Easily compare departing airports to find cheapest route to destination?
March 11, 2019 11:04 PM   Subscribe

I fly at least 6 times every year, and live within reasonable (to me) driving distance of roughly 8 different airports in two different states. Because I have so many options, it’s hard to cross-check the cost of all potential departing airports quickly. I’d like to be able to pick my destination and then see which airports cost how much to depart from so I can price compare. Is there a way to use Google Flights or any other flight app/tool to do this?
posted by Snacks to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I use ITA/Google flight matrix for this; my understanding is that it’s the database that underpins many of the popular flight search tools like Kayak. You can type in your 8 different departure airport codes and then if you want even more choice, select the “calendar of lowest fares” option and indicate your date range and length of trip.
posted by stellaluna at 11:28 PM on March 11 [7 favorites]

You can easily type multiple airports into the "departures" field on Google flights. After you type in the first departure airport, hit the "+" button at the right end of the text field and it'll let you keep entering more airports.
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:33 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]

Kayak can do this as well; just type the airport codes into the departures field separated by commas, and it'll return all possible flights to & from any of those airports.

Kayak also has the advantage that you can easily filter out itineraries that don't depart from and return to the same airport, whereas Google Flights doesn't show you any information about the return options until you've selected the departing flight. If you're driving yourself to the airport and leaving your car in long-term parking, this is a helpful feature.
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:43 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]

Just want to second ITA Matrix with the *large* caveat that they ignore many of the vital, small or short-haul airlines that make flying in Europe affordable. I always follow up with whichairline.com to double check my results.
posted by todolos at 6:48 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]

Travelocity's flight search function will allow you to specify "include nearby airports" (or words to that effect) for the departure point as well as for your destination. I believe, though, it selects which airports qualify as nearby so it may not include all eight you consider to be reasonable choices.
posted by DrGail at 7:23 AM on March 12

One note, while whichairline.com does link Euro discount carriers, something I've not seen done to that extent, it seems to be a bit long in the tooth. For one, it brings up graphics from defunct airlines who have taken over the call signs, and the booking option is out of date as well. It appears to be providing correct information, but I would be very, very careful.
posted by wnissen at 6:41 AM on March 15

And if you know the ITA codes, you can just type airports separated by commas into Google Flights. It's incredibly fast, and unlike Kayak the quality of the results doesn't seem to diminish when you do this. (I've had multiple times where, e.g., nice nonstops wouldn't show up when I used some of Kayak's broader searches.) So in the Bay Area I can type "SFO,SJC,OAK,SMF,MRY,STS" and search a bunch at once.
posted by wnissen at 7:00 AM on March 15

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