We're all used to doing Google searches, but now we can also use Google to trawl the web for cheap flights:
At first glance, Google Flight Search is not very different from similar websites, but Google Flight Search lets us pick out all the cheapest deals very quickly.
It only takes these 3 easy steps:
When you first open Flight Search, Google suggests a departure airport based on your current location. In our example, it is London (red marker 1). We change it in our example to London Stansted. For our destination airport, we select Palermo (red marker 2).
With a click in the departure box (red marker 3) we open a calendar, which we'll explain in Step 2.
Clicking the arrow on the right (red marker 4) we move to the month in which we want to start our holiday in Sicily. In our example, this is June 2015. And now, here comes the "trick":
Below the days, Google shows us the lowest price it has found for this day. In our example, the 6th is the first of the "cheapest days" in June (red marker 5). If we click on it, the calendar automatically changes. We explain this in Step 3.
The date we clicked on in Step 2, is entered automatically as the date of the outbound flight. Now Google Flight Search shows us, below the day, the lowest rate for the return flight. The price of the cheapest day is shown in green (£87 in our example).
However, since our holiday in Sicily must last exactly two weeks, we choose June 20th as our return date (red marker 6). At £112, this flight price for a holiday in Sicily is still pretty cheap.
When you click on June 20th, Google Flight Search displays the list of flights.
The "list" of cheap flights in our example only consists of one Ryanair flight. This is because we specified just London Stansted as our departure airport.
If we had opted for "any London airport", the list would be much longer - maybe even too long. In this case Google provides various options to help narrow down the selection (red marker 7).
So, the most important thing can be done very quickly: we found the cheapest flight. Google Flight Search has other functionality, too.
Our list of flights only shows the outbound flights at first. If we click on one of them (in our example, the Ryanair flight), Google then displays the list of return flights. After clicking on a return flight, we can now book directly with a single click.
If you have a Google Account, you can also save your flight, store it in your calendar and share it with friends. Google will then remind you about your flight, and inform you of any changes or delays.
If you're more concerned with privacy than a handy diary online, do not sign up before you use Google Flight Search: Google still finds you the cheapest flights anonymously.