An innovation of Google Flights is that it allows open-ended searches based on criteria other than destination; for example, a user may search for flights within a range of times and a budget and be offered various destination choices. Alternatively, a user can select a destination, and Google Flights will calculate every price for each day of the next 12 months, visualised in a graph or table. This allows users to easily spot a cheapest date to fly to the destination.
1. Get alerts when prices are about to skyrocket.
If you’re using Google Flights on your phone, you may see pop-up notifications that tell you when prices are likely to increase for specific flights. The notifications aren’t available on every route, and you can’t control when they appear, but they’re a handy way to predict how much time you have left to book before prices jump. Pay attention when you see them!
2. Don’t know where to go? Search for a general region, and see a map of specific flight prices.
Just Google “flights to Europe” and click the Flights tab below the search box. A map of the entire continent will pop up, along with prices. You’ll be able to compare how much it would cost to fly to London versus Paris — and you can even filter the options by type of airline, duration of flight and price you’re willing to pay.
3. Or go with “I’m feeling lucky” to let Google plan your dream trip.
What “I’m feeling lucky” does for search, it also does for flights. Click on a map within Google Flights, pick your departure spot, and click the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button to let Google choose a destination based on your search history and what’s popular. You’ll also see a bar graph letting you know when flights will be at their cheapest.
4. Google will tell you which flight is the best bang for your buck.
The “best flights” box tells you which flights are the best combinations of price and speed, so you won’t have to decide whether a layover is a good idea or if a nonstop is worth the extra buck. Google also highlights its top pick in green. It’s like having your very own travel agent say, “If I were you, I’d do this.”
5. It’ll also show you the lowest price for any given day on the calendar.
You can see prices for your trip on every day of the month, with the cheapest days highlighted in green. A bar graph at the bottom lets you know how prices will likely drop or rise over time.
6. Automatically see swaps that save you money.
If you search for a flight that has a similar yet less expensive option, the “tip” bar lets you know how much money you’ll save if you’re willing to fly earlier, later or from a different airport. Then you can weigh the cost and decide!
7. Once you find a potential flight, let Google monitor the price for you.
If you find a flight you like, then hit the “save this itinerary” button and let the Google Now app track its pricing. You can hit the app on your phone to see how prices are changing, and Google will email you if they dip dramatically.
8. Try it out and tell us what you think.