I just recently discovered that Google has a handy flight tool for checking airfare from multiple airports (5 max) for both departing and arriving. I used to spend a lot of time jumping around to various airline and travel websites trying to find the best deal. Once you find a deal Google will then link you directly to the airlines website. The only airline that doesn't appear to show up in the search that I've noticed is Southwest.
Welcome to Insiders!
Google also has a hotel tool: http://google.com/hotels
This tool helps you find the lowest hotel rates on 3rd party travel websites. I used this recently to find a better rate on a hotel in Fairfax VA than what Marriott.com was offering. After I found a better rate I filed a Look No Further Claim and get an even further discount. Here is a link to that posting with more info: http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/thread/15201
Yes you can earn the frequent flyer points because Google will link you directly to the airlines website. The Google tool is searching the airline websites and not the 3rd party sites. I use it all the time. It's nice being able to search up to 5 departing and 5 arriving airports. You can also restrict the search to specific airlines, non stop, specific hubs, spec travel times, etc. Here is a an example screenshot where I searched 5 departing airports to LAX.
Much more comprehensive tool, plug in where you want to start from, and go (no limits on number of destinations (use 3 ltr airport codes), plug in number of nights you want to stay, search a particular day, or search for a month period. It will give you cheapest fares for each day on a calendar. Choose the day you see the fare on, and it will show you what airline and schedule. Then you go to airline and book.
No extra fees for the service.
You can do some great mileage runs for peanuts.
Thanks for sharing the link. I noticed the ITA Matrix software is also a Google product. I found all of the same search features from the ITA Matrix software site were also available on the http://google.com/flights search tool. However the ITA Matrix software did not have a map feature or the option of limiting your search to specific connecting airports (which is important to me at times when I want to avoid specific hubs) like http://google.com/flights search tool does.
I noticed ITA Matrix does have an app called "OnTheFly" available for smartphones which looks pretty cool. I am going to give that a try.
Thanks VABoyWnder -- living in the Washington DC area, I like having the ability to include all the regional airports in a search. Some engines will let you do a region code (like WAS), some won't. Kayak is my fallback for searching, but the Google Flights may become a new favorite.