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When purchasing a flight ticket on Google Flights, one sometimes has the option to use the Google price guarantee. Is there any downside in using Google price guarantee when purchasing a flight ticket?


Example of flight ticket on Google Flights from GEG Spokane Airport to SFO San Francisco airport that offers the Google price guarantee option:

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  • Well, you have to book and pay through Google rather than directly through the airline. Other than that it sounds pretty cool
    – Midavalo
    Apr 28, 2023 at 21:26
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    @Midavalo Note sure how this all works, but the page says “Alaska will charge you $158.20 now and provide customer service for your reservation once it has been confirmed.” so this does not look like an usual OTA.
    – jcaron
    Apr 29, 2023 at 6:34

1 Answer 1

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There are advantages of booking directly with the airline. Probably the most important one is "single point of customer service", i.e. how changes, cancellations (from either side), operational issues, etc. are handled. It's also easier to manage the flight on the airline's website (seats, bags, frequent flyer stuff, etc)

It also appears that this is a way for Google to push Google Pay. This may or or may not what you want to do.

Another thing to check would be what exactly constitutes a price drop. Airlines don't actually "drop prices", the price goes down if they add inventory in a lower fare class. There are always subtle differences between fare classes and it's not clear how "apples to apples" the two prices need to be for the guarantee to kick in.

Google is a reasonably smart company: They wouldn't offer this for free, if there wasn't something in for them. Could be marketing budget for Google Pay, could be a kick back from the airline, could be something else that I'm not seeing.

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