Y’all know how much I love using miles & points to fly for nearly free!
But sometimes it just makes more sense to purchase a ticket. If your travel dates are NOT flexible, or if you can find an extra cheap ticket, you can buy your airfare. And use your miles & points for a more expensive ticket another time.
Google Flights has a price alert feature that can help you find a cheap ticket.
I’ll show you how to set Google Flight alerts!
How to Set Google Flight Alerts
Link: Google Flights
If I can’t find Saver level award seats (the cheapest award seats), I’m very reluctant to book a flight with airline miles. I’d rather just buy my plane ticket instead, and save my miles for a better value later.
That’s when Google Flights price alerts comes in handy! You can track prices for flights, to help you decide the best time to book. Google will even email you when your ticket price drops!
Here’s how to set Google Flight alerts.
Step 1. Enter Your Travel Information
Enter your travel details into Google Flights (number of passengers, origin airport, destination airport).
Step 2. Choose Your Dates
Enter your travel dates. If your dates are flexible, Google’s drop-down calendar is helpful for finding the current cheapest dates.
Step 3. Click the “Track Prices” Toggle
Above your flight search results, you’ll see a “Track Prices” box. Click the “OFF“ toggle to start tracking flights that match your search details. Google will then keep tabs and automatically notify you if there are changes to the price.
Note: If you are NOT signed-in on Google, you will NOT be able to track flights. A box will pop-up, asking you to sign-in.
Step 4. Click “View All”
You’ll see a “View All” link in the “Track Prices” box. You can click this link to see all the flights you’re tracking. And flights you’ve tracked in the past.
Step 5. View the Flights You’re Tracking
From this page, you can see Google’s data on the flights you’ve asked it to track. It won’t have much to tell you immediately after you’ve set an alert. But in a few days, you can look back and see how the prices have changed.
Here’s a flight I tracked several months ago. You can see how the prices changed with Google’s line chart.
Google will tell you when your flight price will likely increase. And it will notify you right before it predicts an increase. It will also tell you how confident it is in its prediction.
Step 6. Monitor Your Email
Google will email you an alert if the price of your flight decreases. So you don’t have to waste all your time checking throughout the day!
Here’s an example of a flight alert email. The ticket price decreased $44. And for good measure, Google listed a couple other similar flights to help me see all my options.
You can click “Manage Price Tracking” at the bottom of the email to go straight to the flight tracking page with the line graphs. And you can click “Unsubscribe From Emails” if you don’t need the alerts anymore.
What Could It Do Better?
I really like Google Flights price alerts. But it lacks in a couple areas.
1. No Historical Data
Google Flights only begins recording data for certain flights after you request it. So you’ll have to wait several days before Google can show you any kind of airfare trend.
There are other sites, like Kayak, which uses previous data to tell you immediately whether it thinks you should buy your ticket or wait. This is helpful if your travel dates are in the relatively near future.
Kayak also lets you create an email price alert.
2. Price Alert Thresholds
Airfare prices can swing frequently. I’d like to be able to set a certain dollar amount on my Google Flights email alerts, so I won’t get an alert unless the price change is over that amount. That way Google won’t blow up my inbox with fare changes.
Google Flight alerts can track airfare trends to help you decide the best time to purchase airfare. It will email you when your flight price will likely increase, and notify you right before it predicts an increase.
Do you use Google Flight alerts or a similar tool?