How To Use Google Flights to Find Cheap Flights
Most of the email deals I send out tend to take travellers through a quick set of steps to identify the exact right fare for them. For this, I primarily utilise two handy tools: Google Flights and Momondo.
Note: if you’re concerned whether it’s safe to book with smaller websites found on price comparison sites like Momondo.co.uk and Kayak, you can read my Q&A on the subject here.
Why and how to use Google flights?
Google flights has the best (and usually most updated) calendar tool to search through flight availability by date and price, as offered by the major airlines and a few select large booking agents (those who can afford to advertise on Google, like Expedia and eDreams).
I tend to use their back-end flight matrix for in-depth searches, but on most fares, I’ll often send subscribers here to identify the cheapest travel dates to match their schedule:
By using the Google flights calendar tool, you can get a good idea of what dates offer the best value (in green).
Once you’ve decided on and selected your ideal departure and return dates, you’ll then be taken to a window similar to this one (below) where you can see the various fares for these dates as identified by Google flights:
From here, you can select your preferred airline and route. You’ll then be taken to the final window displaying the route you’ve selected:
As well as the prices as offered directly by the airline and a select few major travel agencies:
At this point, you have two options: you can 1) select one of the options above and book directly with the airline or a large OTA (online travel agency) or 2) continue on to check Momondo for a lower price. Here are some of the pros and cons of booking directly versus with Momondo:
Advantages of booking directly with the airline:
- More flexibility should your travel plans change (lower change fees and flight cancellation options)
- In special situations, some airlines will look after full fare customers first (rare occurrence)
Advantages of moving onto Momondo.co.uk:
- Momondo’s search engine will almost always find a cheaper fare for the flight dates you’ve selected (sometimes only £30 cheaper, sometimes over £500 cheaper)
- Momondo will sometimes list routes not available on Google Flights
What is Momondo.co.uk and how to use it?
Momondo is a powerful flight fare comparison tool that searches through dozens of online booking agencies for the cheapest possible fare. In this regard, it is not unlike Skyscanner or Kayak. However, they tend to cover many more booking agencies and therefore often come up with more extensive results and better options, so I choose to use their search more often than not.
Here is how to use it:
Once you’ve chosen your ideal travel dates by using Google Flights, you can then go to the Momondo site and enter the exact itinerary you selected here:
Press ‘Search’ and, within 10-15 seconds, your results will begin to look like this:
Momondo conducts a search through the various OTAs with offers on this price and will ultimately display the absolute cheapest fare. The example I’m using is not a great deal, but you can see even here that the price offered by the OTAs is around £40-60 lower at minimum. At this point, I would generally pick the lowest fare and continue to book with whichever agent is offering it. If you prefer not to book with the cheapest agent, in this case Omega Flight Store, you can press ‘See details’ to see which other agents are offering fares on this flight, which will then take you to this window:
Choose the agent you’d like to book with and you’ll be taken to their website to complete your check-out. Aaaand done!
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Or if I still haven’t answered your questions, feel free to send me a note at [email protected] and I’ll do my best to help.