I find even good flight search sites, like Hipmunk, Yapta, and Kayak, a little frustrating. Now Google Flight Search is getting ready to do what Google does best – transform Internet tools for free. Google's new travel search service is the first fruit from its acquisition last year of ITA Software, a travel search firm.
Lots of travel sites trembled when Google bought ITA. And well they should.
This thing is cool.
You kind of have to explore it yourself, but the visualization tools are excellent and will save you money. Example: A weekend trip Burlington from Washington would cost $845 right now. Last time I took that trip, I had to fly to Albany and drive to get a decent fare. Now, thanks to Google Flight’s visualization of future weekend fares, I’ve discovered that United will sell me a $219 weekend ticket from Dulles to Burlington if I just make reservations about a month in advance. (To see this example, go to the search page for that trip and click on the little calendar icon on the top right side of the page.)
That’s the kind of thing you could learn from the other sites only by laboriously typing dates over and over again, then waiting to see what turned up. With Google Flight, the low fare just jumps out at you. There’s lots more geeky fun to be had with other tools, too.