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“Reader Questions” are answered three days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.
One of our more popular features here at The Points Guy is our regular Deal Alerts. But TPG reader Alan wants to know if there’s a way to get deals just for his home city…
Is there a website that shows all the deals from a select airport?TPG Reader Alan
Along with our own TPG Deal Alerts — which you can get sent directly to your smartphone by subscribing to text message alerts from our Twitter feed @tpg_alerts — there are a number of popular websites such as The Flight Deal, Fare Deal Alert, Thrifty Traveler, Scott’s Cheap Flights and others which send out airfare deals when they appear. But these sites cover many US departure cities and it’s not always easy to filter the results down to just your own city.
However, there is a way to see deals from just one airport to destinations across a region and even over a wide set of dates. The secret is to take advantage of the open-ended search capabilities of our old friend Google Flights, which we already recommend using to track down itineraries that fit your schedule when you get notified of one of our Deal Alerts.
Normally when you’re searching with Google Flights, it acts just like a normal flight search engine. You enter your departure city in one field, your destination in the other field and departure and return dates to see flight prices. You can also use the calendar to see how the prices change depending on when you leave and the length of your trip.
But Google Flights has another neat feature — you don’t have to actually enter a city as a destination, or even a specific date. Instead, you can enter a country or even an entire continent along with a month of the year and see the best deals to major cities in that region during that time period.
Let’s take a look at an example. Say your home city is Chicago and you’d like to find deals for a one-week trip to Europe during the month of October. Go to Google Flights (www.google.com/flights) and make sure Chicago (ORD) is in the “Where from?” box. But then instead of entering any more data, use the buttons just below the search window in the “Discover Trips” section to choose your range of dates, places and interests. Once you do, Google Flights will give you options for different cities and schedules, along with the prices for each destination. You can then click on the choice that interests you to see more details.
Or if you want to see the prices for a slew of cities all at once, you can use the Explore Map feature of Google Flights. Enter a region in the destination field and then click on the map that appears below the search box — you’ll see airfares to individual cities in that area on your specific dates. You can change the dates to see new prices, search for nonstop trips or even restrict flights to a specific airline by using the filter options at the top left of the map.
We’ve found Google Flights to be extremely fast and powerful, which is why it’s one of our favorite tools when it comes to searching for flights and deals. And now that you know how to use some of its more advanced features, you can find deals perfect for your own needs as well. Thanks for the question, Alan, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at email@example.com.
Featured image of Newark Airport (EWR).
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