ONE of the most frustrating things about booking flights is sudden price increases, especially if you have a budget set up.
But Google Flights recently underwent an update that allows it to tell you when airline prices are about to change. The new feature can predict airfare changes and help you land a better deal overall.
When you’re researching flight prices, Google will notify you when the current fare will change, so you’ll know how much you stand to lose (or gain) if you don’t book the flight right away.
Nabil Naghdy, product manager of Google Flights, wrote in a blog post: “Google Flights can now help you be more confident that you’re booking your flight at the right time to get the best price. We now show you when prices are expected to increase for some specific flights and routes you’re interested in.”
She added: “After selecting a specific flight, a notification may appear letting you know when the current fare is expected to expire and how much you can save if you book now.” She then uses a flight to San Diego, which is set to rise by $87 in eight hours’ time, as an example.
Unlike other apps and services that alert you of airfare changes, Google Flights tells you exactly when the spike or plunge is predicted based on historical data.
In general, airline fares fluctuate based on real-time calculations of supply and demand, but travelers can often find it exasperating, especially if flying often. Based on online travel agent CheapAir, flight-purchasing is a unique marketplace, and is like playing the stock market.
Google also rolled out a new tracking destination feature which displays tips on picking the best route such as recommended airports, cheaper dates, and tentative increases.
On top of that, Google Trips was recently launched, a standalone smartphone app that acts as a pocket guide for travelers.