Ready to take to the skies for your next vacation or business trip? One of the most difficult parts of booking trips abroad is tracking your options and flight prices. Luckily, Google has its own search engine designed especially for booking air travel.
First launched in 2011, Google Flights allows you to find flights to popular destinations, track the market for the best prices, and book with confidence.
Not sure yet where you’d like to go? The website allows you to search flights to up to five destinations and up to five origin locations. You can even filter flights by features like short layover times, non-stop, and flight class. Google Flights lets you see your flight options according to the criteria important to you.
Here’s how to use Google Flights to find your perfect flight for your next getaway.
Step 1: Launch Google Flights
First, we’ll need to launch the Google Flights service. Flights is part of Google’s wider trip planner service Google Travel. The easiest way to launch Google Flights is to go to its webpage in your preferred web browser. Google Chrome will probably be your best option.
Simply navigate to google.com/flights.
However, for easy price tracking, it may be worth downloading the Google Travel app. It is available on both Android and iOS from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store respectively.
Step 2: Enter your destination and origin city
Now it’s time to pick where you’d like to go and where from. It’s useful to start with the origin city. Once you open Google Travel, you’ll be met with the ‘search bar’.
Tap or click Where from? to enter the origin city. Google may have already entered your city if you have location services enabled. Feel free to change this if it is incorrect.
If you know exactly which airport you’d like to fly from, you can type it in here. If you’re not sure, you can type in your city and Google will find flights from airports nearby. Perhaps you only have one origin airport or city, simply click away and begin typing in your destination.
However, to select multiple origin cities, hit the + icon to enter multi-select mode. This will add your first city in, allowing you to enter up to four more. Type in the next origin city and hit the checkbox next to the airport’s name.
We’ll next need to do the same for our destination. Tap Where to and begin typing in where you’d like to go. If you’re only planning on entering one city, click away so that you don’t add more to this field.
If you haven’t narrowed down your choices just yet, hit the + icon to enter multi-select mode. Enter your desired destinations and tick the checkbox next to each city to add them to the list.
Step 3: Enter the particulars of your flight
Next, let’s enter the details of your desired trip. Firstly, hit the trip length button at the top left of the search box. In our example, it’s set by default to Round Trip.
You can select between round trip (also known as return), one way (single), or multi-city. If you’re going to multiple cities on your trip, Google Flights will try to find the best deals for your entire trip through multi-city – not just individual flights.
In the example above, Atlanta to Las Vegas is the option selected for round trip.
We can also enter your number of passengers and flight class. Some flights don’t have all flight classes available (for example, some airlines don’t run the premium economy or first on some routes). Google Flights will try its best to find flights fitting your class choice.
Finally, enter your dates of travel. If you haven’t decided when you’re going to fly just yet, just enter some provisional dates. Google Flights will let you compare flight prices across days in the next stage.
Then, hit Search.
Step 4: Search through available flights
You’ll then be shown options for your departing flights. The first two or three options will be ‘best departing flights’. These options are what the Google algorithm believes is the best trade-off given your requirements.
If you’d like to add more requirements like specific airlines, stops, connecting airports, and duration, you can enter this by clicking the tabs on the top of the screen.
Scrolling down below the recommended flights will show Google’s price-o-meter.
This tab tracks the price history of your journey and lets you know whether it’s lower or higher than usual. This is a great indicator of whether to buy now or wait.
For more comparison options, Google Flights offers a date grid and price graph. Click either of these to explore how changing your dates affects your flight options.
Step 5: Enable price tracking to keep updated with Google Flights
If you want to keep updated on price changes, Google Flights allows you to enable Price Tracking. If there are any changes or deals during the dates you’ve specified, you’ll be sent a notification by email.
This is a perfect way to keep track of your flight options and helps you make the best decision about your flight. To do this, flip the switch labeled Track Prices.
Step 6: Pick your return flight
Once you’re ready to buy your ticket, go ahead and select a departure fare. Next, you’ll be asked to pick your return flight – if you have indicated you’re looking for a round-trip flight.
The process here is the same – the price in green is the flight that Google believes is the best fit for you. Click this to complete your selection.
Once you’ve selected both flight options, you’ll be presented with the prices for your flight from a variety of different flight booking providers.
Click Select and you’ll be taken to their website to complete your purchase. Google only shows verified vendors here – so be assured that you’re safe when making a purchase through Google Flights.
And that’s it!
There we have it, a quick tour of Google Flights and how to track flight prices using their intuitive platform. Once you’ve secured your flights, it’ll be time to book your hotels and activities. Google Travel has got you covered!
Head over to google.com/travel or open the travel app to look at other bookings you’ll need for your trip like hotels, things to do, and more! The process is fairly similar to Google Flights – just enter your requirements and date and let Google do the rest.