Find Great Deals On Flights With This Free Online Tool

Scrunching your nose at the rising prices of plane tickets? Don't worry — it's not just you balking at them. Almost everyone does. According to CNBC, airline ticket prices have gone up so much and so fast in 2023 that the rate has managed to surpass inflation by as much as 25%. But even then, the skyrocketing prices don't stop people from booking trips left and right anyway, with many still choosing to go on vacations despite burning a massive figurative hole in their pockets.

With domestic flights reportedly costing an average of around $400 in major cities in the United States in 2023, and international flights setting travelers back between $1,000 to $2,000, traveling has undoubtedly become a prohibitively expensive affair. And even if you have the means to splurge thousands on a ticket, it doesn't mean that you actually have to spend that much. You naturally still want to save money on flights if you can, so you have more to spare for enriching experiences during your trip.

Now, you likely already know how to scour cheaper flights on Google Flights, but the tool, no matter how useful it is, isn't the be-all and end-all when it comes to scoring flight deals. A lesser-known trick is installing a nifty Google Chrome extension called Travel Arrow, which yields cheaper flight deals found on other flight aggregators like Kayak, Skyscanner, and Expedia.

This Chrome extension can help you search for the cheapest flights

Google Flights has become a go-to for people looking to compare ticket prices among various airlines, but despite its convenience, it doesn't always show you the lowest airfares available. The good news is Travel Arrow, a Google Chrome extension that advertises itself as a "travel agent in your browser," can help you save up to hundreds on flights. What it does is show you what Google Flights typically fails to — more affordable airfare found on other sites.

When you have Travel Arrow installed, look up a flight on Google Flights as you normally would, and the extension will show you a prompt where you get to select from a list of search engines that likely have cheaper options. Once you choose, it will open new tabs of the selected sites, which you can then compare and cross-check to pick the best deal that fits your budget and needs. It reportedly even includes flights from Southwest Airlines, which is notorious for its incessant refusal to share prices on third-party platforms.

Travel Arrow is not foolproof, of course, and it doesn't always beat Google Flights, but it does save you time from opening individual flight search engines and keying in your desired routes and dates. Additionally, Travel Arrow also works on hotel deals, so you can also use it to book accommodation at more affordable price points.

A word of caution when booking through third-party sites

As opposed to Google Flights, which directs you to the sites of airlines, Travel Arrow reroutes you to third-party sites to book flights, which isn't always the smartest move if you want a seamless trip. Since you're technically booking through an intermediary, you may not always be alerted of flight changes right away, and you may find it tough to chase refunds should there be any.

Travel agent Victoria Fricke of Vic's Vacations previously told Explore in an exclusive interview that making amends to your flight can prove to be difficult with a third party as well. "If there's a cancellation, rather than the ticket counter being able to simply book them on the next flight, they will [tell] the client to go back to that third party to rebook them," Fricke said. "Not only does this cause the client to typically end up with a less than desirable new flight, but it can put the financial obligation of that change on them."

This doesn't always happen, of course, with some third-party sites ramping up their customer service A-game, but sometimes the headache just isn't worth the dollars you'd save. But if you find that you'll be saving a ton and don't mind jumping through hoops in case you hit a snag, then by all means, book them as you wish.