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Google Flights is one of the most effective tools for finding cheap airfares. As you search for flights, you can narrow down results to specific airlines and flight times, as well as other variables to personalize your trip and create the best possible itinerary. Recently, the service also began listing train tickets in Europe, as well as the option to book certain flights directly through Google.
A new update introduces the option to search for separate tickets, meaning that Google will search individual segments — even if that means booking from different services. As a result, the cheapest itinerary could be composed of flights booked directly through the airline or through third-party services like Orbitz (or a mix of the two). You’ll still have the option to pay directly through one service, but both choices are available nonetheless.
For example, there are currently deals on Icelandair between the US and Reykjavik (KEF). If you’re booking normally through the airline, tickets start around $604 round-trip. However, return tickets booked through Orbitz (or other third-party services) are slightly cheaper than a return through Icelandair alone. So in this case, if you book two one-way flights (an outbound and a return trip), you can save about $90.
If your itinerary is cheaper because you’re booking separate tickets, Google will give you that option as you choose your return flight. The site will prompt you with a small notice saying that you must book through two services, and it will provide links to both.
If you’d prefer to book your entire itinerary through a single booking service, you can always turn this option off from the drop-down menu located below the search bar.
Here’s a full look at today’s Icelandair deal:
Airlines: Delta, Icelandair
Routes: EWR, JFK and more to KEF
Cost: $507-$604+ round-trip in economy
Dates: April 2016 through February 2017
Elite Mileage Earning: At least 5,186 elite-qualifying miles
Fare Class: T (Delta)
Booking Link: Orbitz
Pay With: American Express® Gold Card, Citi Prestige or Chase Sapphire Preferred
Booking on separate tickets through multiple services:
Outbound flight: New York (JFK) to Reykjavik (KEF) for $286 on Icelandair (booked through Icelandair):
Return flight: Reykjavik (KEF) to New York (JFK) for $227 on Icelandair (booked through Orbitz):
Booking a single ticket through one service:
New York (JFK) to Reykjavik (KEF) for $603 on Delta (earns 5,186 MQMs):
Newark (EWR) to Reykjavik (KEF) for $603 on Icelandair:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express® Gold Card or Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
H/T: The Flight Deal
If you’re able to score one of these tickets, please share the good news in the comments below!