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Budget Travel

Skyscanner vs Google Flights: Best for Cheap Flights


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What is in this blog? Table of contents:

If you’ve ended up in our blog, then the chances are you’re a bit of an avid travel enthusiast, which means you know that travelling really is an adventure! That will have lead you to wonder, who is better in the battle of Skyscanner vs Google Flights.

But, you probably also know that when it comes to finding the right flight, at the right place, it can be something of a daunting task! At least, this was the case before the introduction of flight comparison websites, which have made it easier than ever before to find the best deals.

In the world of finding cheap flights, two names dominate the market and often stand out to the untrained eyes, they are of course, Skyscanner and Google Flights.

So in this blog, we’re pitting one against the other, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and the publics opinion on each to give determine which one flies higher!

Strap yourself in, as it is Skyscanner vs Google Flights, a battle you don’t want to miss!

Google Flights vs Skyscanner: Table of contents

  • Ease of use and user interface
  • Flight availability and options
  • Deals and pricing structure
  • Unique features
  • Speed and accuracy
  • Trustworthiness and user reviews
  • Other options
  • Conclusion

Skyscanner vs Google Flights: Best user interface? (ease of use)

When it comes to user interface and ease of use, both platforms come with their own strengths. Skyscanner is renowned for its simple to use interface, making it easy for users to navigate, search for flights and find the next deals. They also have the calendar view which colour codes the dates from expensive to cheap, a great feature.

Screenhot of Skyscanner visual price calendar

From the above calendar you can see Skyscanner uses the color green, amber and red to display the cheapest and most expensive days to fly. With green displaying the cheapest days, amber showing the fairly priced days and red visually displaying the more expensive days to fly.

Google Flights features a minimalistic interface as you would expect from a Google platform, but this means it is quick and easy to use. It is also a great feature if you are a user of other Google programs, as it integrates perfectly with other Google systems and programs.

Mobile usage? Well, both sites are mobile friendly, but here we have to give the edge to Skyscanner due to the additional features its app has, such as car and hotel hire options, making it more of a one stop shop.

Example of Google Flight mobile user interface (left) and Skyscanner user interface (right)

When it comes to ease of use, the edge is ever so slightly to Google Flights, due to the slightly faster loading time. Both sites boast handy features such as fare alerts and price graphs, but while Google Flights is better for planning budget trips thanks to AI integration, Skyscanner has a more detailed trends graph.

Ease of use – Skyscanner vs Google Flights – Winner: Draw, the jury is still out on this one!

Google Flights vs Skyscanner: Flight availability

Both platforms are ideal for travellers with complex itineraries, with multi-city trips and flexible dates being easy to navigate.

Skyscanner has the larger network of airlines, especially smaller budget airlines, meaning it excels and finding cheaper flights, particularly on lesser travelled routes or less popular destinations.

Skyscanner services over 1,200 airlines in comparison to the 300 airlines currently available on Google Flights. That a 4:1 ratio in favour of Skyscanner between the two flight comparison websites.

Whereas Google Flights aims to find the user the most convenient option, prioritising less travel time and shorter layovers.  This is perhaps better suited to those who wish to travel in comfort rather than on a budget.

Flight availability – Google Flights vs Skyscanner – Winner: Skyscanner.

Skyscanner vs Google Flights: Which has the best pricing?

As we have already alluded to, Skyscanner has a broader range of airlines that it sources its flights from, meaning that it often edges Google Flights out when it comes to cheap flights. Additionally, Skyscanner also has its famous ‘cheapest of the month’ feature, enabling its users to find the cheapest time of the month to fly.

However, Google Flights has the edge when it comes to transparency! It clearly showcases any additional costs such as luggage fees, which many users struggle with when comparing flights through Skyscanner.

Both platforms also provide real time updates on price alerts, enabling users to be notified should the fare for their chosen route drop. Even here though there are subtle differences, with Skyscanner offering more comprehensive alerts, with a broader selection of dates and options, while Google Flights sees users get alerts that are more real time.

Pricing structure – Skyscanner vs Google Flights – Winner: Skyscanner (JUST).

Google Flights vs Skyscanner: Unique features

Both platforms provide users with hotel booking solutions, an excellent way to help users sort out as much of their trip as possible before they arrive, in one place.

Google Flights vs Skyscanner - Google Flights Hotel Search Results
Google Flights Hotel Search / 2024
Google Flights vs Skyscanner - Skyscanner Hotel Search Form
Skyscanner Hotel Search / 2024

Skyscanner offers its users with an option to choose flight routes with lower CO2 emissions, a great way to appeal to the more environmentally conscious traveller. Additionally, users are also given insights into frequent flyer point accumulation and when the best time to book flights are.

Google Flights on the other hand gives users a more complete, holistic travel experience. Featuring recommendations driven by AI for alternate airports and flight times to save the end user on overall costs, they also integrate seamlessly with Google Maps and Good Trips.

Google Flights also offers date grid and price graph options. These are great tools to visually view the historic price data and forecast the best time to book your flight.

Google Flights vs Skyscanner - Google Flight historic price graph

Unique features – Google Flights vs Skyscanner – Winner: Google Flights.

Skyscanner vs Google Flights: Which is quicker? (speed and accuracy)

While it is true, that both Skyscanner and Google Flights are renowned for providing users with accurate, reliable information, there is one platform that is slightly ahead.

