I almost never write money saving articles. I try to keep myself focused on just the get out of debt stuff, but I’ve got to make an exception this morning. You see yesterday Google announced the new flight section of their website where you can search and book for flights.
While the usual collection of flight books sites like Kyak and Orbitz have been fine, the new Google flight booking features are just damn fantastic.
So the basics of booking a flight on Google work just the same as you would expect. You enter a departure airport, a destination airport, and travel dates. Big deal, they all do that. Here is where it gets cool.
For years I’ve wondered why travel sites make it so hard to easily find the least expensive dates for travel. And even where can I go for not a lot of money on a weekend get away.
With the new Google Flights section you can enter your departure airport, your dates you are available to travel and drum roll please, the most you want to pay for a flight and you can see the places you can go.
In this case I was searching for destination for less than $300 from my home airport of Raleigh. Using Google Flights it showed me the least expensive flight for this coming weekend was $372, but I could make the same weekend vacation in two weeks for only $189.
By leaving the destination airport blank on this dates I can also see all the airports I could go to on the same dates for less than my target amount.
All of a sudden my choices expand and give me some interesting options. Hum, Nashville or New York City.
But a visit to the American Airlines website made me appreciate the Google flight option even more. By using Google Flights I was loving the American Airlines low fare to NYC. But after looking at the American site I was disturbed that a chair on the same hurtling tube could cost as much as $900 more. I’ll tell you what, I’ll happily squeeze my fat ass in a coach seat to save $900 for an hour and a half flight.
For now the Google Flights section is a game changer in my book, but this in America and we don’t let moss grow under our feet. I’m sure right now there are smart software engineers either rising to the challenge or outsourcing the task to create the next best flight booking solution.