Google Flights alerts are something we mention frequently and use all the time ourselves. In the last few days, many of you have asked for more details about using them to save money on Hawaii flights.
We all want to get the best Hawaii travel deals, especially considering how expensive Hawaii has become. Google Flights and airfare alerts are tools we rely on that can help all but one airline. Read on for those details.
Google Flights is a handy tool for searching for airline flights, checking prices, and tracking airfare changes when alerts are set up. Google Flights is an easy-to-use tool for travelers, whether you’re a first-time user or an experienced Hawaii aficionado. Use it to get the best price before purchasing or checking after you buy should the airline drop prices and you wish to cancel and rebook.
Jeff recently had the price of a first-class ticket on Hawaiian Airlines drop from $1,659 to $630. When he got the Google alert, he purchased the tickets within five minutes. Soon after that, the price went back up again. Remember that airlines change prices up to five times daily.
As always, travelers with flexible dates will usually get the best deals.
How to set up Google Flights alerts.
You set an alert to be advised when the price of a flight changes, either going down or up from the amount at which you set the alert. You can select tracking of prices at any point. Either for a certain date and flight or for a more general or specific search. The more detailed your tracking selections, the fewer extraneous emails you’ll receive from Google.
Note that Google requires that you have a Gmail account to access the feature and be logged in when setting up the alert.
1. Start by setting up the broadest search possible. As seen in the image above, enter your city pairs and, if your dates are flexible, toggle the Track prices to on, and then select “Any dates.” This will enable you to receive price change notifications for flights between any city pair so that you can wait before deciding on your travel dates.
2. Select a search for specific dates, the number of people traveling, and one-way or round-trip flights when appropriate. If you only want to travel on a specific date, then only toggle the Track prices to “on” instead of using the “Any dates” feature. That way, you’ll only receive price change alerts for the date selected or you can set up searches for multiple dates if you prefer. Also, pick one-way or round-trip, or choose to fly into one island and out of another.
3. Select the class of service if desired. Suppose you only want to travel in premium economy or only in business/first class, for example. In that case, you can select that alert criteria by choosing the option in the Google flights search and then toggling on the tracking feature.
4. Add any additional search criteria you’d like. Choose from options for checked bags, stops, specific airlines, time of day, and layover time. Or skip that for now, starting with a broad search, then refine your search later. You’ll only receive alerts based on the criteria you select.
5. Wait to receive alert emails or view them manually on Google Flight’s main page, and you will find the existing trackers below the search fields under the headline Tracked Prices. This is also handy for turning off emails you no longer need by sliding the “Track Prices” off. There’s also a price chart reflecting the cost changes over a period of time for your selected flights.
6. We track prices even after purchasing tickets. If your tracked and purchased flight decreases in cost, you may be able to rebook and obtain a credit or refund, depending on the circumstances.
Google Flights does not track prices for Southwest Hawaii or other Southwest flights.
Google Flights does show Southwest departures, but it always says “Price unavailable,” which prevents the use of flight tracking. Unlike other airlines flying to Hawaii, Southwest chooses not to appear on online travel agencies. You’ll need to head to Southwest’s own flight search to determine prices. That makes price comparisons tricky and tracking impossible. That’s true even though, since 2020, Google has not charged airlines for participating in Google Flights. Southwest previously told us they prefer to control the guest experience by having it contained exclusively within their own website.