Travel news:

Google Flights has many features for finding airfares

We’ve been taking a look at Google Flights, an interesting tool for finding bargain airfares.

The site has lots of fancy features – and seems to be one of the fastest of the flight search engines.

For example, by setting a broad area like “Europe” or “Asia” as a destination, you get a map of main and regional airports and the cost of flying to each. Now, that’s definitely a feature!

Flight suggestions can also be based on your interests like culture, history etc.

There’s also an ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button that gives Google’s idea of a good destination for the days you selected.

Google-Flights.jpg

Illustration courtesy Forbes magazine

If there is a similar but less expensive option to a flight you are interested in, the site has a “Tip” bar that says how much money you would save if you were perhaps willing to fly earlier, later, or from a different airport.

Google’s ‘Best Flights’

Once you set your destination and flight day, you get a list of airlines making the trip, including Google’s idea of the ‘best flights’ – apparently combine low cost with reasonable departure times and the fewest stops.

Prices can also be shown over a month.

‘Best flights’ aside, we tested the ability of Google Flights to get a bargain fare, regardless of flight duration and departure.

As an example, we checked four online sites to find a cheap one-way fare from Sydney to Athens on August 1 next year.

When we searched, Google Flights quoted $847 AUD for a Qatar Airways flight – about the same as offered by Qatar Airways itself for the same flight.

Cheap Flights quoted $766 AUD for that flight, followed by Skyscanner at $794 AUD.

As a matter of interest, low-cost carrier, Scoot, indicated that it would fly that same route the following day, August 2, for $688.87 AUD – plus booking, checked baggage and food fees if you want them.

Of course, airfare prices can change quickly and this may be out of date already.

Our opinion

Google Flights is yet another useful addition to the online arsenal for travel planners.

About Ian Roberts (254 Articles)
Ian Roberts is a veteran Australian journalist, PR man and writer/reviewer on accommodation and travel. Over many decades, Ian has travelled widely reporting and recording his experiences. His newsy columns - including Memorable Destination - have gained a big following among people seeking suggestions and objective information about accommodation, travel and destinations world-wide. Along with wife, Sue and her camera, Ian has taken up a particular challenge to help budget conscious seniors 50 and upward with travel and accommodation ideas - including suggestions for holding family reunions. Readers in Ian's home city of Newcastle Australia may also be aware of his travel and accommodation column in a local newspaper.

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