“Will prices for my flight drop or should I book now?”
It’s one of the most common questions for airfare – and one of the toughest to answer. But Google Flights, the best flight search engine out there, is here to help.
Google Flights allows you to search up to five origin cities and five destinations at the same time, so you can scope out plenty of options for a trip. You can use Google Flights’ filters to set various stop, price, airline, and time restrictions. Filter for the flights that offer the baggage allowances you need. Don’t even bother with long layovers by filtering by layover duration and stops. And one of our absolute favorite tools is the Google Flights Explore feature. Select a month, date range, or specific dates, and see which destinations are cheapest from your home airport.
Thrifty Tip: Never used Google Flights before? Check out our guide to use Google Flights for finding cheap flights.
Luckily, one of Google Flights’ incredible tools – Price Alerts – also helps answer that age-old question: Will prices for this flight drop?
What is a Flight Alert?
A flight alert tracks the price of a specific route or flight based on your origin, destination, and travel dates. Whenever the price goes up or down, you’ll be notified through an alert. For frequent and novice travelers alike, signing up for flight alerts are a reliable, must-have tool in order to get flights at the best price.
Google Flights is one of a number of flight search engines available out there – and it’s our absolute favorite. And you’ll want to be sure to get signed up for Google Flight Price Alerts, Google’s flight price tracker.
Google Flight Price Alerts
It’s time for a quick rundown on how to use Google Flights Price Alerts.
Once you’re on the Google Flights homepage, select your origin and destination airports and travel dates. Select round-trip or one-way tickets, the number of travelers, and which class you want to fly (economy, business, etc.). Whatever flight you’d like alerts for, that’s what you need to enter.
Hit search, and you’ll see some flight options. Below, you’ll see a block in red: this is where you can track the prices of a specific flight. Clicking this toggle on will turn on price tracking. You must have a Gmail account to receive Google Flights price alerts.
And that’s it. Once you sign up and track prices, you’ll receive a Google Flights notification via email if your tracked flight significantly drops or increases in price.
Why Should I Set Up a Price Alert?
We’ve every myth and supposed piece of wisdom out there: “Flight prices go down on Tuesdays” or “You can get a better price searching incognito.”
Both are wrong. The truth is, there’s no best day to book flights. It’s nearly impossible to predict when airlines will run flash sales on certain routes, how long a sale will last, or when the price might increase. There are many logical and economic factors at play when it comes to flight deals. Whether it be demand or airline competition, it’s hard to know exactly when flight sales will occur.
The best way to make sure you’re getting the best flight deal? Don’t set your dates in stone: be flexible and wait for a flight deal to come around, and book the cheap fare first.
If you have the flexibility and are open to different destinations for your next vacation, you’ll be able to take advantage of the flight deals we find. Keep an eye out for domestic deals we find and share in our free daily newsletter and for the hottest international fares we find, check out of Thrifty Traveler Premium service. Our team of flight deal analysts search airfare 24/7 and instantly notify you of unadvertised flash sales and mistake fares.
But we get it: Not everyone has that much flexibility. So if you’re stuck with specific dates to a particular destination, we highly recommend setting up a price alert on Google Flights to track flight pricing and strike when the prices drop.
How to Track Prices on Google Flights
Step 1: Enter Your Trip Information
Once you’re on the Google Flights homepage, select your origin and destination airports and travel dates. Select round-trip or one-way tickets, the number of travelers and which flight class on the flight (economy, business, etc.).
Step 2: Choose Your Flight Filters
Once you’ve clicked Search, the results will start pouring in. Here, you can filter for what kind of flight you’d like. Select filters for number of bags included, number of stops, select or deselect airlines, times you want to fly, and filter out long layovers. Google Flights is king of options to help you narrow down to only see the flight you want.
Keep in mind: Whatever you filter for flights, that’s what you’ll get alerts for. You won’t get any price changes for flights that don’t meet your criteria.
Step 3: Click the “Track Prices” Toggle Button
Below, you’ll see a block in red: this is where you can track the prices of a specific flight. Clicking this toggle on will turn on price tracking. But you must have a Gmail account to receive Google Flights price alerts.
Your price alerts will catch whatever filters you set for your flight: bags, stops, and airlines. You can get alerted of price drops for the route and dates you selected on as many or as few airlines as you’d like. Just filter for the flight deals you’d like to track, and then toggle the “Track prices” on.
Receiving Airline Price Alerts from Google Flights
Once you begin tracking a certain route and date set, you’ll start receiving email notifications to your email account if prices decrease or significantly increase.
View the Flights You’re Tracking
You can also see all of your price alerts on Google Flights as well. Click the menu bar on the left-hand side of Google Flights to view all your tracked prices in a list form.
On the Google Flights Price Alert page, you can see all the flights you’re currently tracking. You can expand the price history to see price changes. If you click on the price alert itself, it will pull up the search with those prices. You can then click through that Google Flights search to book at that price directly with the airline. If you are no longer interested in tracking a flight, you can simply click the trashcan icon shown above to delete that tracked flight.
Google Flights Price History
On the Google Flights Price Alert page, you can also see a graph with tracked prices beginning on the first day you set up your Price Alert. These graphs show the changes in airline pricing from day to day on the specific flight you’re tracking. It allows you to consider the data and the pricing trends for the specific destination you’re tracking a flight for, and make a decision based on data.
Take this flight to Nashville (BNA) I’ve been tracking for over 100 days. Looking at the data, I should have booked around the 100-day mark when prices were as low as $190. Price changes, are sporadic but I’ll wait for another dip to around $230 and hope for something close to $200 for my dates.
For another flight I’m tracking to Boston (BOS), the changes in airfare look to be in my favor as my dates get closer. From the flight price tracker, it appears that prices are staying pretty stable on the MSP-BOS route, but as my travel dates get closer, the prices are dropping. Based on this data, I plan to bide my time and hope for a price drop to $137 or lower in the coming months.
There is no exact science to know when flights will increase or decrease in price. But Google Flights price alerts can help you get ahead of the curve.
The Google Flights price alert tool should absolutely be one of the first tools you use when searching for cheap flights for a specific set of dates and destination. Now, go set up a price alert for your upcoming vacation!