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Google Flights adds new features for bargain hunters – including a price guarantee

United plane
(Image credit: United)

The internet is a great place to look for cheap flights, but as with most kinds of shopping, there's sometimes more to an 'incredible deal' than first meets the eye. 

For instance, the $200 discount you see advertised on a flight might be based on a peak season ticket price, when you're actually flying out of season.

Fortunately, Google Flights appears to be stepping up its ambitions to rival the best online travel sites, announcing a price guarantee alongside a couple of smaller new features.

New and improved Google Flights cleared for take-off?

For a limited time, Google Flights will refund you the difference if the fare you book through it becomes cheaper before your departure date. 

There's a huge catch to the search giant's offer, though, in that it's only valid for select trips from the US, booked between August 13th and September 2nd. 

There's no word on exactly which flights are eligible, and we weren't able to uncover any sign of the price guarantee in action, despite investigating a number of New York departures. 

However, you can still get a fairly good idea of what kind of value you're getting using Google Flights' price tracking tools.

After you've search for a flight from A to B, this tells you whether the cost of your flight is low, average, or high for your given dates, based on the last 12 months worth of price data. 

Here's a good deal we found flying from the Big Apple to Miami, by way of example.

(Image credit: Google Flights)

While this feature has been around for a while, Lifehacker has spotted a new price history graph that appears under it on selected flights.

This makes it even easier to see when flights are typically cheapest on a month-by-month basis, though again it only seems to be appearing for a limited number of routes and airlines at present.

(Image credit: Pexels via Lifehacker)

Whether you're bargain hunting online, down at the mall, or at your local grocery store, it always pays to audit the many offers looking to bombard your senses – and credit card – so you can identify the legitimate deals from the lemons.

A technology journalist with nearly 10 years of experience, James is the former News and Features Editor at Trusted Reviews, and has also served as regional Editor of Lifehacker. His articles have been spotted on sites ranging from The Sun to InStyle, but his true love is shiny things and the story behind them. An avid golfer in his spare time, you'll also regularly catch him hovering over the BBQ listening to Pearl Jam.