Monday, July 8, 2013

Google Flights – search for flights without having to select a destination

The other day I was wishing there was a flight search site that didn’t require you to put in a “To” airport so you could compare estimated flight costs from your chosen airport(s) to multiple destinations around the globe.  Then I found Google Flights, which does exactly that.

On Google Flights you can enter your flight dates and “From” airport while leaving the destination airport blank.  The search results will bring up a map displaying flight costs to airports all over the world.  You can refine your search by selecting your maximum number of stops, cost, travel time and more. 

For example, I selected random dates in October as a test, flying out of Reagan National (DCA) and other nearby airports with a maximum of one stopover and maximum price of $600.  The results showed me a variety of airports in the USA, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico and South America that met this criteria. 
Google Flights screen shot
Then I de-selected any price or stops maximum to get a sense of what it would cost to fly to places across the ocean and beyond.  I once-again realized that it’s still probably too expensive to consider returning to the UK or Europe, but flights to Peru, Curacao or Nova Scotia could be within my travel budget.

You might have to play around with the options a bit to make sure that you’re not missing some potential destinations.  For instance, someone recently told me that flights to the island of Roatan in Honduras were relatively cheap.  Although it didn’t show up on the search results, I found the Roatan airport Coxen Hole on the map (it’s Southeast of Belize City) and once I clicked on the light-blue colored dot some flights did come up under $600.  I would not have seen that had I not checked.

But, other than that, Google Flights is a pretty awesome flight search engine that you can have fun with by selecting different varieties of options.  Maybe it’s time to consider a long weekend in Boston or Miami?

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