Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Google’s Flights search service has been updated with a new ‘tips’ feature designed to surface cheaper flights.
Naturally, tips will be aimed at those with a little flexibility in their schedule, as the resulting message could suggest dates one day either side of the preferred option. But if you’re on a budget, this could prove a popular feature.
The new feature may also reveal whether a different nearby airport is offering a non-stop alternative flight to your destination, or a cheap upgrade to business class.
Google Flights also now has a ‘best flights’ section that highlights the flights that are likely to be the best trade-off between price and convenience. So, in other words, they may not necessarily be the cheapest or the exact dates/times you requested, but it strikes a balance between the two to save you sifting through the results rubble.
Google acquired Boston-based airfare software company ITA in April 2010 for $700m, and subsequently launched its own ITA-powered product in September 2011, branded as Google Flights.
Earlier this year, Google Flights updated the search function to allow people to narrow down destinations by region rather than airport, and then opened the engine up to support flight searches originating from the UK, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. This was in addition to Canada, which had been its second launch market (after the US) back in June 2012.
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