Planning a trip? Google flights it may be the next best thing for a travel agent. It combines some of the best features of travel services, such as kayaking and , including analyzing historical data from the latter to help you determine when to book a flight.
Here are seven reasons why you can check out Google Flights before your next trip.
It’s stupid fast
Connect your dates, cities of departure and arrival and Google Flights will return airfares almost instantly. Want to see how airfares change if you make minor adjustments to your dates? Just click on the left and right arrows within each date selector. Again, the fare data is updated almost instantly. This is in stark contrast to most of the travel sites I’ve used, where even the smallest changes require completely new searches and comparatively slow updates.
Identifies the best deal
While reading airline tickets, look for green. This is the flight that Google has identified as the best deal. It’s a small thing, but it also saves a lot of time. Please note, however, that this flight will not always be contained in the “best flights” box, which represents the best price combination and flight time.
Find money-saving alternatives
After entering your travel details, see the large blue box below instructing you to choose a outward flight. You can see an option to save money by choosing a different date or airport. Click on the small drop-down menu to see all the tips available for this trip. (Not all of them are to save money: you will also see the price of upgrading to first class.)
In other money-saving news, flights will now show whether options like space in the upper compartment, seat selection and checked baggage are included in the rate or extra cost. (This information is currently provided for American, Delta, and United flights only.)
Can track your trips
If you’re not ready to book now, Google Flights can keep an eye on the dates, route and other selected parameters, sending you an email whenever there is a price change. Just click on Track prices alternation. This is as simple as possible. To manage the various flights you are tracking, click on the icon Menu icon then Monitored prices.
Google recently extended this feature beyond the desktop, as it is now also available on your phone.
If you really like the travel tracking element, you should probably check.
Can you tell if it’s a good time to book
Like the Hopper mentioned above, Google Flights now analyzes historical price data to help determine whether you should book now (or, if not now, soon). For example, if you are looking at a route but have not yet chosen a specific flight, flights may show a small pop-up notification indicating an expected price increase – and when it is likely to happen.
Helps you to fly regionally
Suppose you want to take a trip to Europe, but you don’t know which city. Use Google Explore destinations option, which displays a map and shows air fares for the selected dates. You may find it cheaper to, say, fly to London than Paris.
Can predict flight delays
If you search for a specific flight, Google will show known delays. After ahowever, this information now includes reasons for these delays and forecasts of delay.
The latter is based on historical flight status data, which Google uses to help “predict some delays, even when that information is not yet available on airlines”. However, these delays are only flagged if there is at least an 80% chance of accuracy, and Google still recommends that you go to the airport with plenty of time. (This is about “managing expectations” and “preventing surprises”.)
Did you find other cool ways to use Google Flights? Or a travel tool that you like the most? Spread the word in the comments section!
Update, January 31: This article was originally published on November 3, 2016 and has been updated.
: More comfortable and less stressful ways to fly in friendly skies.