Earlier this year we wrote about the flight tracking app Hopper. At the time Hopper wasn’t just a useful app to track and predict flight prices. Hopper also was a pioneer in alerting passengers about potential extra fees associated with a ticket like bags, seat selection, and things of that nature. My biggest gripe with Hopper was that they didn’t offer a desktop interface to search flights. It was strictly an app-based platform. That presented a problem because when I’m trip planning, since I’m usually on a laptop with multiple browser tabs open. Well, I found out yesterday that Google Flights is ready to pick up where Hopper left off.
Google Flights Price Prediction
Reports began to surface this week that Google Flights was getting into the flight and hotel price prediction market. While it appears to be a gradual roll out, Google plans to eventually offer historical data with advice on whether to wait, or book flights and hotels immediately. When I gave it shot for a trip to Mexico City, the feature wasn’t quite available to me. Instead, I only got a price tracking option which Google Flights has offered for quite some time:
As you can see, Google hasn’t completely rolled out it’s prediction model to all users. I’d imagine it will happen over the next few weeks. I did attempt another itinerary from my phone which provided a few historical insights, but not a prediction quite yet.
Why Is This Important?
Until now flight prediction tools were mostly limited to Hopper and Kayak. Unfortunately, both Hopper and Kayak have major limitations in my opinion. As mentioned above, Hopper is only app-based which isn’t conducive to detailed trip planning. Kayak on the other hand isn’t nearly as “clean” as Google Flights and can be a mess of pop-up advertisements. Google Flights is so simple to navigate and never leaves you inundated with pop-up ads.
Once the the roll out is complete, I don’t see a reason to use Hopper or Kayak for price prediction. Furthermore, Google Flights has become much more proactive about identifying fares that don’t include things like carry on bags or seat selection. Google Flights is now in a league of it’s own for flight search and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Are you seeing Google’s new price prediction tool when searching for flights? If so, let us know what you think!