Google is ready to make travel planning and flight booking much easier.
In a blog post, Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google division announced that it will be updating its GFlights, or Google Flights, app to include notifications informing users when a current fare will expire, as well as how much money you can save by booking a flight before that expiration happens. Users can also keep watch on fare changes on flights or specific routes through email notifications.
GFlights offers tips on discovering the lowest price for a certain flight route, and even suggests alternate airports and travel dates. It lets you know about any expected price hikes based on historic prices as well. The update is set to be rolled out in the next few weeks, says Google.
Users can use GFlights for more than booking airfare, too. The app provides ways to scoop up deals on hotels by “label[ing] deals when a hotel’s price is lower than usual compared to historical pricing, or if there are discounts to the normal rate for those dates,” the company said. GFlights also notifies users when savings are available to loyalty members on a hotel’s website.
An improved GFlights puts Google in more direct competition to travel booking sites like Expedia Inc. (EXPE - Free Report) and Priceline.com (PCLN - Free Report) , as well as popular startups Skyscanner and Hopper. In particular, Hopper has proven to be one of the better flight booking tools for travelers figuring out when to fly and what airline to take.
Google has smartly launched these updates ahead of the busy holiday travel season. GFlights joins the company’s personalized mobile travel guide Google Trips, as well as its travel inspiration tool Google Destinations, all showing Google’s growing presence in the industry.
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