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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…

a screenshot of a computer

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

We’re no math whizzes, but that should give you at least 25 possible outcomes to find the best price. This is extremely useful when there are 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.

Maybe, you’re looking for the cheapest fare to get you into the area, so Bangkok, Hanoi, Singapore, Hong Kong or Tokyo might work just fine, whatever is cheapest. You’ll find out in one search, by entering up to five airport departure cities and destination like: LHR, TXL, ARN, FRA, DUB to JFK, PHL, BOS, etc.

a screen shot of a computer

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. Just perform any search, even one using multiple cities, and press “track flights”. Just be sure to make that one extra click, first. You’ll get price alerts straight to your inbox.

If you press the menu button in the left corner of Google Flights, you’ll see all the fares you’re tracking. This matters because you can see an actual, visual timeline graph of the fare pricing – when it went up, down, and ultimately when it spiked before departure…

a map of the united states

You Don’t Need A Destination To Find Great Deals 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 offers a “discover destinations” section, right below the search box, so you can enter a starting point and immediately 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…

a screenshot of a flight schedule

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

Good news 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 or wifi

a large white sign on a hill with Hollywood Sign in the backgroundYou Can Access Local Pricing And Potentially Save Extra Bucks On Your Ticket…

Even though you may be in New York this morning, seeing flight prices in US dollars, you could  use the currency option on Google Flights top left menu bar to see prices in any other currency.

For most flights this won’t make much difference, but for some you’ll actually find real savings booking in one currency or one version of an airline website versus another. Norwegian Airlines is a prime example where this occurs. Same for flights within Asia.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

You Can Find Money Saving Airline 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, that stops where you actually want to go for less. This generally only works one way at a time, but can unlock business class for the price of economy, or just great savings. 

Using hidden city ticketing, looking for a ticket from Los Angeles to New York, you could 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, just by adding a segment you don’t need. There are lots of risks and important thoughts to consider first, so read up here

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. I have used the ita matrix software for years, but appreciate the information regarding information on legroom. More often then not I think I get a great seat only to find I am scrunched in with no room to relax. Thanks for the post.

  2. You don’t need a VPN . . . at least not for Norwegian, nor for Air France (where I recently paid approximately 224€ @ air france.fr, versus the $300 the same itinerary would have cost me at air france.us — a savings of roughly $35).

  3. If you are BA gold/silver can you status match to KLM that can in turn be used for getting perks on a virgin flight or status match that to Virgin?

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