Finding a flight these days can be difficult when you use access technology. Many times, when you do find a site that seems to offer great deals, you find that accessibility is either happenstance or nonexistent. Apps on mobile devices seem to do a bit better, but still, there are thousands of apps and sites that take time to learn.
The good news is that many flight apps and websites you have heard about and have likely fought with in the past can be used by one website.
Google Flights works great with Firefox, Chrome, JAWS, and NVDA, and pure clickers should have no difficulty using the site to find flights.
Getting to the site is as simple as typing “google.com/flights” directly into your browser’s address bar.
Getting Flight Info
As soon as you arrive at the Google Flights site, you are placed into the Where To box. Here you can type in where you want to go. You can use the airport code, as in SFO for San Francisco, or you can just type in the name of the city. You do not need to type in the entire city name. Once you type in a few letters, you can simply arrow down to the city that you want to go to. Clickers, just click as soon as you see the city name pop up.
Next, just tab or click on the departure date box. Here, all you need to do is type in a partial date such as 7/13 for July 13th. Next, tab or click on the return date box and type in a date for that box as well.
Next, tab to the Done button. Click it or press enter on it. You will instantly be placed within the flight info list.
Now, JUST press enter or click on the button for the flight you are interested in. You will be shown a details page with the flight info on it. From this page, you can also share it, or get flight notifications for price changes. You can also begin to book the flight. Note that flight bookings are performed on the air carrier such as Delta and not on Google’s site.
From within the list of flights, you can also hit the Show Details button to get more info about the flight. It will also allow you to select this flight if you like the details. You can hit the Hide Details to make them vanish again.
Other Google Flight Search Options
As you are looking through flights, you may want to change the number of passengers, or set how many stops your flight will have. Google Flights can do this also. In order to go through these settings with the minimum hassle, I recommend going to the top of the page, then getting out of the normal browsing mode used in JAWS and NVDA.
JAWS users, press JAWS KEY+Z, NVDA users press NVDA+SPACE BAR. This will allow you to tab through the page and activate choices easier. Clickers just ignore that last part 😉 and keep clicking…
You are going to tab through a series of menus which can all be activated by pressing ENTER. If you decide you really do not want to make any changes in a menu, press ESCAPE.
For the screen reader users, you are going to tab until you get to the Round-Trip menu. Press ENTER if you want to change it. Once in the menu, continue to tab and press the SPACE BAR on either Round Trip, One Way, or Multicity. Press ENTER on your choice and keep tabbing.
Next is the Passenger menu. You are going to do the same thing for this menu. Once in the choice’s, things will act just a bit differently than in the last menu. If you want more than one adult, you will tab to the Increase button and press ENTER on it. Visually you will see that two adults are now selected. Screen reader users will also hear the same message instantly. Within the Passenger’s menu, you also have a set of Increase/Decrease buttons for the following: children aged 2-12 selected, infants in seat selected, and infants on lap selected.
You also have a Done and a Cancel button. Once you have made your selection, press ENTER or click the Done button.
Flight class is set to economy by default, but you can change this to premium economy, business, or first class.
Swap Destination and Origin
You can swap the destination and origin if you like by pressing the Swap Origin and Destination button. Note that your screen reader may not indicate this is a button, but it is located between the Where From and Where To boxes.
The Bags menu is similar to the Passenger’s menu. The first set of Increase/Decrease buttons is for carry-on bags. You also have buttons for checked bags.
Here you can choose how many stops, sometimes called layovers, that you would like for your flight. You can select Any, Nonstop Only, One Stop or Fewer, or Two Stops or Fewer. Once you have made your choice here by either clicking or pressing SPACE BAR on your choice, click Close, or tab and press ENTER on the Close button.
By default, all airlines are selected. There are a tun in here I have never heard of. By now you should have no difficulty selecting or deselecting any airlines you don’t want to be part of the search.
This is a slider that you can adjust with your ARROW keys. This menu allows you to select the price you would not like to accede. For instance, you can set the price for under $500. This is set to Any by default.
This menu is a bit different than the rest. You have two tabs, one for Outbound and one for Inbound times. You can tab to each one of these and press SPACE to select it.
For each tab, you have sliders for departure and arrival times. You can simply use your ARROWS to adjust the times for each flight.
This menu has sliders to adjust the time for layover. You can set these for less than two hours as an example. You can also uncheck any connecting airport that you do not want a layover in.
Here you can adjust the duration of your flight—this slighter is set to Any by default.
You can also show or hide tickets. By default all tickets will be shown. It may be cheaper to buy flights as separate tickets from one or more partners, but you must book the tickets individually.
You can hit a button that allows you to get email alerts when a price for a flight changes.
I found that the graphs for dates and pricing offered were not useful for screen readers. Clickers go nuts. 🤞
This button allows you to get prices for airports close to your destination. Just tab and hear or view the results.
Sort By Menu
This allows you to sort the results via the following parameters: Best Flights, Price, Departure Time, Arrival Time, and Duration.
We finally made it. Hopefully this brief walkthrough will help you setup your next flight faster and with less head banging. Until next time…