Have you heard of Google Flights? If not, definitely check it out. It’s a comprehensive search of all the flight information available out there. You can put in as little or as much information as you like and Google will return whatever relevant information it can find. Once you’ve included sufficient information Google Flights will begin to provide flight times and prices as part of the results returned.
Google Flights run on the same technology as other flight searches. In April 2011 Google’s acquisition of ITA was approved resulting in Google obtaining a vast array of algorithms necessary for Google Flights. On September 13, 2011, Google Flights made its debut. It’s remained about the same as it was at launch.
The key thing that makes Google Flights stand out from the crowd is its ability to perform open-ended searches and data analysis. For example, Google Flights can analyze the data and tell you which days and times will offer the best prices. They can also provide estimates of flight cost over the next twelve months letting you know how far out to book for the perfect value of convenience and cost.
Google Flights provides international flight information to countries including:
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Also, remember the “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature? It’s available on Google Flights also. You can let the search engine plan your dream vacation for you without all the painstaking research. A lot of the things a travel agent would traditionally do to assist you in flight planning are available at your fingertips through Google Flights.
If you get excellent at using the tool you can do tricks your travel agent wouldn’t be able to pull off — unless they used Google Flights to do it. Just want to go to a general area and don’t care what airport you use? Search a region and get flight places for all the airports you could utilize in the area. A short drive, or even a moderately long one, might save you enough money to make it worth doing. Google Flights can tell you which flight is the best deal and what’s the best time to fly on any given day. Also, you’ll automatically see flight swaps that might save you money. No need to make a special request for them.
Not ready to book yet?
Google Flights will keep an eye on prices for you and notify you whenever they change. So, not only will Google Flights help you plan your trip on a moments notice in the middle of the night, but they’ll also monitor your intended trip 24/7 and let you know when the prices change. You really can’t ask for much more than that.
Googe Flights stores historical data to monitor trends and make predictions. The only information you may want that Google Flights doesn’t provide is whether flight costs are trending up or down. According to Google, that information isn’t particularly useful. It is, however, a feature available with competitors. There’s no indication that the Google Flights team intends to offer this functionality in the future. To their credit, it isn’t helpful to know if prices are likely to trend up or down in most cases. What you need to know is WHEN prices move up or down so you can modify your plans or book right away.
Here are some sample searches you might try to get you started using the tool:
- Flights from London to Madrid
- Flights from BOS to YYZ
- Flights to San Francisco
- Flights to ZRH
In addition to the unique features, Google Flights can do everything any of the other flight booking sites can do. Key advantages of the online service include booking without needing to talk to anyone and explain what you want, the ability to book in the middle of the night, and the convenience of having all of the available flight information right in front of you. After all, a travel agent can’t read your mind. They may see a ton of useful information on the screen in front of them, but that doesn’t help at all if they’re trying to book you as expeditiously as possible and never think to mention it.
If you’re booking trips for work and they’ll allow you to do so, I highly encourage using Google Flights. Business trips can be difficult to plan due to competing interests and attempts to fit in every last thing necessary while you’re out on location. There’s no need to complicate things by dealing with a travel agent every time you need to make plans.If you are required to deal with a travel agent, then Google Flights is an excellent
If you have an obligation to deal with a travel agent, then Google Flights is a very useful resource for researching times, flight lengths, and destinations. For example, flying into parts of California in the U.S. there are multiple different airports within an hour or less of one another. If you’re coming from the east coast, a direct flight will save you 4-5 hours at least. There might be availability on a direct flight into one airport and not another. Even a two-hour drive north or south might be worth it if you have a critical business engagement to attend. You can easily spend an hour or more on layover just getting the plane re-boarded.
There are many benefits to using Google Flights and we highly recommend taking advantage of them. Whether you’re going on a business trip or vacationing it will help you get where you’re going with the perfect balance of time, cost, and comfort based on your unique needs. Some other sites may come close, but no other site offers the complete package of features Google Flights brings to the table. You’ll want to use Google Flights even when booking with an agent because your agent won’t necessarily tell you everything you want to know. You need to go in informed.
Have a safe and enjoyable trip!