Whether you're buying video games, movies, or any number of other products throughout the internet, there's always a chance said item will go on sale (or simply have its price reduced) shortly after purchase. This can be frustrating to deal with, especially if you paid full price for the product in question – buying a $60 game only to see it cost $20 hours later never feels good.
This problem is even worse in the plane ticket market, where prices can shift by the hundreds of dollars at the drop of a hat. Fortunately, if you use Google Flights to plan and purchase tickets for your trips, the site will have your back over the next month or so. Among numerous other travel-oriented improvements Google is making to the service, Flights will now offer a "Price Guarantee."
In short, this means that if you book a flight and the ticket price lowers unexpectedly at any point before launch, you can request a refund for the difference. The "unexpected" part is important: Google will only refund a ticket if the price drop goes against what they've predicted (another new AI-powered feature being added to Flights). Regardless, the difference must be more than $5 and the maximum amount you can get back is $500.
...if you book a flight based on Google's predicted prices [and] the price lowers at any point before launch, you can request a refund for the difference.
There is a slight catch, though: according to Google, the payout will not be automatic. You'll need to submit a "payout request" to Google, which may require you to provide "additional information" to the tech giant for the purposes of determining your eligibility. Google does not explain how this request should be submitted.
The way Google has worded its Price Guarantee announcement blog post is a bit confusing. The company implies the Guarantee will only apply to flights booked between August 13 and September 2, and the Price Guarantee's Help article echoes that claim.
However, the program's Terms & Conditions page says the "Price Guarantee Window" is August 12 through November 24 – perhaps that applies to a flight's take-off date, and not necessarily its booking date?
Regardless, the bottom line is, if you book a flight anytime in the next several weeks (but perhaps longer), you won't need to worry about buyer's remorse if the ticket prices suddenly drop.