Google is continuing to muscle into the online flight booking business.
Late last week, it confirmed it had rolled out a new feature that sends an instant notification out for a price drop on an airfare you’ve been shopping around for.
At the moment, there’s a few preconditions. For starters, it’s only available in the US, but that’s likely to mean a question of if, not when it’s available here in Australia.
You need to be using Google’s personal assistant, Google Now, and you need to have searched for your airfare at Google Flights.
Once you’ve got all that, your search will instantly trigger a card drop into Google Now and you’ll get an alert the instant a price drop is identified.
Here’s how it happened for Android Police:
Fare comparison alerts aren’t a new thing, but Google’s working hard to wrap all aspects of making your journey easier up into a neat, simple to use bundle.
For starters, a lot more devices can now access Google Now (if you’re on Jelly Bean – Android 4.1) with the launcher via a simple voice command (“OK Google”) or swiping in from the right of your home screen, and have you searching within seconds.
And just last month it added more card functionality for travelers which sees alternative flight, train or bus options drop almost as soon as it notices the one you’re waiting for is delayed.
Google sparked anti-competitive fears among travel sites when it acquired ITA Software in 2011 for $700m, but was cleared by regulators with some restrictions on how it licensed its data to third parties.