Google Flights will now tell you the best time to book

The Google logo on the Google Pixel 7's display
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has made valuable updates to its flight booking search service.
  • Google Flights now uses booking insights to give users suggestions on the best time to book their airfare for a particular flight.
  • The tech giant also announced its flight booking trends for 2023.

Booking a flight can be an incredibly arduous process, with many moving pieces, including choosing the airline, browsing through airfare, and, of course, how far in advance to book. However, there is salvation for frustrated travelers as Google Flights has added a new projection feature to its service.

Google’s flight service tool — which allows users to search for airfares on associated airlines — already tells you whether current prices are typical, lower, or higher than normal. But now, Google Flights will go the extra mile by notifying users of the best time to book. 

“We’re launching upgraded insights to make that choice a bit easier. For searches with reliable trend data, you’ll now see when prices have typically been lowest to book your chosen dates and destination,” James Byers, Product Manager of Google Flights, said in the announcement.

The feature will use new booking insights to give users suggestions on the best time to book their airfare for a particular flight.

A screenshot of the Google Flights update

(Image credit: Google)

The new function appears below the flight selection menu on Google Flights. Depending on your destination and chosen flight date, the feature will notify you if you’re in the sweet spot for booking or if you’re going to end up overpaying. If you’re in the sweet spot, the data will tell you how long it will stay that way. But if you’re found to be paying higher than usual, it will alert you to the best time to book and estimate how much you’ll be saving. 

“These insights could tell you that the cheapest time to book similar trips is usually two months before departure, and you’re currently in that sweet spot. Or you might learn that prices have usually dropped closer to takeoff, so you decide to wait before booking,” Byers said.

Aside from the updated insights tool, Google also reported on its flight booking trends for 2023. One of the trends identified includes the best time to book flights for December, which was found to be 71 days before departure — which is roughly October.

Google also reiterates several features already available in Google Flights, including price tracking and price guarantees.