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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

Groupon Groupon

Up to 75% off Australia activities

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Klook Klook

Hunter Valley wine tastings from $1

Available on select travel dates in Hunter Valley. T&Cs apply.

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DiDi DiDi
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Trip.com Trip.com

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Up to 85% off domestic activities

Available on select 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. T&Cs apply.

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Extra 10% off Australia activities with code

Valid on all dates on activities like skydiving, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, cruises, tours, high tea and more. Minimum spend of $100 applies. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

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Airbnb Airbnb

Refer a friend and get a $25 Airbnb credit

Give a friend $50 toward their first stay and get $25 credit for yourself toward a future booking.

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Hotels.com Hotels.com

Up to 60% off Australia-wide stays + an extra 8% off with code

Available on select dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle and more. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 30% off Australia stays

Available on select stays until 30 June 2021. Destinations include Darwin, Sydney, Brisbane, Gladstone, Townsville, Adelaide, Glenelg and more. T&Cs apply.

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Trip.com Trip.com

Domestic flights from $123 each way

Available on select dates until December 2020 to Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Cairns and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Brisbane with Qantas Airways. T&Cs apply.

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Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Up to 56% off Australia getaways

Available on stays until December 2020. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.

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Trip.com Trip.com

Up to 46% off Australia-wide hotels

Available on select dates until December 2020. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart. T&Cs apply.

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Kayak Kayak

Australia-wide flights from $52 each way

Available on select dates until March 2021 to Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth, Broome, Melbourne and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Ballina with Jetstar.

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Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

Up to 15% off last-minute trips

Valid for travel on select dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Europe, UK, the Middle East, Argentina, India, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Africa and more. T&Cs apply.

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Skyscanner Skyscanner

Virgin Australia sale: Domestic flights from $89 each way

Available on flights from November 2020 - September 2021 to Gold Coast, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Hobart, Newcastle, Darwin, Broome and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Ballina.

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Trip.com Trip.com

Extra $50 off Sydney and NSW stays

Get up to 18% off plus an extra discount on stays until 18 February 2021. Destinations include Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Byron Bay, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Orange, Mudgee, Port Stephens and more. Minimum spend of $150 required. T&Cs apply.

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Europcar Europcar
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$20 off nationwide rentals

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DiDi DiDi
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Up to 40% off pet friendly hotels

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Up to 30% off last minute Australia stays

Available stays until October 2020 in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Newcastle, Rockhampton and more.

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Europcar Europcar

Up to 20% off Australia and New Zealand rentals

Available on select dates until 15 December 2020. Rental must be for 2 days or more and booked 21 days in advance. T&Cs apply.

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Europcar Europcar

$1/day one-way car hire in Australia

Valid on select dates for select car hire in Australia. Destinations updated regularly.

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Airbnb Airbnb

Gold Coast stays from $49/night

Available on select stay dates from June 2020 onward. Sample accommodation is in Surfers Paradise. T&Cs apply.

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Hotels.com Hotels.com

Extra 8% off on hotel bookings

Save on hotel stays before 31 December 2020 in Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Fiji, Thailand, Singapore, USA and more. Available at select hotels.

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Airbnb Airbnb

Melbourne stays from $50/night

Available on select stay dates from June 2020 onward. Sample accommodation is in Melbourne Central Business District. T&Cs apply.

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Europcar Europcar

Up to 20% off base rate

Available on rentals until 15 December 2020 in Australia and New Zealand. Pick up on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday required to avail offer. T&Cs apply

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Otel.com Otel.com

Extra 9% off hotel bookings

Valid on select hotel stays worldwide like Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Thailand, USA, Europe and more on all dates, including over holidays like Easter, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Some restrictions apply.

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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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Groupon Groupon

Up to 73% off getaways

Available for travel on select dates to Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide, Brisbane, Launceston, Newcastle, Noosa Heads, Cairns and much more. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 60% off Australia activities + an extra 10% off with code

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Hertz Hertz

Get 1 day free on Australia car hires

Available on rentals until 31 December 2020 when you book a minimum of 5 consecutive days. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

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Hertz Hertz

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Available on rentals until 31 December 2020 when you use the code. T&Cs apply.

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Available on rentals until 18 December 2020 in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide and more. Minimum 4 days rental required. T&Cs apply.

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Voyagin Voyagin

Up to 50% off things to do in Bali

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Popular Travel coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
21 Oct 2020 Hunter Valley wine tastings from $1 WIN****
21 Oct 2020 Northern Territory activities from $36 + and extra $10 off off with code FDR****
21 Oct 2020 Extra $10 off site-wide with code FDR****
20 Oct 2020 Extra 10% off Australia activities with code RBF****
9 Oct 2020 Extra $50 off Sydney and NSW stays NSW****

Popular Skyscanner coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
13 Oct 2020 Virgin Australia sale: Domestic flights from $89 each way ********
20 Oct 2020 Australia-wide flights from $41 + one free date change ********
20 Oct 2020 New Zealand flights from $243 return ********
20 Oct 2020 USA flights from $962 return ********
20 Oct 2020 Hawaii flights from $425 return ********

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