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Many travelers use digital tools to save money on airfare. Google Flights is a popular tool for comparing airfare prices across multiple carriers. Until recently, Southwest flight data was excluded in pricing search results. But Southwest flight prices will now be displayed on Google Flights. This update could help you save money when booking flights for your next trip.

If you’re a seasoned traveler who has used tools like Google Flights to compare flight prices, you may have noticed that Southwest Airlines fares weren’t displayed. Until recently, the airline didn’t allow online travel agents and booking tools to access its pricing data. Instead, travelers could only search for and book Southwest airfare directly through Southwest.

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But that’s recently changed. Now, travelers will see Southwest flight prices when using Google Flights. This could make it easier to compare prices from multiple airlines quickly. If you search for a flight that’s part of Southwest’s route, Southwest flight prices will be displayed.

However, Google Flights is the only online search tool or travel agency (OTA) currently displaying Southwest prices. So, you won’t see Southwest fares displayed when using other booking and pricing tools like Expedia — at least not yet. Plus, you’ll only be able to research Southwest fare prices using Google Flights — not make a booking.

If you want to book a Southwest flight, you must do so directly with Southwest. An easy way to do that is to visit the Southwest website or mobile app to make a booking. With some other airlines, you can book through Google Flights. But that’s not the case with Southwest.

How to use Google Flights to save money on flights

Are you new to using Google Flights? Let me show you how it could help you save on airfare.

I love to travel, but I dislike overpaying for airfare. Before booking flights for an upcoming trip, I research airfare prices. I’m not loyal to one airline, so it’s beneficial for me to review prices for multiple carriers before making a reservation. Doing this allows me to find the best itinerary and price that fits my preferences, schedule, and vacation budget.

I don’t always choose the cheapest airfare, but I try to avoid overpaying. For example, I’ll pay more for a direct route. But if the itinerary and ticket type are almost identical between two airlines and one round-trip journey is $400, but another is $600, I’m booking the $400 ticket.

Here’s how to use the tool to find the best airfare prices:

  1. Visit Google.com/travel/flights
  2. Enter your desired departure and arrival airports and travel dates.
  3. Use the stops, price, airlines, duration, fare type, and bag filters to narrow your results.
  4. Search to compare flight prices.

The included search filters make it easier to find the right flights for your needs. For example, you can search for direct airlines only, all, or only a few airlines to find desired flights. You can also track prices and get email alerts when prices change for your desired route.

Bonus tip: If you’re not yet set on a vacation destination, enter “anywhere” as your arrival location. This will let you search for flights worldwide departing from your preferred airport so you can find the most affordable destinations to fly to for your preferred dates.

Don’t ignore travel credit cards

Another tool that can benefit travelers is travel credit cards. These cards allow users to earn valuable rewards that they can later redeem for free travel. General travel rewards credit cards are a good fit for travelers who aren’t airline loyalists. When you swipe your card for travel purchases, you can earn points or miles and redeem your rewards for flights or hotels.

However, you may benefit from airline credit cards if you typically fly with the same airline. For Southwest loyalists, there are several Southwest credit cards to choose from, and these cards offer rewards and benefits that could improve your flight experience when traveling with the airline. Check out our list of the best Southwest credit cards to learn more about these cards.

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We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Natasha Gabrielle has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet. The Motley Fool recommends Southwest Airlines. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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