Know When to Buy the Cheapest Airfare With Google Flight Alerts

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Know When to Buy the Cheapest Airfare With Google Flight Alerts

Million Mile SecretsKnow When to Buy the Cheapest Airfare With Google Flight AlertsMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

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.

How To Set Google Flight Alerts
If Airline Miles Aren’t an Option, Use Google Flight Alerts to Make Your Dollar Go Further

I’ll show you how to set Google Flight alerts!

How to Set Google Flight Alerts

Link:   Save Money and Time Using Google Flights

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).

How To Set Google Flight Alerts
Step 1 – Tell Google Where You’re Going

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.

How To Set Google Flight Alerts
Step 2 – Enter Your Travel 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.

How To Set Google Flight Alerts
Step 3 – Click the “Track Prices” Toggle to Track Flights

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.

How To Set Google Flight Alerts
Step 4 – Select “View All” in the “Track Prices” Box

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.

How To Set Google Flight Alerts
Google Gives You Price History in an Easy-to-Understand Way. But It Won’t Have Anything to Tell You Immediately After You Begin Tracking Prices

Here’s a flight I tracked several months ago.  You can see how the prices changed with Google’s line chart.

How To Set Google Flight Alerts
Step 5 – Look at the Price History to Decide a Price You’re Willing to Pay

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.

How To Set Google Flight Alerts
Step 6 – Check Your Email for Google Flight Alerts

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.

How To Set Google Flight Alerts
Buy Now or Hold Off? Kayak Will Give You Advice On the Spot

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.

Bottom Line

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?

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 33,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!


by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

I currently have 33 alerts on Google Flights. Unfortunately, the itinerary I consider to be most urgent tells me that it cannot track any American Airlines flights. This means I am monitoring them manually which is very frustrating.