar and price graph
- Filter flights by: duration, stops, and departure/arrival times
- Ability to receive price alerts by email
- Ability to view baggage and other fees
- Use Google Flights Explore for cheap destinations
Google Flights FAQs
Which Airlines Aren’t On Google Flights?
Google Flights searches and compares flights from multiple airlines, but not all airlines are included in its search results. Some smaller or regional airlines may not be included on the platform.
Additionally, some airlines, such as Southwest, may not participate in Google’s flight search engine. Ultimately, being flexible will score you the best prices, but if your loyalty lies with an airline not listed on Google Flights, visit their website for more information.
When are Google Flights Cheapest?
According to Google, the best time to find the best flight deals is:
- During the week: Prices tend to be lower during the week, and tend to increase on weekends.
- In the middle of the week: Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days to book a flight according to Google data.
- During the off-peak travel season: Prices tend to be lower during the off-peak season of a destination, when demand is lower.
- In the morning: According to Google, the best time to search for flights is in the morning, as prices tend to increase during the day.
- Flexibility: Being flexible with your travel dates and destinations can help you find the best deals.
It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and prices can vary depending on many factors such as route, season, and airline.
How Do You Book With Google Flights?
To book a flight with Google Flights, you can follow these steps:
- Go to the Google Flights website and enter your travel details, including your departure and arrival cities, travel dates, and number of passengers.
- Browse the search results and filter them according to your preferences, such as flight duration, stops, and departure/arrival times.
- Once you have selected a flight, you will be directed to the airline’s website, where you can complete the booking process.
Are Google Flights Refundable?
It’s important to note that the booking process is done through the airline and not through Google’s platform. The refundability of a ticket will also depend on the specific airline’s refund policy.
Using Google Flights to Find Cheap Airfare
Google Flights is a useful tool for finding cheap airfare because it allows users to search for flights across multiple airlines, compare prices, and track price changes over time– all in one place!
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This article originally appeared on Wander With Alex. Photo Credit: [@dennizn/DepositPhotos]
Alexandrea Sumuel is a travel writer and the founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog, where she provides vacationers with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, explore, and escape! Alex’s mission is to help peopl find the perfect vacation destination.