Google is rolling out a feature that will refund you the difference if you book a flight through its search function and the price goes down before you fly. This price guarantee feature is unprecedented but is ultimately designed to keep you on – and buying through – Google search services.
The feature is only available for ‘select itineraries originating in the U.S. with domestic or international destinations’, according to Google and is not permanent, running from 13 August to 2 September 2019. The price difference has to be more than $5 and you can only get up to $500 back on the total cost for all the flights you’ve booked. Check out the terms and conditions here.
The big G already shows you whether flight prices are high or low depending on the time and route but the company promising to refund the difference if the price goes down at any time before you take off shows its confidence in its pricing algorithm for air travel. In addition, for some flights Google will now notify you if it thinks the price is about to rise on unpurchased tickets, or if it thinks the price won’t get any lower.
Many people use services such as Skyscanner to find the best prices on flights before purchasing from a travel company or airline. This move from Google is trying to position the search engine as the place to actually find the best prices for flights rather than the URL for another site.