GOOGLE has begun stepping up services offered through its Google Flights platform, outlining new tools that show how airfares fluctuate around peak holiday periods and identify whether prices are relatively high or low. The digital giant has also flagged new tools for monitoring hotel rates, giving insights on how prices vary over time.
The initiatives are outlined in a blog post by Google’s vice president of product management, travel, Richard Holden, and are timed ahead of the upcoming festive period. Google have created a handy tool that shows how prices change – based on when you book and where you’re travelling – for flights to popular holiday destinations. You’ll even be able to find hotel deals during peak periods such as school holidays and Christmas / New Year peaks.
This new google tool also shows whether a given airfare is low, typical or high, based on historical prices. Another function added to the Explore Map in Google Flights allows users to choose a region such as Southern Europe, then view destinations where comparatively good airfares are currently available.
Holden says Google is also adding price insights and market comparisons for hotels, allowing users to see how rates evolve, determine whether a rate is higher or lower than usual and compare to other properties.
Is Google Flights Useful for the Business Traveler?
Yes it’s useful to be able to learn what time of the week, month or year to book your flight or to gauge what festive events are causing prices to jump during certain times of the year. It’s a handy tool just like many many other sources on the world wide web.
But it is not recommended if you’re wanting to use it as a booking platform. Wikipedia states the following “Google Flights is an online flight booking search service which facilitates the purchase of airline tickets through third party suppliers”. Better to go straight to your corporate travel agent as they are ultimately responsible for sourcing the best deals direct with airlines via their direct channels. Plus we all know how many changes corporate travelers can potentially make before boarding their flights and Google just don’t have the ability for you to make easy and direct changes – these happen through their various suppliers which can change constantly.