Travel Tips

Google Flights: How It Works

10 October 2023
As a traveler, I am sure you wouldn’t mind having to pay as little as possible for every flight you take. That’s probably why travelers like me, use fare aggregator tools or websites. Google Flights is a reliable and comprehensive flight search and booking service that pulls out fares from airlines and top-rated travel agencies and make it easy for travelers to compare and book a flight with maximum savings.
Google Flights has taken the flight booking sector by storm. From what Google Flights Search is to how it works to what to expect, the article leaves no stone unturned.
Check it out!

About Google Flights

It is important to note that Google Flights search is not an online travel agency (OTA). Therefore, don’t expect to book a hotel, flight, or cruise on this search engine directly.
It is a platform where various airlines and OTAs publish airfares. As much as you don’t get to purchase your flight on this platform, it has links that you can follow to do so. Its primary purpose is to help you compare fares, pick the lowest, and then move forward to the respective airfare publisher’s site or portal to complete the booking.
Comparison criteria include routes, times, prices, and timelines, just but to mention a few. Besides finding the cheapest option, comparing helps you identify the most suitable and convenient flight to board. Google Search may not show all the details. Consider checking complete fare or baggage policy, exclusions, terms, etc. on the fare publisher’s property.

How does the Google Flights Search Work?

When put to the task, the tool searches all the databases of the various online travel agencies or individual airlines. As it searches, its focus is usually on prices, seats, and flight schedules. It uses a program by the name ITA Matrix development.
Google purchased the ITA Software in 2011 and used it to create the popular Google Flights. In addition to the basic search, the platform also has an advanced interface. The latter gives you complete control over the search.

Guide on How to Use Google Flights

Now that you have an idea of how the search engine works, here is a step-by-step guide to using it.
The first step is accessing the Google flights search. Here is the official website, Preferably, use the desktop version since it is way better than using a smartphone. Equally important, there is no mobile application designed for this task.
Upon clicking on the URL, you will be redirected to the landing page. You get to search flights based on various criteria, including dates, travel destinations, and departure locations. The search results appear on that same page. One must appreciate the simplicity and user-friendliness, not forgetting the effectiveness.
There are various ways of searching for the best flight, and here is a summary:
  • Enter the departure airport.
  • Enter the arrival airport.
  • Enter your travel date
  • Select trip type: one way, round trip, multi-city
  • Enter the number of seats and passengers including children, adults, and infants in seats or laps
  • Select the class type: first-class, business class, premium economy, and economy
Fortunately, Google Flights allow you to filter almost everything for the most suitable flight. These are some criteria to consider when filtering your search:
  • Bags
  • Stops
  • Airlines
  • Price
  • Times
  • Connecting Airports

Are All Airlines on Google Flights?

Unfortunately, the answer to that is a no despite the fact most popular airlines are on the platform. Some of the airlines you won’t find on the platform include Thai Airways, China Eastern, Air China, Allegiant, and Southwest Airlines. Therefore, if you are loyal to such airlines, you need another alternative when searching for cheap flights. Alternatively, visit their official sites for deals and flight details.

Can You Cancel a Flight Via Google Flights?

As mentioned earlier, Google Flights search is not meant for booking flights. For that reason, canceling one isn’t possible through the internet. That’s why it is essential to note the online travel agency or airline that you will eventually settle for after your search and comparison. In the event that you decide to cancel it, that’s the place to go.
However, remember that whether you get a refund or not depends on the platform’s policy. Therefore, be keen on the rules are restrictions to avoid inconveniences later on.


Clearly, Google Flights is one thing that travelers should always turn to when looking for cheap flights. All you need to do is search using various criteria. Additionally, you can also filter the search results to narrow down your choices as much as possible. However, do remember, Google doesn’t validate the content or information, it just displays it as it is available with the publishers or airline’s inventory. For any dispute or conflict, you need to settle the matter with the publisher or airline alone.

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