Here is a screenshot from Google Flights:

enter image description here

I've encountered similar scenarios multiple times. Google is claiming that one can book these flights for 186 USD with a travel agent. I've checked a few travel agent websites (like kayak, momondo, skyscanner, expedia, and some others) and this ticket is not available anywhere. Is Google Flights' claim about the existence of a travel agent who is selling this ticket for 186 USD wrong, or does such a travel agent actually exist and I just failed to find it?

The question is not about this particular ticket (though if someone can find a proof that the $186 price is legit, it would be neat), but rather about whether I should trust Google about agent's prices in general.

  • I don't think I've ever managed to find a price that was advertised as "Book with a travel agent". However, I was assuming that Google was referring to brick and mortar travel agents, not online travel agents.
    – MastaBaba
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 11:34
  • Google did an automated system that is not 100% correct. It is a good research tool however.
    – Marek H
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 16:51

2 Answers 2


Flight prices often go down and up within short periods of time - I have seen specials offered for less than an hour. It could well be that the Google Flights search result is updated only once per day (or every 8 or every 4 hours), so the amount shown is simply outdated - it was available a while ago, but you 'missed it'.

Unfortunately, there are also many providers that trick intentionally with advertising lower prices, and when you try to book, they are 'no longer available' - the idea is that once you progressed that far and already typed in all your personal data, you buy from them anyway. This has become widely normal for hotels, and unfortunately makes the searching for hotels in google maps pretty much unusable, as the shown prices are completely made up and never really available.
Here an example I just pulled - the offers marked up all end with 'no longer available': enter image description here

  • 1
    The fare I'm referring to has been available at least since this past Friday. Then I guess Google Flights updates prices from agents once a week or something...
    – user557
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 23:28
  • 1
    Travel agents might well know when the robot crawls by, and lower their prices for some minutes right when it comes by.
    – Aganju
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 23:33

I've seen a similar issue specifically when I search Multi-city instead of a one way. I wanted to book through Chase Ultimate Rewards and got an error, when I called the support desk they said "it must be the airline hasn't updated their inventory", but I kept seeing the same fare multiple days after. In my case, the fare may have existed at some point, but there was no space left under that Fare Class (I searched with ExpertFlyer). It may as well be that the Fare Construction needs to be specified by a travel agent, and that's why Google recommends that but unfortunately I have not found an agent that would do this.

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