Skyscanner vs Google Flights: Which should you turn to first?

Discover how Skyscanner and Google Flights compare and contrast.

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Skyscanner and Google Flights are household names, with the former established in 2004 while the latter was founded in 2011. Apart from birthdates, is there a difference between them and which should you make your go-to when on the hunt for cheap flights?

Use the handy table below to see how they compare.

TL;DR: Our verdict

The winner: Skyscanner. There's so little between these two worldwide travel search engines but Skyscanner compares more travel element, such as car hire prices, and overall pulled up a cheaper fare in our like-for-like price search. It also sends deals newsletters and owns a blog which provides you with tips and tricks for getting the most out of your trip.


Skyscanner vs Google Flights

FeatureSkyscannerGoogle FlightsThe winner
What can I book?
  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Car hire
  • Train tickets (app only)
  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Train tickets
Skyscanner
Can I price match?No.No.Both
Is there lay-by or a payment plan?No.No.Both
Any booking fees?No.No.Both
Is there online chat?No.No.Both
Is there a loyalty scheme?No.No.Both
What are my payment options?Skyscanner doesn't accept direct bookings.

It forwards you onto a third-party website where payment options vary.

Google Flights doesn't take bookings direct.

It forwards you onto a third-party website with various payment options.

Both
Can I book round the world fares?No.No.Both
Can I book multi-city fares?Yes.Yes.Both
Any features to find the best price?
  • Price alerts
  • Ability to view the cheapest prices of the month
  • Search for flights to "everywhere" at best-priced fares
  • Price alerts
  • Destination map with flight price updates in real time
  • Price graph
Both
BookSearch for your flight with SkyscannerSearch for your flight with Google Flights-

Which finds you the cheapest fare?

Skyscanner and Google Flights are both aggregators, but they can pull up different fares depending on which sites they draw their prices from. To see which hunts out the cheaper fares we make a like-for-like search with both.

We chose the same flight route and dates and hit the search button. Here's what we found:

The verdict: In this sample flight-price test, Skyscanner listed the lowest price for the same return flight $35 cheaper.

This is due to the wider breath of sources Skyscanner drew from compared to Google Flights.

You can see this in the second screenshot for each with Skyscanner listing 22 booking sites - of which the screenshot details the first few - while Google Flights only looked at two. Curious to see how much your next trip can cost?

Search for fares through Skyscanner below:


Which offers a wider range of airlines?

Both Skyscanner and Google Flights compare the prices of thousands of airlines worldwide.

The verdict: Both are neck-and-neck in this department.


Any other differences worth noting?

Google Flights has a reputation for being super-fast and while using the sites ourselves the speed at which it returns flight options is phenomenal compared to Skyscanner.

Google Flights also offers information such as how often certain flights are delayed and whether taxes or baggage are included in the displayed price. It also offers real-time data search while Skyscanner's data is cached so the price you see initially might not be the current price when you get to the booking page.


What are deals like?

Google Flights doesn't have its own deals section, it relies on its search functionality to show users the cheapest deals from third parties.

On the other hand, Skyscanner goes further to tell its customers the lowest prices from third parties, either by search or by newsletter. It also owns a blog which provides you with hot tips on how to score cheap flights and travel.

The verdict: Skyscanner publicises the deals of third parties better than Google Flights.


Who won: Skyscanner or Google Flights?

Skyscanner takes out this round with its ability to compare more travel elements, including car hire which Google Flights does not. It also came up cheaper in a like-for-like search.

Google Flights' strengths lie in its faster search and ability to deliver real-time flight prices so there are no surprises from search to the booking page.


Top Skyscanner and Google Flights deals

It looks like we don't have any coupons at the moment. Take a look at our most recent deals

KayakKayak

Australia flights from $54 return

Available on flights from June - September 2021 to Gold Coast, Cairns, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Alice Springs, Uluru and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne with Jetstar.

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Air New ZealandAir New Zealand

Get $100 off New Zealand return flights

Available on flights from 1 August - 30 November 2021 when you use the code. Destinations include Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin and more. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

RedBalloonRedBalloon
Exclusive

Get $5 off activities with code

Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $250 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon
Exclusive

Get $10 off activities with code

Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Sunshine Coast and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.

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KlookKlook
Exclusive

$15 off all Australian activities with code

Available on select travel dates when you spend a minimum of $100. Activities include hot air balloon flights, tandem skydives and attraction passes. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and more. Exclusive for new members. T&Cs apply.

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SkyscannerSkyscanner

Jetstar sale: Australia-wide flights from $32 each way

Available on flights from April - September 2021 to Launceston, Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Whitsundays, Townsville, Hamilton Island, Darwin, Uluru and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

SkyscannerSkyscanner

Up to 50% off: Qantas flights from $70 each way

Available on flights from April - September 2021 to destinations including Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Launceston, Canberra, Darwin, Broome, Perth and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Launceston.

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Deal ends

KayakKayak

Up to 50% off domestic flights with Qantas

Available on flights from April - September 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Launceston, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

Trip.comTrip.com

Up to 50% off Sydney getaways with code

Available until 31 December 2021 when you stay a minimum of 2 nights. Valid for first time app users and discount capped at $250. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

SkyscannerSkyscanner

Queensland flights from $44 each way

Available on Jetstar flights from July 2021 - March 2022. Destinations include Cairns, Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Townsville, Sunshine Coast and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Gold Coast.

