Monitor Flight Pricing With Google Flights
Google Flights is our top resource for booking the cheapest flight possible. The travel search engine is as efficient as it is powerful. Google Flights allows you to search up to five origin cities and five destinations at the same time and set various stop, price, airline, and time restrictions. It really has empowered the end consumer to make quicker and cheaper travel decisions.
This leads to the most common question we get here at Thrifty Traveler: When will the next sale be from city X to city Y?
The truth is it’s nearly impossible to predict when airlines will run flash sales on certain routes and the time frame associated with those sales. There are many social and economic factors at play when it comes to flight deals. Whether it be terrorism, demand, or airline competition, it’s hard to know exactly when flight sales will occur. The first thing that Mr. TT and I always suggest doing is setting up a price alert on the routing you are interested in, using Google Flights.
What Are Google Flights Price Alerts?
Once you’re on the Google Flights homepage, you will be able to select your origin and destination airports, whether you are looking for round-trip or one-way tickets, the number of travelers and different classes on the flight (economy, business, etc.). You will also be able to filter on the # of stops, price, airlines, etc. For this example, I will be searching flights from Minneapolis (MSP) to Honolulu (HNL).
From here, you can see prices on a calendar view, or select the exact dates you are looking for. For my example below, I have chosen my routing for a week in February on United Airlines, as it’s currently offering the best combination of price and flight times.
Once you’ve selected your itinerary, you’ll be given the option to track the price of the selected flight at the bottom of the page. Once this is turned on, you will receive emails with price change information and travel tips for the selected destination. You will need to sign into a Google account to track the prices.
Once you have activated price tracking for your selected route, you will be able to access your saved trips in the top left corner under the “Flights” section. There will be a red dot on the three parallel bars if you have any trips being tracked. Once you start tracking trips, Google Flights will also show you a graphical representation of the price history for your selected routing.
Once you have this activated, Google Flights will automatically send you an email if prices drop. The screenshot below is an email I received this past week for a flight I am looking to book next summer. It’s worth noting that if you are no longer interested in the flight, or if you book the routing, you’re able to turn the price-tracking off just as easily as you turned it on.
There is no exact science to know when flights will be on sale. Using the Google Flights price tracking tool is a great way to make sure you book flights when prices drop. This is a free, effortless way to help you save money, and book the cheapest flights possible.