What if you took the world’s most powerful airfare search software and created a kid friendly version that anyone can use? The answer-you get Google Flights. Years back Google bought ITA Matrix, arguably the most powerful-flexible airfare search engine. It still exists, but there’s so much you can do with Google Flights, some of which you may not know…

You Can Search From Up To Five Departures To Five Destinations At Once…

I’m no math whizz, but that should give you at least 25 possible outcomes to find the best price. This is extremely useful when there are a few nearby areas you’re willing to depart from and or arrive into, like being on the East Coast USA and wanting to fly to Asia. You’re looking for the cheapest fare to get you there, so Bangkok, Hanoi, Singapore, Hong Kong or Tokyo might work just fine for you, whatever is cheapest. You’ll find out in one search, just enter up to five airport departure and destination prefixes like: LHR, TXL, ARN, FRA, DUB.

You Can Track Fares And Learn About Their Patterns With Visual Timeline Graphs…

You may already know that you can track fares on Google Flights with a single press of a button. Pretty cool. Perform a search, even one using multiple cities like the examples above, and press “track flights”. You’ll get alerts to your inbox. If you press the menu button in the corner of Google Flights, you’ll see all the fares you currently or previously were tracking. This matters because you can see an actual timeline graph of the history of the fare, when it went up, down, and then ultimately spiked a certain number of days before departure…

You Don’t Need A Destination To Find Great Deals All Around The World For Now, Later Or Whenever…

Want to get away? Anywhere cheap, but it has to be direct, in the morning and on your favorite airline? Ok, maybe that’s a bit specific, but if you want to be, that’s fine. Google Flights has a “discover destinations” section, right below the search box, so you can enter a starting point and then see a map of the world-with prices to everywhere. You can use specific dates or be as vague as “September”, “Summer”, “Weekend”. You can even search by interest, such as beach, food, honeymoon, skiing and the map of prices will be refined to just what you’re looking for! Oh, and using “explore destinations”, Google flights will show you hotel prices too…

You Can Use A VPN To Access Local Pricing And Potentially Save Extra Bucks On Your Ticket…

A VPN is a virtual service which anyone can purchase to add security to their browsing. Aside from security it also allows you to play with your “online location”. So, even though you may be in New York this morning, seeing flight prices in dollars, you could turn your VPN on to the UK and be quoted prices in British Pounds. For many flights this won’t make much difference, but for some you’ll actually find real savings for booking in one currency versus another. Norwegian Airlines is a prime example where this occurs. Same for flights within Asia.

You Can Compare Amenities And Legroom Without Having To Browse Around…

Good news for lazy travelers! If one flight is $10 more, but features extra legroom, power ports at the seat and wifi on board, would you budge? Yeah, thought so. Google Flights has crunched tons of data to let you know exactly what you’re getting into before you buy, allowing you to see exactly what amenities are offered on any flight. You can tell whether the extreme business class deal you’re thinking of buying has flat beds, or old school lazy boy seats, how much legroom option 1 has versus option 2, and whether you’ll need to download all your binge worthy television offline, because your great deal doesn’t have seat back entertainment…

Bonus: You Can Find Great Hidden City Ticketing Opportunities…

Using the multi city tool on Google Flights, you can see if it’s possible to use a great fare from one place to another, to force a connection in between to the place you actually want to go. This happens commonly when things like Los Angeles to San Juan are put on sale in business class for a fraction of the price of Los Angeles to New York. Using hidden city ticketing, you could theoretically search LAX to JFK and then JFK to SJU for San Juan, locking in a one way business class ticket for less than the cost of economy. There are lots of risks and important thoughts to consider first, so read up here