How to Use the Google Flights Search Anywhere Tool
A Short Guide on Using Google Flights Maps and Search Anywhere Tools
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Otherwise, here’s how to use the search anywhere feature in Google Flights.
What is the Search Anywhere Function in Google Flights?
The Google Flights search anywhere function allows you to view all the flights departing from one or more selected departure hubs to cities all around the world and view their respective prices.
What does the search anywhere tool not do?
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to look at flights from more than 5 departure cities at a single time.
How do I Access the Search Anywhere Google Flights Tool?
Super easy, navigate over to Google Flights. And you should be met with a page that looks like the following.
Next, click the button that says ‘explore destinations’ right above the map you see on this home page. This will direct you to the Google Flights interactive map view shown below.
From this view in Google Flights you can enter your departure hub in the top left while leaving the destination hub open to explore anywhere. Similarly you can also enter more than one airport into your departure preferences. So let’s say I wanted to see flights to anywhere from New York, San Francisco, Denver, and Miami. I’d simply enter in the relevant airport codes I’d like to track: JFK, SFO, DEN, MIA, and so on.
In the map view, this will display in Google Flights the cheapest routes to every city based on your selected date filtering. Let’s say a round trip flight from Los Angeles to Mexico City is on sale at $110 round trip, but out of New York (JFK) would run you $215 to Mexico City during the same dates. The tag above Mexico city would then reflect the price point out of Los Angeles as it’s the cheaper route.
However, when you click on the city once, it will pull up a lightbox to the left which will display flight information from the cities you’ve selected, with the Los Angeles route at the top. More expensive routes will follow
Flexible Date Filtering in Google Flights
You may have noticed the feature right below the lightboxes to enter the departure and arrival destinations. This is where you’d normally enter dates, however when you select in, there’s a secondary tab that allows you to view flexible dates within the map view. Try checking the one week trip in the next 6 months. In this search anywhere map view, this will show you the cheapest flights to cities all over the world in the next 6 months via Google’s flight database. This can be extremely helpful in scoring some great deals to locations you may not have expected. However, the prices reflected in this setting can often be buggy and will not always reflect true prices so make sure to narrow down the search once you’ve got a destination in mind.
Filtering In the Google Flights Search Anywhere Tool
We personally despise awful flights because what’s the point in a cheap flight when you layover twice and have zero leg room? No fun. In order to avoid these pseudo flight deals, you can filter out flights you’re not interested in. For example along the top in the above image you’ll see toggles for Stops, Travel Mode, Interests, Bags, and Duration. As a result, you can use these to parameterize display results.
This function allows you to limit the amount of stops (layovers) that are displayed. You can opt to just 1 or 2, or similarly opt only to see non-stop routes. This is very helpful when you’re looking to filter to only nonstop and direct flights.
Travel mode allows you to change the view settings to see places reachable beyond air transportation or with a car. With this function enabled, cities will be displayed that you can travel to by flying to the nearest hub, then taking local ground transportation.
Interests are a relatively new feature to the Google Flights ecosystem. This setting is aimed at tourists and people looking to plan their next vacation. You can select among beaches, outdoors, museums, history, or simply popular travel locations. By default, the interests setting is set to popular locales. In changing it, Google Flights will emphasize cities that more closely represent your selected interest.
This is another super great feature. We’re not huge fans of budget airlines as more often than not, they’ll upcharge on necessary options that are included with major carriers such as bags.
When you’re in the Google Flights Global Map View, the Airlines parameter allows you to select filter flights out of the three Air Alliances: SkyTeam, OneWorld, and Star Alliance. However, if you’re already narrowed down on a specific city, and have clicked through to view the flights to that location, this parameter changes allowing you to filter flights by specific airlines.
Pretty self-explanatory, do the airlines shown allow carry-on luggage? Do you want them to? Then use this to filter by airlines that will allow bags.
The flight duration filter is possibly the biggest buzz kill search filter in Google Flights. Sometimes you’ll find some absolutely nuts deals going on in months ahead only to find out it’s a 36 hour trip with 3 layovers and two red eye flights when direct flights are just 6 hours long. The duration filter allows you to filter flights by travel time and takes into account layovers and secondary flights in non-direct routes.
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