Regular users of Google Flights might notice a new feature the next time they go to the site to check airline schedules and compare flight prices.
The new feature officially announced Monday morning in a press release is Google’s cheapest time-to-book-a-flight guidance, which complements price tracking alerts and the already-existing Price Guarantee option.
And whether you want to catch up on the winter holiday crowds or avoid them, the search engine giant has some info in there, too.
It issued the most searched destinations on Google Flights so far this year for flights departing from December 20, 2023 to January 5, 2024 from US airports. The resort of Cancun, Mexico takes the first place. (See below for the full list of the top 10 destinations.)
Here’s what to expect about the new feature, plus some details on the other features:
Cheapest time to book: Google Flights said it already allows users to see if current search fares are low, typical, or high compared to past averages for the same route.
But starting this week, searches with reliable trend data will also allow users to see in what time frame prices have typically been lowest. Google said in the statement that users can then better decide whether to book now or later.
Track prices: Users who want to wait for lower prices before booking can use a Track prices Google said the feature “can do most of the heavy work for you.”
Google said that people who enable fare tracking will be automatically notified if flight prices drop “significantly.” It can be set up to track specific dates or to track prices “on any dates”. Users must be logged into their Google accounts to use this.
Price guarantee: In some flight results, users may notice that a Price Guarantee badge appears (this will not happen on every use). If you book one of these flights, Google said it will monitor the price each day before you take off.
If the price goes down, we’ll refund the difference via Google Pay. These price guarantees are part of our shareware “Available for select Book on Google itineraries departing from the United States,” Google said in the statement.
Warm holidays and big cities dominate the top 10 searches for Google Flights. they:
2. Miami/Fort Lauderdale
4. New York
6. San Juan
10. Los Angeles
Google also said that the best time to book flights is for the Christmas holidays Around early October.
“Average prices tend to be lowest 71 days before departure, which is a significant change from our 2022 vision, which found average prices were lowest just 22 days before departure,” Google said in the statement.
Correction: A previous version of this story got it wrong about the number of new features Google Flights reveals.
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