Friday, January 31, 2014

Senior Flying to Family Wedding Via Google

My nephew Jack is getting married in March.  Yesterday I concluded making my travel arrangements.  I did all of those online using my Mac Air laptop. Much to my astonishment, I discovered once again that the easiest way to accomplish this goal was to go directly to Google.  I had earlier discovered this when I wanted to send flowers to my mother.

I tried getting tickets other ways first and although I was getting results, they were not results which were good for me.  For example, first I went directly to the airlines and checked out flights.  That was disastrous. The times, prices, change of planes and so forth were all horrible. Then I went to one of these flight aggregator sites which specializes in finding the best fares. I did no better than I had done with the airlines directly and the prices were still horrible.

Then I opened the Google search engine. I put in these key words "flights cleveland to new orleans senior". One of the first few sites listed had the easiest way to fill out a set of boxes and get results.  I did so and within seconds was staring at a direct flight roundtrip from Cleveland to New Orleans discounted to me as a senior for $303 total, including all tax, on United Airlines. This was $350 cheaper than anything else I had uncovered.  Further, I was able to fill in my driver's license security information and also register my disability status so I get loaded onto the airplane first.  I even was able to pay with PayPal and did not have to haul out my credit card. It took me no more than ten minutes and I had wasted at least forty minutes at each of the other websites where I'd tried to get my tickets.

This had happened me a few months earlier in buying the flowers.  I thought I was being as forward thinking as possible by installing the FTD (florists) app onto my iPad.  With this app I was supposed to get fantastic deals plus just have to touch a few keys and be done.  Hah! Half an hour later I did not like anything I saw as arrangements plus the costs were atrocious.

So I opened the google search engine and entered the following key words "ftd cleveland to chicago". Right away in my first page of results I saw a website which appealed to me. I clicked to it and found lovely arrangements and great prices.  Then, as I was checking out and leaving my Gmail address for contact, the website knocked $9 off the total because I was a Google member.

I am also using the Chrome Browser owned by Google when I do this. Plus in the Chrome web store I added free items to Chrome to make it even better. One of these was an extension which added pictures to all of my Google search results.  This was a big help with something visual like flowers.

Jim and I, as you might expect, couldn't be any more different on this. He uses a Google Chrome Browser with no add ons. Mine has full bells and whistles.  I have one extension which removes all of the ads on webpages. I have three custom buttons for my favorite sites.  I have a shortcut button to every google service. I have a translate button for foreign languages.  And on and on and on. So we are both heavy Google users but I use everything Google has to offer us while he uses the basics. Below are my add ons to the Chrome browser on my toolbar (click to open to larger size).

Additionally, the chrome browser is also available as an app for my ipad and iphone.  It also automatically syncs the info from the chrome browser on my Mac Air to my iPhone and iPad. I only use the Chrome browser on my Mac Air.  It is my browser in chief on iPhone and iPad. Jim uses it on everything too but the Chrome App is much better on IOS than on android.

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