Just ahead of the holiday season, Google’s rolling out updates to Google Flights and Google Trips that’ll make nabbing last-minute deals on airline tickets, hotel rooms, and local goings-on easier.
Starting Thursday, Google Flights, Google’s Search-powered airfare search tool, will start to analyze historical pricing data in order to predict when fares might rise or fall. Using some of the same machine learning techniques employed by Kayak, Hipmunk, Hopper, and other price-predicting travel planners, Flights will notify you when airline prices reach certain predefined thresholds. You’ll see a tip at the top of your Google Flights results if prices to a destination “won’t drop further”, for example, or “are less than normal”.
The artificial intelligence-powered predictions are heading to Google’s hotel-searching tools, too. When you’re searching for a room, you’ll get messages about events that might be impacting hotel reservations. And starting next year, you’ll be able to opt into Hotel Price Tracking alerts about trends.
And last but not least, Google Trips — the trip-planning application for iOS and Android that Google launched a little over a year ago — will soon start to show information about local events. In the coming days in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, the new Discounts tab will highlight deals on concerts, theater performances, and festivals nearby.
“Worrying about getting the best price for your vacation can be stressful,” Google Vice President Richard Holden wrote in a blog post. “A recent study we did indicated that travelers are most concerned about finding the best price for their vacations – more than with any other discretionary purchase. [These new features] can help you get out of town, even when you’re on a budget.”
The new Google Flights and hotel search tools are rolling out worldwide to desktop and mobile users. Folks who’ve installed the Google Trips application should start to see the Discounts tab in the coming weeks.
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