Google has added another service to its arsenal of information gathering tools - one that will be especially useful to travellers. The web behemoth now offers a flight search engine to compete with already established services like Airfare Watchdog and Momondo. The feature is currently limited to the top US cities - and the google.com domain - but will most likely be rolled out to other Google sites like google.co.uk soon. Google flight search had been widely anticipated since the company acquired travel software company ITA, which also provides the service to competitors like Kayak and Microsoft.
A search for 'American City A to American City B' (on google.com) will bring up results from the flight search engine first
To access the detailed flight search results page, click the "Flight" tab on the left hand sidebar (between 'Shopping' and 'More'). The fancy map interface is activated by clicking the pin on the right hand side (highlighted in the red box).
The search results page for flight search
Clicking on the calendar (highlighted in the red box) shows a calendar price comparison so you can buy your tickets at the most opportune time. As expected, the sooner the departure, the more expensive the ticket - as shown by the higher bars at the top.
The sliding chart is a fun interactive way to filter out flights according to travel time and price, although entering values into the boxes is perhaps as effective.
Of course, Google is not the only search engine with this functionality. If you prefer Bing, their flight predictor search claims to be able to predict when flight prices will increase or decrease to help you buy your ticket at the best time.
For more tips on getting the cheapest tickets see our Q&Amore blog posts