Looking to bag some cheap flights for your next trip? One simple hack can show you some of the lowest prices for flights worldwide at a glance, according to a viral video on TikTok.
The person in the video is shown using the Google Flights website with a basic trick that unveiled some “ridiculous” prices for various trips, including return flights to the U.S., Europe and Asia.
The viral post comes as air travel sees continued strong growth after grinding to a near-halt following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Globally total passenger traffic was said to now be at 96.1 percent of May 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels, according to a July 2023 report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA),
“Planes were full, with the average load factors reaching 81.8 percent,” Willie Walsh, the IATA’s director general, said in the report, and North American airlines led the pack at 86.3 percent.
Traffic among North American carriers rose by 31 percent in May 2023, compared with the figure reported for the same month in 2022.
‘Insane’ Hack for Finding Cheap Flights
A caption shared with the viral post reads: “How to get super cheap flights!!”
A voice in the clip says: “Does anyone else know about this? Because I feel like the world is gatekeeping how insane this is.”
At the website, the user sets the “from” location as London, but suggests putting “anywhere” in the destination box, leaving the departure and return dates blank. The user said that you can put some dates in if needed.
Making sure the search was set for round trips, the user said you can also adjust the number of passengers to however many you would like.
The user then clicks the “Explore” icon, which opens a map of the world, with pop-out boxes listing flight prices for different cities.
Some of the cheapest flights in Europe spotted on the map included £26 ($32) to Barcelona, Spain, £32 ($39) to Venice, Italy and £39 ($47.50) to Athens, Greece.
Newsweek’s own flight search on the Google Flights website, inputting New York as the “from” location, also showed various low air fares for return trips from the Big Apple for both domestic and international flights. These included around $50 for a return flight to Miami, $90 for Boston, $264 for Cancun, Mexico, and $349 for Paris, France.
Scrolling further to the left, users can see the travel dates for which these prices are valid.
Clicking on the plus sign at the bottom right of the screen to zoom in on any given part of the map reveals more flight deals in more locations within that area.
‘The Real Tip’
Several TikTok user were enlightened by the flight hack.
Claudia.07P said: “I travel a lot and always use Google Flights.. didn’t know this ‘to anywhere’ though..thanks.”
User @celestiallibrary noted “…some of us genuinely didn’t know this! Thank you for sharing girl.”
Horsi wrote: “I always wanted Google to have an anywhere option and never thought to type ‘anywhere.'”
Others were impressed by how the user managed to access the website after rejecting all cookies.
Marco said: “The real tip was Reject All [cookies emoji].”
Meredith said: “I didn’t know you could hit ‘reject all’ for the cookies and still be allowed onto the site! I figured they’d block you.”
Some said the trick didn’t show any good deals for their location, such as Katie Lou who wrote: “Well, this was unsurprisingly disappointing trying it from Perth western Australia.”
Kate Crow, who claimed she was a travel agent, warned “these prices may not be valid even if you pay, so you could show up to the airport and be denied boarding. Be careful!
“Especially post-Covid, websites can’t update quickly enough and they’re overbooking flights (meaning there’s too many people vs. seats available),” Crow added.
Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment via TikTok. This video has not been independently verified.
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