Google Launches Flight Price Protection

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Written by Curtis Sprung
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Edited by Mary M. Flory
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Google is making another play to be your go-to tool for booking flights with a new policy that could ease the minds of travelers afraid of price fluctuations.

With the introduction of their new price guarantee feature on select itineraries, Google says it will refund you the difference if you book a ticket through Google Flights that drops in price later.

Currently, Google tracks the prices of different flights and itineraries, providing customers with detailed graphs showing price fluctuations and whether the price is low, average or high for that route. For certain flights, Google also will predict whether the price is expected to go up or down in the near future. This is where cost-conscious customers can now buy without fear.

Predicting the future

If Google’s algorithm predicts that a flight won’t drop in price before departure, it may be designated with a colorful price badge. This indicates Google is confident the flight’s price is the lowest it will be. If Google is wrong and the flight of the price drops by more than $5, you are entitled to a refund for the difference. Customers can receive a total of up to $500 back for all flights they book with Google.

The process for receiving the refund is simple. First, you have to book your flight with Google. Google Flights already includes most major U.S. airlines, so you’ll have a variety of options to choose from. If your flight drops in price before departure, Google will send you an email informing you of the price drop with a link to a form. Fill it out, and Google will deposit the price difference directly into your bank account.

Limited time availability

This new price drop guarantee is only available for a limited time. Only flights with the designated badge booked via Google Flights between Aug. 13 and Sept. 2, 2019, are eligible.

Currently, the price badge only appears on trips completed by Nov. 24 — so you won’t be eligible for refunds on year-end or holiday travel. If you cancel your flight, you will not be able to claim the refund.

Updating the experience

This price guarantee is just the latest update in Google’s push to modernize its flight and travel systems. Last year, Google utilized its algorithm to predict whether your flight would be delayed or canceled using historic flight data. The company also put together a holiday travel tracker including top destinations, hotel options and price guides for flights up to 180 days before departure.

Google has also updated all of its desktop and mobile trip planning pages, making it easier to research your trip in one place.

These product updates show Google is serious about its travel capabilities and wants to be the go-to place for booking trips. With historic flight data showing pricing trends and a quick high, low or average pricing indicator, Google makes it easy to see if you’re getting a good deal.

This new price guarantee allows customers to book some flights with more confidence during the Aug. 13 to Sept. 2 window, avoiding the anxiety that comes with wondering whether a price will drop after you book.

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