20 May The Genius of Google Flights
Did you know that internet marketing has become so sophisticated that many airlines and flight search engines will serve up different search results depending who you are and what your online history is? That even if I’m searching at the same time, for the same flights as my next door neighbor, we may get different pricing – even for the lowest cost ticket. It’s a jungle out there and opaque fight prices are just the tip of the iceberg.
Fortunately, there’s Google to the rescue. Google Flights is incredibly flexible and powerful puts you in charge when it comes to what meets your particular set of needs. I know lots of folks use Kayak — it was the standard bearer in this space for a long time and is still a good choice — but it’s more likely to try to steer you to their marketing partners than Google is. Google, on the other hand, is far more of a straight-up clean search that gives you easy-to-navigate results.
Get in there and play around – you’ll be astonished at what it can do. There are the standard ways to refine your search by nearby airports, airline alliances, number of stops, times, etc. But there are also more sophisticated options that will return unexpected results.
For example, you have five days in October to visit Europe and you don’t want Paris but London, Barcelona, and Berlin, are all on your “list” of cities you want to visit (everyone should have a running list!). You can put LHR, BCN, and TXL in the destination box and pick a starting and ending date that are five days apart and it will return the lowest fares. If you pick the calendar box, it will pop open the calendar and show you pricing for the next 11 months . . .pick a price you like and it will return all the flight choices. It will even give you tips on how to save even more money.
Google Flights is the very first place I go when I hear about an interesting fare or if I’m looking to plan a trip somewhere . . .anywhere! I get asked all the time by folks how I find all these great fares (just came back from a $450 long weekend to Beijing!) and Google Flights is critical in matching up what fares are available with what actually suits my schedule. Give it a try!
What do you use to do your flight searching?