Google Flights helps you book cheap tickets: Here's how
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Google Flights helps you book cheap tickets: Here’s how

Google Flights helps you book cheap tickets: Here’s how

The tech giant has unveiled a new feature that indicates when fares have been the lowest for their chosen travel dates and destinations

Gulf Business
Google Flights

Google Flights has unveiled a new feature aimed at helping budget-conscious travellers in their quest to save money on airfare. The feature, officially announced via a blog post, serves as a guide from Google, helping users determine the most economical period to book their flights.

This addition complements the existing suite of tools, including price tracking alerts and a price guarantee option, already available on the platform. Based on reliable trend data, users will be presented with historical pricing details indicating when fares have been the lowest for their chosen travel dates and destinations.

How does the new feature work?

The new insight could tell travellers the most cost-effective time to book is typically around two months before departure. If their current timeline aligns with that window, they can proceed. Alternatively, they might learn that prices have dropped closer to the departure date, prompting them to wait before finalising their booking.

For those inclined to wait for fare drops before booking, the price tracking feature takes on most of the work. Enabling price tracking prompts automatic notifications in the event of significant price reductions.

Users can customise their tracking settings for specific dates or opt for a more flexible approach by selecting “Any dates” for tracking deals within the next three to six months. To enable this feature, users need to be logged into their Google account.

Some flight results will showcase a vibrant price guarantee badge, indicating Google’s high confidence that the displayed fare will not decrease before departure. Should users book these flights and the price drops, Google Pay will refund the price difference. These price guarantees are part of a pilot programme available for select Book on Google itineraries departing from the US.

Google Flights’ trends

In addition to these tools, Google has compiled information to facilitate budget-friendly travel. Building on insights shared in the past year, based on pricing trends on Google Flights, the company has revisited its data for 2023. Many of the cost-saving tips from 2022 continue to hold true, such as opting for layovers or avoiding weekend departures.

However, the analysis points to some shifts in the landscape, particularly for Christmas and flights to Europe. For Christmas travel beginning in mid-December, deals are most likely to be found around early October. Contrary to insights from 2022, which indicated that prices were lowest just 22 days before departure, the optimal booking window is now 71 days ahead of takeoff.

Moreover, the lowest average prices have been observed 72 days or more before departure for flights from the US to Europe. This data highlights the importance of booking well in advance, especially for transatlantic travel, where fares tend to rise significantly as the departure date approaches.

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