Whether you’re planning flights for the holidays, looking at next year’s summer vacation plans or are scheduling a business trip, check out Google Flights, the newest site to search for airfares!
Launched yesterday, Google Flights is now part of Google’s immense search engine, allowing you to easily search for flights that best suit your needs. To check it out, go to google.com/flights, or from a Google search page, choose “Flights” from the left sidebar (if that option doesn’t appear on your sidebar, press “More” and it should appear).
When the page appears, you will see search boxes at the top of the page that allow you to choose your departure and destination cities. The “From” box may very well be filled in with your closest major airport. Yes, Google knows where you are. You can type a destination or click on the map to search for flights.
A very cool feature of this site is how you can refine your search criteria. You can select airlines, how many stops, duration of the flight, price limits and frequent flyer plans.
Let’s say you’ve taken a vow never to fly on We Guarantee to Lose Your Luggage Airways, no matter how cheap it is. But every time you’re suckered in by their low, low prices. Google Flights allows you to exclude WGTLYL Airways from your search.
When you get the results, which is pretty much instantly, you can see the flights in a list. Clicking on the headers at the top of the list puts the flights in order according to that selection. Clicking on Round Trip shows you the flights in order of price, with the lowest being at the top.
The absolutely coolest feature is the graph that shows you the flight results based upon time and price. Click on the box next to the Duration box to access the graph. You may think price matters most, but when you see this graph, you can balance the value of your time vs. the cost of the flight.
You can slide the time and cost arrows to focus on exactly what you want, though I don’t know why you wouldn’t just focus on the lower left corner. If you’ve got a hankering for the longest flight possible at the highest price you can pay for a commercial flight, well you can find that too!
I checked flights from Philadelphia to Miami in December. The shortest and cheapest flight was American Airlines at $389 in three hours. The longest and most expensive flight was Continental Airlines, changing planes in New York, for $1624. Which one should I choose?
Another handy feature is the ability to see how prices of flights compare on certain dates. By clicking the calendar button, you can see a graph showing you how prices compare on other days of the week. You can use the sliders to adjust the dates to your liking. If your travel days are flexible, this can be a huge time saver.
Have a bit of wanderlust? You can search by just entering your departure city, the top price you will spend and the maximum time you want to travel. For example, if you want to travel next weekend, have $200 to spend on airfare and want to get somewhere in under three hours, where can you go? I just checked and a trip to Atlanta next weekend would meet those criteria. Hmm…
Once you have found your best flight, you can buy your tickets by clicking on the link which takes you to the airline’s website. Or you could try to save even more money using Mr. Rebates!
Google Flights was just launched yesterday, so there are some limitations with using the site. The site is US only for now and cannot be used on an iPhone or iPad. But if you’re looking to save time and money when booking your plane trips, check out Google Flights!
Here’s an informative video from Google that will explain even more about this handy new search tool:
Are you planning a trip that involves airline travel? Have you checked out Google Flights? Let us know in the Comments section below!
* Image by Luis Argerich