Google’s parent company Alphabet has announced a new slate of travel features for its search engine—including price-matching for airfares.
- Alphabet VP of Travel Products Richard Holden announced in an April 3 blog post that Google has been updated with a new slate of search engine features to help travelers.
- These features include increased hotel browsing tools and listing for travel spots near the user’s destination.
- The most prominent feature is a new price-matching feature for flights that monitors daily flight prices and pays the difference to customers for lower fares, including rebates for fare drops prior to departure—Google Flights.
- The service currently mostly covers domestic flights for Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and some international flights from WestJet, Bloomberg notes.
Why It’s News
As we previously reported, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen record numbers of flyers in the past year, as millions of Americans chose holiday weekends to catch up on vacation travel. The boost in sales saw major airlines receive a massive turnaround as profits and revenue for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The upsurge creates an opportunity for Google, which will receive a percentage of revenue from the airlines in return for increased sales through the search engine. While recession fears may slow airline travel once again, reduced fares could prove mutually beneficial for the airlines and Google by providing competitive pricing.
“We’ll monitor the price every day until departure, and if it does go down, we’ll send you back the difference via Google Pay. Now you can book with the confidence that you’re not missing out on a great deal. During this pilot program, price guarantees are only available for ‘Book On Google’ itineraries that depart from the United States,” says Holden.
“What we’re wanting to do is to take [our] price insights to the next level. We have hopes to offer this to as many users as possible and expand it beyond just ‘Book on Google.’ We hope that people will trust Google Flights whenever they need to find a great deal on air travel, and the price guarantee could help build that trust even further,” Google Flights product manager Jade Kessler tells Bloomberg.