Save Money With This New Feature Of Google Flights
Google Flights is a flight search engine that Google launched in 2011 after their purchase of ITA. It works similar to Kayak and other agreggators in that it compares the prices on a number of different website to help you find the lowest priced air tickets.
Over the years I have grown attached to Kayak and haven’t used Google flights too often. Today, Engadget wrote about a change that is making me consider using Google Flights the next time I am searching for a ticket.
Google Flights Alerts Via Google Now
Google Now is the company’s virtual personal assistant which already integrates very well with your travel plans. Google Now works on multiple platforms and delivers up stock prices, sports scores, curated news and about a billion other personalized pieces of information right on your phone or desktop.
Right now if you use a Gmail account and Google Now, you may notice that it will remind you of upcoming flights and even tell you when it is time to leave for the airport given current traffic patterns. I actually use these features quite often and the best part is that it is automatic. I don’t have to tell it to remind me.
Up until this point there wasn’t any pricing information or integration with Google Flights, Google Now simply displayed information based on confirmation emails and that was it. Fortunately, that has changed and Google Now is automatically monitoring prices for flight searches done on Google Flights.
What this means is that if you search for a flight from Las Vegas to New York in October, Google will monitor the prices and alert you via Google Now if the price drops. Simple and easy.
While Airfare Watchdog and even Kayak have alert features, this solution is automatic and convenient. I am already in Google Now all of the time and the information will be displayed there for me to see.
I do wish that Google Now had some way to pull in searches from other sites such as Kayak, however Google has every incentive to keep you within their product universe. I hadn’t used Google Flights in awhile before today and it is a competitive product, so this is less of an issue now then it was a few years ago.
Some people don’t like Google having all of this information or think it is a bit freaky that Google Now knows so much, but I find it incredibly useful. Sure we are trading something for the convenience, but at this point it makes sense in my life.
How about you? Do you use Google Flights and/or Google Now? Will this incentivize you change? Let me know!