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Deal ends

Skydive AustraliaSkydive Australia

Extra $40 off weekday skydiving with code

Available for use on all 5 days of the week until August 2021. Applies to 15,000ft tandem skydives. Destinations include New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

KayakKayak

Rex Airlines sale: Flights between Sydney and Melbourne from $39

Available on select flight dates until December 2021.

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Deal ends

DiDiDiDi
Exclusive

Get $20 credit

Get $5 off each of your first four rides in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Geelong, Perth and Newcastle. Valid on all dates for new users. T&Cs apply.

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DriveNowDriveNow

Campervan hire from $5/day

Available on select routes, dates and locations in Australia, including Darwin, Alice Springs, Cairns and Brisbane, and New Zealand.

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Rentalcars.comRentalcars.com

Up to 20% off car hire

Compare car hire prices on Rentalcars.com and save up to 20% compared to booking direct.

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KKdayKKday
Exclusive

Get $15 off Australia activities with code

Available on all experiences until 31 December 2021 across Australia when you spend a minimum of $100. Activities include hot air balloon flights, skydives and attraction passes. Destinations include Sydney, Whitsunday, Cairns, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and more. Exclusive for new members. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

KlookKlook

Extra 10% off Sydney activities

Available until 31 August 2021, including during Vivid Sydney Festival, on activities such as hot air balloon flights, whale watching cruises, Sydney Opera House tours, attraction passes and more. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

AdrenalineAdrenaline

Up to 50% off Australia experiences

Available on select travel dates for activities including skydiving, hot air balloon flights, quad biking, scuba diving, whale watching, bridge climbing, high tea and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and more.

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Motorhome RepublicMotorhome Republic

Up to 15% off Apollo Motorhomes rentals with code

Available on one-way rentals to Northern Territory from 12 July - 17 December 2021. Pick up locations include Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Broome, Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

WotifWotif

Up to 15% off hotels with code

Available on stays until 30 June 2022 when you spend a minimum of $150. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

ViatorViator
Exclusive

Extra 10% off Cairns and the Tropical North experiences

Available on select activities when you use the code. Includes sightseeing cruises, day tours, hot air balloon flights, helicopter scenic flights, attraction passes and more. Plus get free cancellation and pay later options. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

EuropcarEuropcar

Up to 20% off Australia and New Zealand rentals

Available on 2+ days rentals until 11 December 2021 when you book 21 days in advance. Destinations include Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Auckland and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin AustraliaVirgin Australia

Up to 15% off domestic flights with code

Available on Australia flights until May 2022 when you book 7 days in advance. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

RedBalloonRedBalloon

Get $10 off Vivid Sydney experiences

Available from 6-28 August 2021 on activities including cruises, skywalks and more. Minimum spend of $300 required.

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Coupon code ends

AgodaAgoda

Up to 77% off Sydney hotels + an extra 5% off with code

Available on stays until December 2021. Includes free breakfast, free cancellation and pay at the hotel option on select properties.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap FlightsCheap Flights

Australia-wide flights from $55 return

Available on flights until December 2021 to Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Launceston and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne with Jetstar.

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Deal ends

Cheap FlightsCheap Flights

New Zealand flights from $287 return

Available on flights from June - November 2021 to Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Auckland with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

RedBalloonRedBalloon

Up to 31% off flying experiences plus an extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include hot air ballooning, skydiving, helicopter scenic flights. Destinations include Whitsundays, Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hunter Valley, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

Up to 28% off things to do in Sydney + Extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of 250. Activities include hot air balloon flights, tandem skydives, whale watching cruises, dining, classes, high teas, spa treatments, getaways and attraction passes. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

Up to 50% off things to do in Gold Coast + Extra $5 off w/ code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include indoor skydiving, sightseeing cruises, hot air ballooning, getaways, jet boat rides, spa treatments and more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

Up to 11% off Perth activities + an extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include driving experience, bike tours, kayaking, art workshops, spa treatments, skydiving and much more.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

Extra $10 off Australia getaway packages

Available on select travel dates when you spend a minimum of $300. Destinations include Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Blue Mountains, Cairns, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

Activities for kids from $17 + an extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include day tour cruises, zoo experiences, hop-on hop-off bus tours, attraction passes, zoo and animal interactions and more. Destinations include Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

Extra $10 off Northern Territory activities with code

Available on select dates and activities include sightseeing tours, zoo and wildlife experience, spas, sailings, hot air balloon flights and scenic flights. Minimum spend of $300 required. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

Up to $10 off Adelaide activities with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $300. Activities include winery tours in Adelaide Hills, tandem skydives, kayak tours and more. Sample price is for River Torrens sightseeing cruise. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

$10 off hot air balloon experiences in Perth

Available on select travel dates when you spend a minimum of $300. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

Up to 25% off driving experiences + an extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include rally driving, go-karting, quad-biking and more. Destinations include Sunshine Coast, Newcastle, Perth, Melbourne, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

Up to $10 off Canberra hot air balloon flight experiences

Available on select travel dates when you spend a minimum of $300. T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.com.auExpedia.com.au

Up to 47% off last-minute domestic escapes

Available on stays within the next 14 days. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloonRedBalloon

Up to $10 off Hobart activities with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $300. Activities include winery tours, getaways, high teas, spas, sightseeing cruises, helicopter flights and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified


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