Search giant Google has recently announced a change to its Google Flights tool that will inform users of the cheapest time to purchase a flight.
Many people find that booking a holiday can be quite stressful, with some turning to travel agents to do it on their behalf to ease this stress, although they may find that the price of the trip is not as cheap as they first thought. On the other hand, some will trawl the internet to find the cheapest flights possible, and will often compare flights across a number of different airline websites and comparison sites.
Furthermore, it is not really common knowledge how the pricing structure of flight purchases works, with many people under the impression that the earlier they book the flight, the cheaper it must be. However, this is not necessarily true, as certain flights may actually be at their cheapest a matter of weeks before the departure time – depending on the time of the flight and the destination.
In order to help its users to relieve some of the financial burden of travelling, Google has built in a new function to its flight searching tool that will inform the user when the best time to book a flight is. It will inform the user when a particular flight’s price is expected to increase or, if searched for enough in advance, when they will decrease in price. It will also allow the user to track certain flights to see how they fluctuate over a period of time.
The feature is more useful when a particular flight is selected, as it bases its predictions of price increases and decreases on historical flight data. If a user taps on the notification, they will be given details of the likeliness of a price fluctuation, as well as how much the change is likely to be. For example, it may inform a user: “£87 fare increase likely in 12 hours”.
As Google Flights has developed, it has acquired a number of rivals, including other price comparison tools such as Kayak and Skyscanner. However, with the introduction of this new feature, Google has put itself in competition with Hopper, which is a mobile app designed to perform similar functions to the new Google feature, with Hopper informing users of the best time to purchase flight tickets.
The company has not given an exact date for the rollout of this feature, but it is has confirmed that it will be available in the next few weeks.