You'll Never Use Google Flights The Same After This TikToker's Hack For Cheap Airfare

Google comes in handy whether you're searching for new shoes or trying to find the answer to an obscure trivia question, and it's just as invaluable when booking a trip. The online tool allows you to search for flights across airlines, and by using Google Flights alerts, you can stay on top of price drops through email notifications.

However, you shouldn't limit yourself to the iconic search engine if you want the best deals, according to TikToker and Travel Arrow Founder Jaideep Pati (@traveltipswithjay). In a viral video viewed over 4 million times to date, Pati explains that Google Flights doesn't show cheap flights the way other engines do, particularly if you're based in the U.S.


#stitch with @Jordyn | Budget Travel✈️ #flightdeals #flybetter #googleflights #travel #frequentflyer

♬ original sound – traveltipswithjay

His hack for finding the best airfare is to compare Google Flights results with international travel search engines, such as Kayak, Skyscanner, and Expedia. To make the process super easy, the TikToker uses his Travel Arrow Chrome extension, which shows the cheapest rates available on the international search engines right alongside the Google Flights options.

Are the other search engines reliable?

Skyscanner and similar booking platforms are arguably some of the best websites to help cut travel costs, which is why @traveltipswithjay suggests loading them up on the Travel Arrow extension and comparing them to Google Flights results. But are the better deals too good to be true?

Some TikTok users commented on the video expressing worry or a lack of trustworthiness with third-party search engines. "I'm scared to buy from Skyscanner or other sites. How do you know if it's legit," wrote one. Google Flights gathers its results from different sources than Skyscanner, Kayak, and similar websites. Alternative search engines pull data from small online travel agencies — where a lot of cheap fares are found — while Google doesn't. Google Flights also doesn't show accidental (but completely legit) discounts sometimes posted by airlines.

To put it simply, Skyscanner and other search tools found in the Travel Arrow Chrome extension are more likely to locate bargains that Google Flights simply won't catch. However, it's a good idea to double-check any unfamiliar travel agencies before booking. Smaller agencies are sometimes less reliable and may even sell seats that don't really exist.

Switching Google Flights to a different country can also keep costs low

At the beginning of his TikTok clip, @traveltipswithjay notes that the U.S. version of Google Flights isn't the best if you're looking for budget-friendly plane tickets. Thankfully, there's an easy workaround besides relying on the Chrome extension. As some shared in the comments, using a VPN could give you better airfare prices. One person wrote, "I just tried this for a flight. I turned on [the] VPN and connected to France and tickets were $30 cheaper than [prices in the] USA." While the savings might not sound so impressive, the TikTok user followed up to explain that the flight was only $155 to begin with — and for expensive tickets, you could save even more.

Of course, you have to sign up for a VPN service for the hack to work, which could require a paid subscription to stay connected. Moreover, VPNs aren't foolproof when it comes to finding cheap flights. For the best results, choose a country where the cost of living is lower than your home country. Chances are, the local airfare will be lower too. You may also want to try switching your VPN to the country in which your desired airline is based, as this could produce cheaper rates when you search on Google Flights and other search engines.