That platform is Google Flights, who are known to update their data with greater frequency and faster after the data they are given changes. This means that they show prices and availability in near real-time. Skyscanner on the other hand is slightly slower and they have been known to display options that are either no longer available or ones that have changed price.

When it comes to speed, again, Google Flights has the edge. Google itself is a near-al-powerful search engine, so Google Flights has the infrastructure to back it up! This means it displays options quicker than Skyscanner, a big advantage for users who need to book in a hurry!

Speed and accuracy – Skyscanner vs Google Flights – Winner: Google Flights.

How to search for a flight on Google Flights?

If you are wondering how to search for a flight on Google Flights, this next section breaks it down and shows you just how to do it.

In order to search for a flight on Google Flights, you first have to go to the website. Either search for it (in your favourite search engine and browser), or type in the URL (https://www.google.com/travel/flights) into your browser, that’s step 1.

Step 2 is to find the designated field for your chosen destination and departure city and input these. Typically, you will be given a list of airports within each city, from which you need to select the correct one if given a choice. You then move to the calendar and put in your chosen departure and return dates.

Example of Google Flights search bar

You will also be given the option to select a one-way flight, a round-trip or return flight and multi-city flights. Entering the dates is step 3.

Step 4. Once all this information has been inputted, hit search. You will be given a number of options, which you are able to filter via airline, the number of layovers/a direct route and by price, from which you are able to take your preferred option.

At this point, the calendar will show different prices highlighted in either green, red or orange. This indicates the average expense bracket of flights on that given day.

Example of Google Flights search filters

For step 5, the final step. You will find yourself being redirected to the partner website in order to complete your booking.

Example of Google Flights search result

These 5 easy steps show you just how to book a flight on Google Flights.

How to search for a flight on Skyscanner?

Now you are asking how to search for a flight on Skyscanner, again, its pretty simple. Step 1 is the same as above, as are steps 4 and 5. In truth the whole process is very similar, with the only real different being the user interface. Behind the scenes they are both very similar.

If you were wondering, our own flight search engine works in a very similar way, why not take a look and search for a flight here.

So, to recap, how do you search for a flight on Skyscanner?

Step 1 – Head to the Skyscanner website (https://www.skyscanner.com/)

Step 2 – Input your departure city and chosen destination into the designated fields, next select the dates and times that word best for you.

Labelled examples of Skyscanner flight search bar

Step 3 – Hit the 'Search' button to load all the flights Skyscanner has available for your criteria.

Step 4 – Filter through the results to find the best available deal for you, either thanks to times or prices.

Example of Skyscanner search results with filters highlighted

Step 5
– Head over to the partner website or airline directly via the link provided, and pay for your flights.

Google Flights vs Skyscanner - Skyscanner flight search result

Oh, and don’t forget step 6! Have a great holiday!

Our descriptions for using both Google Flights and Skyscanner are based on a desktop user, if you use a mobile device or tablet your user experience may differ slightly, but not by much!

Google Flights vs Skyscanner: User reviews

Overall, from our research, we have found that the end users are generally very happy with the service provided by both platforms.

As expected from everything we have detailed above, reviews differ slightly depending on whether the user is focusing on speed, price, usability, etc.

Google Flights is praised for speed, accuracy and reliability, while users love the fact that Skyscanner shows the cheapest fares for the lesser travelled routes. Skyscanner have received over 17,000 Trustpilot reviews for the domain www.skyscanner.net, and with an average score of 4.4, this isn't bad going.

Both flight search engines offer users a good overall experience, with Google Flights having the edge when it comes to trustworthiness due to being associated with Google itself, and Skyscanner having the edge on user satisfaction when it comes to airfare prices.

User reviews – Google Flights vs Skyscanner – Winner: Draw.

Are there any other flight comparison options?

We have previously gone into great detail about alternative options to both Skyscanner and Google Flights, so we won’t go into too much detail on that here.

However, if you would like to read more on our Top 11 Skyscanner Alternatives, or indeed about The Best Google Flights Alternatives, please do so!

As a very quick summary of both, please do bear in mind that when it comes to Skyscanner vs Google Flights, your final choice does not need to be one of those two options!

There are plenty of others out there, but from our unbiased standpoint, if it is not going to be one of the big boys, it may as well be us. Yes, that’s right, we’re (totally unbiased opinion here) recommended that you use Moonsand.

As far as flight search engines go, we’re proud to say we really think that we can hang with the big boys when it comes to finding cheap flights for our users!

Skyscanner vs Google Flights: Final thoughts

With that, our comparison piece on Google Flights vs Skyscanner is at an end. We think you’ll agree, that it really is a pretty close call between the two, and at the end of the day, which is best for you, will largely depend on which of the features you can find on either platform are most relevant to you.

With that being said, we have got to have one last go at nudging you in the right direction (yes, that’s towards us)…

So, the next time you decide to hop on the web to compare flight prices, search for your next holiday destination, or even just to do some proverbial holiday window shopping, why not use our very own flight comparison tool.

We’re in it for the same reason that you are, for the love of travel. We’ve made it our mission to find you the best deals, so you can have the best time on your holidays, and believe it or not, we do even offer cheaper airfares than some of the big boys!

Do you want to use tools such as Google Flights and Skyscanner to find cheaper flights and book with cheaper airfare?

Find cheap flight tickets, hotels and airfare deals with us.
Moonsand compares hundreds of flight and hotel booking platforms and
displays all your search results in one place.
Moonsand compares hundreds of flight and hotel booking platforms and displays all your search results in one place.
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