Ah, flight search providers. Don’t they just make the whole world want to travel, or at least indulge in wanderlust about their next travel? Google Flights is one of the more recent additions for Malaysians to search up their flights, which some may say is similar to what Skyscanner does.
As many would say that large global companies like Google and Facebook have the resources and power to drown out others that provide the same services, we decided to pit them against Skyscanner which is a global search engine for not just flights, but hotels as well. Both has its own pros and cons, but ultimately what we want is the easiest way to fly, and of course the cheapest.
Hence, the adventure begins. I chose Sydney as my destination and put both flight search providers to the test. May the best one win (and search me my most affordable and value-for-money flight).
One And The Same
Both flight search providers expedite the process by allowing users to customise their searches. For instance, there are the preferred time of flight, duration of flight, or whether users wish to add stopovers to their destination. These are the basics to searching flights and it’s good to see that both did not skimp on the amount of customisation provided for each flight.
In terms of the user interface, Skyscanner includes searches for hotels, and cars for hire. The hotels aspect is one which has been utilised before even for apps like Traveloka. However, cars for hire is an area which has not been tapped into quite as much yet, and hence is a nice touch for Skyscanner.
Everyone knows the hassle of arriving at an airport at odd hours and not being able to hitch a ride out of the airport quickly enough. It becomes an unwanted hassle at the start of the trip and nobody wants to begin their vacation on that note.
As for the layout for both platforms, Google Flights wins hands down in my opinion. They have a clean and user friendly layout, images of various popular cities are placed below with the pricing stated as options for adventurers who haven’t quite picked a holiday destination. By hovering over the suggested locations, the map in the top right corner will show a preview of the flight route, which is a nifty and convenient feature for users to refer to. However, the map will disappear from view as you scroll down the destination list so you won’t be able to look at the preview for the lower suggestions.
Where Skyscanner’s flight searches go by pages, Google Flights’ searches are an endless scroll, thus making it all the more easier to search.
Ultimately, prices are the de facto users need in order to make a decision. For flights, more often that not this is the one thing they need in order to make up their mind. Between both portals, Google Flights had the cheapest flight overall, but Skyscanner had more options for a slightly higher price point.
For instance, the cheapest flight was RM1326 from Google Flights for a 22 hour flight, that is inclusive of a 13 hour layover in Singapore, whilst for a slightly higher price of RM1548 at Skyscanner, passengers get a 12 hour and 35 minute flight that is inclusive of a 8 hour 30 minute layover in Melbourne.
The comparison goes to show that both flights has its pros and cons, and it depends how short one prefers their layover to be, or even the destination of their layover. For the first flight, even though it started its journey earlier, it arrived later than the second flight by Skyscanner.
Google Flights Vs. Skyscanner
Both flight search provider has its advantages and weaknesses in which they could work on. Whilst Google Flights are focused on flights only, Skyscanner is more well-rounded with hotel searches and car hire searches. However, this doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, as being niche can be a plus point as well.
When it comes to speed of searches, both provide results in fairly the same amount of time, and as for the results, Skyscanner has more extensive results, though its relevancy for cheaper price points may vary. This is due to the fact that the searches which show up on the final few pages are at a price point for those who aren’t worried to spend a little more on their flights.
The final verdict would be to go with your gut and if you’re like many Malaysians out there who are looking to search up the best deals, search on both. If you’re looking for a quick search, Google Flights might be your tool for that as it has a simple and easy to use interface with no additional frills. Skyscanner however is the portal to use if you are looking to look up hotels and car hires on one same platform.