Google Will Start Telling Travelers the Cheapest Time to Fly

Google Flights

Google says it is making it easier for travelers to find the cheapest flight.

“On Google Flights, you can already see whether current prices for your search are low, typical or high compared to past averages for the same route,” the company wrote on its blog Monday (Aug. 28). “But the age-old question remains: Is it better to book now or wait for lower prices to come along?”

With that in mind, Google says it will introduce improved insights this week to make that choice easier. For searches with reliable trend data, travelers will be able to determine when prices have usually been lowest before booking their trips.

In addition to touting some existing travel tools, the tech giant on Monday also released some money-saving tips for travelers.

While taking a layover and avoiding weekend departures are still reliable ways to save, things have changed for Christmastime travel and trips to Europe.

“In both scenarios, you’ll want to book even earlier than usual, especially if you’re heading across the pond,” Google wrote.

For holiday trips, that means booking 71 days before departure, a steep climb from last year, when average prices were lowest just 22 days before departure. For trips to Europe, average prices are lowest 72 days before departure.

As noted here recently, demand for travel has taken off this summer, with record numbers of people planning trips. And it’s not just people planning vacations, as business travel has also seen a post-pandemic comeback.

“But as nearly 1 in 4 U.S. consumers make their travel plans, the decision makers and financial teams working overtime in the background to power the travel industry have their hands full,” PYMNTS wrote last week.

Dealing with the demands of a historic number of customers, all while fighting off competition and investing in new services to fuel differentiation, isn’t easy.

“Travel CFOs have got a real challenge on their hands, balancing the day-to-day working capital needs with continuing to invest in the business,” Ed Chandler, senior vice president and head of Commercial and Money Movement Solutions for Europe at Visa, said in an interview with PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster.

“Technology is really driving the travel industry at unprecedented rates, whether it’s how you and I search for our travel, how we book our travel, the experiences we have when we’re traveling, and more — but that takes investment to keep up,” Chandler explained.