NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Google has introduced a new search tool that makes finding the best airfare deal significantly easier.
If you have your destination ready and your travel dates are flexible, your chances of snagging the lowest price goes up. That’s because Google Flights will present a calendar of the dates with the cheapest prices for your travel.
The prices that Google shows will appear in gray and green (green for lowest).
When you click on the day you want to travel, Google will list the flights for that date in order of cost, grouping together all the times when you can fly at the lowest price.
If you’re curious about what time of the year flights between two cities are the lowest, Google Flights can show you a bar chart that will give you a glimpse of the best prices throughout the year.
Maybe you know when you want to fly, but you’re not sure where to go? Google Flights has an interactive map that will show you prices for destinations around the world.
You can also search for generic terms, such as “flights to Europe” or “flights to Mexico.” Google Flights also has an “I’m feeling lucky” button that will suggest popular destinations and other locations based on your search history.
Google said it found that 54% of people don’t know where they want to travel when they decide to plan their vacations.
What Google doesn’t show is whether prices will drop in the near future. Microsoft Bing and Kayak provide services that predict when prices are expected to rise or fall.
But Google said those tools aren’t typically very helpful.
“Though it’s sometimes hard to pull the trigger because you’re afraid the price will drop tomorrow (or next Tuesday, maybe?), our experience shows it’s usually best to book right away,” said Eric Zimmerman, Google Flights product manager, in a blog post.
In 2011, Google purchased a company called ITA, which provides flight information to websites, such as Expedia, Kayak, Hipmunk and Priceline. The data Google controls includes flight times, availability and prices.
Competitors Kayak and Expedia initially opposed the deal before the Department of Justice forced Google to promise that it would continue to promote competition.