- Google’s tool allows travelers to see when is the best time of year to book flights
- Google even pays you if the price of the tickets you bought has gone down
The dichotomy between booking flights early and holding off in the hope of finding a cheaper deal is a dilemma for many travelers year after year.
But Google may now have a solution to this problem, with the launch of a new tool that gives frugal travelers the ability to search for the cheapest fares.
While the tech giant claims that booking ahead is usually the safest bet, the new search feature allows users to find out which times of the year are best for booking tickets.
This is backed by “reliable trending data”, with the tool offering useful insights into whether prices are exaggerated or discounted.
“These insights could tell you, for example, that the best time to book similar trips is typically two months before departure, and you’re currently in that optimal situation,” Google said.
Google’s tool allows travelers to assess what time of year they should book flights
HOW TO USE GOOGLE’S FLIGHT TOOLS
- Search “Google Flights” online.
- Once you click that, you should be taken to a flight search bar
- Choose your destination, flight times and baggage requirements
- Click Search.
- Tap View Price History to see more information about average ticket prices and fluctuations over time
- Click “Track Prices” just below the search bar to receive email alerts
“Or you may learn that prices have usually dropped just before departure and decide to wait to book.”
“In either case, you can make that decision with greater confidence.”
To make the most of it, travelers can even opt-in to receive regular updates on their chosen destination and travel dates.
This means that users will be notified of falling prices via their email account – as long as they are signed in to Google.
Sometimes Google is so confident in its price prediction capabilities that a “Price Match Guarantee” rainbow logo appears on its listings.
In these cases, Google monitors the price of your purchased flight each day prior to departure.
If the price drops, the tech titan reimburses the difference via Google Pay.
For now, however, this is only part of a pilot program available on a select group of flights in the United States.
“Outside of these tools, we’ve put together other information to help you travel on a budget,” Google said.
“Last year we published information on historical price trends on Google Flights.
“We’ve re-calculated the numbers using the latest data, and most of the tips from 2022 still apply: making a stopover or avoiding weekend departures are among the best ways to save on your next flight booking.”
If the tickets you buy have a price guarantee, Google will monitor your flights and pay you if the price of the tickets goes down even further
Users can also opt-in to email notifications of price changes of specific tickets
The tool is based on “reliable trending data” and provides useful insights into whether prices are exaggerated or discounted
To use these flight tools, search “Google Flights” in an internet search bar.
The feature should be one of the first to appear, and clicking on it should take you to another search bar.
Here you have the opportunity to choose any holiday destination and at the same time to communicate on which dates the flights are cheaper or more expensive.
If you tap “Search” before clicking “View Price History”, you’ll get a more detailed view of the itinerary you’ve chosen.
In addition to average prices and alternative options, this also includes charts that show the price over time.
You’ll also see a “Track Prices” button just below the search bar in the same window.
If this option is activated, notifications of all ticket price changes will be sent to your email address.
Travel advice from Google
Best time to book flights for Christmas: For trips starting in mid-December, you will most likely find the deals in early October.
Average fares are typically lowest 71 days before departure – a big change from our findings from 2022, which found average fares were lowest just 22 days before departure.
And the typical low price range is now 54-78 days before departure.
Best time to book flights from USA to Europe: Average fares were lowest 72 days or more before departure.
In other words, the average airfare from the US to Europe tends to increase over time, especially when there are about ten weeks left to depart.
So if you want to dust off your passport, you should book your flight as soon as possible.