Google Flights – One of the most useful holiday planning tools you’ve never heard of
Google Flights is now almost 5 years old and really does appear to have flown in under the radar. If you are typical Cabin Max owner, who loves travel without all the extraneous costs, it could be your new best friend.
At first glance it might seem similar to other travel search engines like Expedia, LastMinute and Skyscanner and in some respects there is little to split them. Look a little further though and Google Flights is a super-powerful tool for saving you a bit of money – here’s 3 reasons why you should give it a try.
1 – Explore destinations and prices by map
You’ve got a free weekend coming up and fancy a trip away, but where? Simply pop your chosen dates in along with your departure airport (you can choose a couple – ideal for hunting the best price) and then press on the map below. You’ll be taken into the map and be able to see the price of flying to hundreds of destinations around the world from your chosen airport. Some cities have prices already listed next to them, which is great for getting a general overview of where is going to be affordable and where isn’t, but click on any other airport on the map and the price will be generated in no time. From there, you can see a variety of airlines that fly your chosen route and the price on the day.
This is great as it means you get to see not only the cheapest prices, but also destinations that you probably never expected to see. Instead of heading to predictable Paris, why not head to Budapest for the weekend for the same price? Fancy a bit of Spanish sunshine? Save £150 by heading to Barcelona instead of Valencia. You could find out these price differences yourself by going to lots of individual websites and entering your data again and again, but why bother when Flights will search multiple airlines and multiple cities for you. Hotels at your chosen destination can also be sought, thus bringing Flights into line with the likes of Expedia and LastMinute so whether you are looking to head off the beaten track, or just looking for the cheapest price, the Explore function is undoubtedly really useful.
2 – Flexible with dates? They’ll show you when to go
If you know where you want to go but aren’t tied down to a specific time, use the Calendar, Flexible Dates and Price Graph functions to find the cheapest time to go. You can look up to 9 months into the future and it shows variations between days very clearly making it easy to see when will be best for you to save money. You can stumble across some very interesting variations simply by scrolling through the graph data; We found flights to the Balearic Islands rising significantly in price from October to November. You’d expect prices to go down at this time of year, but with airlines withdrawing services after high season prices tend to rise, meaning that the winter sun you promised yourself may not be as cheap as expected.
3 – Refine by airline
Ever received shoddy service from an airline and swore you’d never fly with them again? Google Flights lets you keep that promise by letting you select and deselect specific airlines based on your personal preferences. Similarly, if you like to fly with certain airlines for air miles or loyalty schemes like OneWorld, Star Alliance or SkyTeam, you can select these in the drop down menu. These options, whilst not price-focused, will ensure you can tailor your experience towards the things that matter to you without having to trawl through all of the airlines in your chosen loyalty scheme; OneWorld has 15 airlines in their scheme, for example, which would be a long afternoon of searching should you want to find the best price too. It is worth noting that as yet, it doesn’t carry information about additional charges that some airlines charge for hold luggage, so you may need to consider this if you are checking a large suitcase in… another reason to go hand-luggage only we’d say!
So there you go…
Your basic introduction to some of the features of Google Flights is now complete and as you can see, it is a very handy tool to have in your holiday-buying arsenal. It’s great for getting a quick idea of where you can travel to on a limited budget and where and when you might get the best prices. It isn’t perfect, so we’d still recommend using it in addition to your usual holiday search engines to ensure you get the best price, but it does take a lot of the leg-work out of the stressful business of sorting your flights.
Shop by Airline on Cabinmax.com
And so on to one of the best features of our own website – shop by airline. We sort our bags by the hand luggage requirements of 30 popular airlines meaning you can be in no doubt of what will be accepted on board with each carrier. Try it today to find the perfect match for your chosen airline.