Google Flights Gets a New Look, Adds Functionality

Nov 16, 2017

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Google Flights has released a new interface for all of your flight browsing needs. In the past, Google Flights has been a favorite for frequent travelers, thanks to its simple interface and immediate search results. And, with the new interface, it looks like much of that functionality isn’t changing — in fact, the tools are now becoming easier to use.

In order to start using the new interface, head to Google Flights. On the right-hand column next to the search boxes, you’ll see a notice for the new update. Click the Try Now button, and you’ll be redirected to the new interface. Note that it seems not everyone has access to the new interface just yet, as some TPG staffers did have it while others didn’t. It’s not clear how Google is targeting users to test out the new interface.

On first glance, it looks like Google is keeping much of its core functionality the same. On the front page, you’ll still have the options to select your origin, destination, dates, class of service and more. In addition, there’s still the useful Explore map to help you plan a getaway.

It looks like Google has chosen to keep a simple interface — good news for frequent users of the search engine. Once you begin a search for flights, you’ll notice that there’s definitely more information to take into account. For example, I did a sample search for a round-trip flight from New York to Frankfurt in February 2018.

Like with the old version, Google Flights will order the results, taking into consideration the price and number of stops. In addition, you’ll see a new Flight Insights bar at the top, which organizes the site’s functions in one, easy-to-find location.

The Flight Insights bar helps to isolate some important information to help you refine your searches and booking process. For example, if you click on the Dates option, you’ll get a calendar grid that allows you to select different combinations of dates so that you can score the cheapest ticket.

Alternatively, you can click the Price Graph to see how the flight you’re looking at fluctuates throughout a several-week period.

Or, the third option, Airports, allows you to view on a map if surrounding airports are cheaper on the dates of travel you’re looking for. It’s helpful to see it on a map and with immediate updates in your search results.

Finally, the last option in the Flight Insights bar is Tips. With it, you can see how much it’ll cost if you upgrade to another class of service. On my Frankfurt example, Google Flights informed me that I could fly in premium economy for $951. In addition, in this tab you’ll also find city tips.

Based on a couple of quick searches, this seems to be an improvement on an already-indispensable tool. Designers kept the simple design, but reorganized information so that it’s easier for used to find and utilize. Unfortunately, it looks like Google left out the option to filter basic economy results, however, there is a Chrome extension that will help you to do that.

What do you think of the new Google Flights update?

Featured image by Pogonici / Getty Images.

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